Downtowns have a lot to offer. The key is to make them great places to walk. That way, parking the tank and sending in the infantry on a 5 minute march becomes fun rather than a chore!
Every city has a downtown: A place to go, to see and be seen. Sometimes, changes come to a downtown attracting more people than ever before. That was the case 30 years ago when the Downtown Revitalization Program changed the character of Victoria Street in Kamloops making it a People Place. In 2020-2021 during the Covid epidemic, the sidewalks were widened downtown to provide safe outdoor seating. Now that Covid is under control, a win-win opportunity presents itself:
(1) Make the sidewalks widenings permanent; and
(2) Introduce back-in angle parking to increase the parking capacity in those places where the sidewalks are not widened.
Below is a walk along Victoria today illustrating long-standing strengths, and discussing new emerging opportunities of place.
Continue reading “Victoria Street: The Heart In Downtown Kamloops”
The ‘Usual Suspects’ have lined up to deliver Subway-and-Towers along what they call the ‘Broadway Corridor.’ Yet, what is really needed is a Regional Transit System capable of delivering a rapid supply response putting houses-on-lots in sufficient numbers to End the HOUSING CRISIS.
1. THE BLUE LINE REGIONAL SERVICE
There is an affordable, sustainable—and immediately available—option for a Regional Transit System linking the North Shore, Vancouver, Surrey, Chilliwack and places in between that must be considered as a first priority in the Metro Vancouver-Fraser Valley regions (shown as a Blue Line in the map above).
Continue reading “The Regional Transit System”
Greens and Climate Change activists have it all wrong in Germany, where government will convene a high-level session promising a further 30% reduction in GHGs
GREENPEACE MAKES A WHALE OF AN APPEARANCE AT THE FRANKFURT CAR SHOW (AP Photo 12 Sept)
“The automotive industry makes money by destroying the environment,” Marion Tiemann, a transport expert at Greenpeace and one of the event’s organizers, said at the protest. “We’re in the midst of a climate crisis.”
Continue reading “Germany Reduces GHGs by 30% But the People Still Want More”
With the IPO for Aramco due later this year, a drone strike on its second largest facility sets the stage for the unravelling of the Petro Dollar on the International stage. A humanitarian crisis has beset Yemen since the 2015 Saudi-influenced civil war.
10 HOUTHI DRONES HIT THE SECOND LARGEST OIL PRODUCTION FACILITY IN SAUDI ARABIA
Ten drones delivered missiles to the second largest oil processing site in Saudi Arabia. Houthi rebels from Yemen, backed by Iran, took responsibility. Saudi Arabia produces about 1/10th of the world oil supply. However, the ruling family is readying to divest itself of Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Co.) with a initial public offering later this year.
Continue reading “Aramco Hit as Gulf Tensions Heighten”
With house prices hovering 13x over median household incomes in Vancouver, what do Modern Tram systems offer that Skytrain cannot deliver? In just two words—Affordable Housing!!
ALSTOM HYDROGEN FUEL CELL POWERED TRAIN
In a report (see page 12 in the linked agenda document) presented at Translink Mayors Council, June 2019, Translink summarily rejected the South Fraser Community Rail’s carefully wrought proposal for returning Interurban passenger service to the Fraser Valley. The report sees it as:
One of many ideas that will be included as part of Transport 2050 [review].
Continue reading “Translink Rejects Fraser Valley Interurban as a Replacement for Skytrain… But, What Do the Numbers Say?”
The right way to stop the UBC subway from being built is to demand governments act to end the Housing Crisis.
TOP: UBC TODAY | UBC + SUBWAY (LNV Webbimage, 2019)
Fifty-two years ago Council Meetings in Vancouver were loud and raucous affairs as people poured into Council Chamber to protest building a Freeway tearing into the heart of the city. Fifty-two years later a new fight is brewing. The city that once opposed a freeway must rise up to reject the UBC subway. The people must demand that politicians—up and down the Fraser Valley—fold transportation infrastructure spending into a plan to end the Housing Crisis.
Continue reading “The Vancouver Subway Fight and the Housing Crisis”
We have grown accustomed to seeing Skytrain blight the places it crosses. It is time to turn it around. Transit implementation should trigger street beautification, neighbourhood revitalization and—yes—affordable houses.
Translink CEO Kevin Desmond [photo Paul McGrath, North Shore News]
Reported this week, Translink is pitching a B-Line for the North Shore linking Park Royal shopping centre near the Lions Gate Bridge with the Phibbs bus exchange near the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge (at Second Narrows). Our analysis points to this service is a key component of a Total Transit Network (TTN) for the Lower Mainland, and a critical element in a Regional Strategy to end the Housing Crisis.
Continue reading “Translink ‘good’ urbanism”
Just in time for Christmas 1962 the New Yorker magazine published a review of Jane Jacobs epoch making book by the the renown humanist and planner Lewis Mumford.
JACOBS & MUMFORD (LNV Webbimage, 2018)
Do towers make or break neighbourhoods? Must we chose between either building ‘hyper’ density, or making ‘good’ places? Can only ‘big’ cities be ‘great’ cities? Will Capitalism trump the issue of human scale, or do we possess the strength to resist the its siren call? On 1 December 1962 these issues played across the cover and pages of the Christmas edition of the hip, the savvy, the culturally inured New Yorker magazine. Famed New Yorker columnist and liberal arts critic Lewis Mumford took up his pen to review—and criticize—the epoch making little yellow book by architecture journalist and Greenwich Village activist Jane Jacobs: The Death and Life of the Great American Cities. How was Jacobs’s manifesto, bound in a small yellow jacket, received by the establishment media and the establishment planning profession? Fifty-six years later we take another look.
Continue reading “Lewis Mumford’s review of Jane Jacobs ‘The Death and Life of the Great American Cities’”
The Transportation Transect shows the reach of transit technologies into the urban footprint. It also points the way towards achieving cities with a zero-carbon footprint.
We can map all the transportation technologies in use today on the rural-to-urban transect defined by Andres Duany using Patrick Gedes‘s Valley Section (1909) as a model.
Continue reading “The Transportation Transect”
The Transit Pyramid provides a stepped upgrade path for 0-GHG transit occupying the same amount of road space. Upgrading from bus to Modern Tram achieves 30x more service. Safely integrating trams between tree medians the arterials are revitalized as ‘neighborhood spines’ supporting higher levels of social functioning.
TRANSLINK ROUTE MAP
Red lines identify routes shown in a Translink Network that can add capacity simply by moving transit technologies up the Transit Pyramid. At the top of the Pyramid the Red lines turn to Blue. A staggering amount of capacity is delivered by the Blue lines with Levels of Service that double Skytrain capacity. Yet, building Modern Tram (the Blue lines) costs 12x-less than either Skytrain in a tunnel, and Canada Line. And 6x-less than Skytrain elevated on viaducts. Today, Translink operates only at the bottom two levels of the Transit Pyramid. We identify this as the key problem for transit in our region. And stress that the Housing Crisis—not Transit—is the number-one issue facing our politicians.
Continue reading “The Transit Pyramid”