Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Posts Tagged ‘WPC

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction – part two

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Espresso

Another response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction and not just a terrific jolt of caffeine but superb crema with (after a quick swirl with a teeny tiny coffee spoon) a nice accidental café art too. Also inspired by Jina Jay’s effort and my comment on it, yesterday.

Unlike my other responses to the Challenge, this picture was taken just for this post.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction

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Written by Stephen Rees

July 26, 2017 at 10:10 am

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

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srees2007_0114_145559AA

The photo challenge this week is to post “a photo that is unusual in some way for you“. I started by scrolling through my photostream on flickr – and they all seemed pretty usual for me. So then I tried a search of the stream using the term “unusual” – which picked out pictures where I had used that word in the photo’s title or description. Many of them seemed pretty mundane to me – but when I showed this one to my partner she confirmed my feeling by saying, “That’s a pretty neat picture!”

Underneath this one I had written

The snow melts a little during the day but freezes hard overnight – instant informal hockey rinks are now dotting the fields of Richmond. This one is at Steveston Highway and No 4 Road.

This was unusual weather for Richmond – if it had not been I doubt I would have posted it.

The photo was taken in January 2007. This kind of weather is common in Canada – as is the making of outdoor rinks. But it is not common in the south west corner of the mainland in BC where the climate is much milder than the centre of the continent. I have not seen anything like this since, even though we had a lot of snow this winter, there was not the same freeze thaw cycle which produces enough ice to skate on safely. Although the Parks Board did post signs and life guards to deter skaters from some of Vancouver’s ponds.

 

Written by Stephen Rees

July 19, 2017 at 10:12 am

WPC: Collage (part two)

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Yesterday I posted a collage of Trastevere in Rome. I mentioned that we had found the Villa Farnesina closed – so we had to go back. These are some of the pictures I took of the famous frescoes in the villa. Warning to those who may be in a highly puritanical workplace – some of these images may not be safe for work.

Posted as a second response to the Weekly Photo Challenge

 

Written by Stephen Rees

July 13, 2017 at 10:39 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

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I am taking the prompt very literally again.

“The Roman neighborhood of Trastevere is perennially popular with both tourists and locals…”

Yes, I know I’ve been there. Twice actually. We stayed in Rome across the river in a much cheaper neighbourhood called Testaccio. We would have been connected by a direct tram service, but the track was being worked on, and the replacement bus was much less attractive. But we got across the river and used the tram in Trastevere, which is one of the best in the system, as much of it is on an exclusive right of way.

There are many attractions – including the Villa Farnesina that was closed when we got there, hence the need for the second trip.

This week, share a collage with us. It can be a collage you find out in the world — a grouping of flyers on a telephone pole, patches of plants in a bed of flowers, a parking lot checkered with colorful cars — or a collage made of multiple photos. (What a great use of a tiled gallery! Nudge nudge.)

So below this paragraph is my tiled gallery. Many of the images have not been shared on flickr, but have been uploaded solely for this post. Click on any picture to enlarge it, and you can then see the rest, full page, by clicking the left or right arrow next to the image.

I also made a video of the Trio Taraf playing in the Piazza di Santa Maria

 

Written by Stephen Rees

July 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge

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The photo is of the Lions’ Gate Bridge across the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver BC taken in November last year.

On flickr I have more than 500 pictures with “bridge” in them. But this one had an instant appeal – both visually and also because it has a good story.

The original 1938 bridge looked a bit different – it was rebuilt in 2000 – 2001. There was a longish period of discussion over what should be done which did not just involve the bridge deck but also its approaches – through Stanley Park to the south and very busy roads it connected to in North and West Vancouver. There was much resistance to widening the causeway through the Park, but also great concern over how much traffic the areas around the bridge approaches could deal with. The deck has three lanes of traffic with a reversible centre lane to help cope with peak demands, but queueing for the bridge has long been – and still remains – an issue. Basically, while a lot of people wanted the crossing to be faster, there was no additional capacity available on both sides to allow for a wider bridge. Basically, we knew where the queues were going to be, and there was no desire to seem more of them.

Replacing the bridge deck, and linkages to the suspension cables, all took place while the bridge remained in service. The deck now has a nice smooth curve to it, replacing the former “bump” where the two ramps met in the middle. The sidewalks were also widened, and access for bicycles made much safer. This is in contrast to what seems to have become the default position in British Columbia, where road infrastructure is constantly expanded – and traffic then increases to fill the space available. The hope now is that with a much delayed change in the provincial government, the current plan to build a huge cable stayed bridge over the lower Fraser River will be abandoned in favour of a more realistic solution, the way that the challenge of the aging First Narrows bridge was dealt with. It isn’t actually necessary to build a new bridge to replace the tunnel, as refurbishing the existing sunken tubes and adding another, to carry a railway, is a cheaper and more effective solution, and poses much less threat to the ecologically sensitive Fraser estuary.

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July 5, 2017 at 10:48 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta

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Mouth of the Fraser aerial 2007_0710_105838AA

“This week, share a photograph that signifies transitions and change to you.”

This is an aerial shot from a plane leaving Vancouver on its way to Toronto in July 2007. I had to do quite a bit of work to edit the original – removing the mist that bedevils aerial photos, and correcting the colour, as well as adjusting the frame. Note that I have left the horizon tilted. I usually straighten that but in this case the plane is climbing steeply and turning eastwards. The plane leaving Vancouver took off over the Strait of Georgia, westwards, into the prevailing wind then turned towards the east.

The delta of the Fraser River is under threat from industrialisation. It is some of the most fertile soil in British Columbia, and one of the few places where vegetables can be grown. The river is still one of the most important ecosystems in the province with the remaining salmon runs threatened both by urban sprawl and climate change. Add to that the determination of the port to expand its activities – especially for the export of fossil fuels – and the storage of containers, which mostly come into the port loaded but have very much less utility for our exports, and we face a huge challenge.

I was very surprised to read in the original challenge “the current growing louder and faster before it spilled into the sea” which is exactly the opposite of what happens in this river delta – and almost certainly every other. The river’s current is much faster inland, where it rushes through the Fraser Canyon. The restriction of Hell’s Gate was one of the greatest challenges facing the Europeans when they started to exploit this part of the world. In building the Canadian National Railway they succeeded in blocking the river with their explosives, and the indigenous people carried the salmon upstream in baskets to help ensure the continuation of the species. The river turns westward at Hope and, as the valley widens, slows and begins to meander. The amount of silt that the water can carry drops as it slows, building the gravel beds that the gold prospectors pounced on, and the rich soils of what became farmland. In its natural state as the valley bottom opens up and flattens out the river would constantly move north and south seeking the sea between the mud banks and silt layers. We have of course put a stop to that with dykes and embankments to prevent flooding – that is actually the natural state – and constant dredging of the shipping channel to keep it open and, contentiously, to allow for larger ships.

This “photograph that signifies transitions and change to you” is one that I have used a lot on this blog as part of the campaign that challenges the present plans to expand the port and build a new, huge bridge at the leftmost edge of this picture, where the soil of the river banks is 2,000m or more of silts and sands, prone to liquefaction in the case of earthquakes (another imminent threat in this region) let alone the damage to Pacific flyway, the eelgrass beds, the habitat of many sensitive life forms and, of course, Burns Bog. You can read more about these issues in both this blog and at Fraser Voices.

And, by the way, the name of the municipality in most of this picture is Delta.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 28, 2017 at 10:36 am