SFU or UBC – The Gondola Solution

9 Feb

If the Broadway Line were built and extended as far as Alma Street, could a gondola system be implemented to get students the rest of the way to campus? It would certainly be cheaper than running buses or continuing the line to UBC.

What about SFU, why is NIMBYism still holding up the gondola line from Production Way up to the campus? Why can a few home owners force delays and unsafe commutes upon tens of thousands of people who live, work, and study up on Burnaby Mountain?

Barcelona and Medellin have it, why can’t we have it to?


Comments worth commenting on: Who has a helmet law?

4 Feb

The amount of lives saved by helmets is probably far outweighed by the lives lost due to higher levels of asthma, cardiac disease, obesity, and car accidents as a result of millions of people not biking because they don’t want to wear a bike helmet, or because they’re brainwashed by the helmet lobby that biking is dangerous.

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Price Taggers just can’t get enough of the compulsory-helmet law controversy.  Stoker, meet fire.

arnoschort commented on Ohrn Words: “The Effect of Mandatory Helmet Laws”

There are very few jurisdictions in the world that have an adult helmet law which are enforced. The list is very short:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • BC, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia
  • 19 states in the US
  • Spain – only rural areas and there are other exceptions
  • Chile – urban areas only.

Isn’t it a bit arrogant to think that we might be right in having a helmet law when most of the world does not have a law and two countries have repealed theirs in order to introduce bike sharing?


UPDATE: Janda adds two fascinating articles:



In the 1980′s, Bell, a helmet manufacturer, was keen to expand the market for bicycle helmets, its most profitable product. It approached…

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Referendum: Editorial – Hume on a Hijacking

3 Feb

Hopefully the yes side can come up with a compelling big picture message as to why no is not an option. In a competitive global economy, Vancouver has to make investments in its transit infrastructure to keep up with other cities. The fall in the Canadian dollar is a stark reminder of how quickly capital takes flight to other parts of the world where things are being done better and more efficiently. This flight makes us only poorer against our peers.

Price Tags

Stephen Hume in the Vancouver Sun:


Anti-tax group has hijacked debate

Pressure group: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, based in Regina, has no legitimate say in transit plebiscite


How is a non-democratic special interest group… able to develop such traction in framing the current Metro discussion of public transit funding?

How is a minuscule, Prairie-based, fundamentally non-democratic special interest group that operates like some self-appointed secret society able to develop such traction in framing the current Metro discussion of public transit funding?

Judging from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, you’d think Metro residents were staggering under intolerable taxes and about to be crushed by yet another.

Yet competitiveness studies show that after Alberta we enjoy the second lowest provincial tax in Canada. Our sales tax is lower than all but two provinces — and would retain that rank even with the proposed transit increase. Corporate tax rates here are second…

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Where is our Premier? What was she elected for?

2 Feb

The upcoming transit referendum is statement of our times. A provincial government too scared to take a stand on anything, has imposed on the recently elected mayors of Greater Vancouver a plebiscite on funding essential upgrades to transit in the region. The provincial government has said they will take no position on the plebiscite, this despite the fact that the region is by far the most important economic motor of the province.

Translink is the provincial corporation responsible for transit in the region, it operates in a similar fashion to another provincial corporation called BC Ferries. Both Translink and BC Ferries were divorced from the core Provincial Transport ministry, so as to get the hot potato of transit funding out of the provincial government’s hands, and into pseudo independent corporate bodies that can be blamed whenever fares rise or service is cut. While the issue here is not about BC Ferries, one need just pick up a local paper to see the state of that particular provincial “corporation”.

The result is the mayors are being forced to campaign for funding from the public to finance the expansion of transit and road and bridge infrastructure that is operated by a corporation that is kind of run by the province. Sounds crazy, but in fact it is worse than that, because if the funding is turned down by the public, the gridlock here will get worse, and the only ones who will take the blame will be the mayors and Translink. Christy Clark and the provincial government will be able to wash their hands of it.

English Bay Boathouse Area: Congestion Caused by the Cactus Club and too much Roadway

5 Jan
The area around the Cactus Club at English Bay is an accident waiting to happen, the result of placing the front door of a popular restaurant right onto the busiest bike way in the cityAnyone who bikes, walks, or rollerblades through this narrow section knows it is a shambles of a limited sidewalk, a narrow bike lane, bus shelters, and pylons; however, with a bit of creativity the problem can be easily rectified.
The solution – move the bike lane onto Beach Road and redirect Stanley Park in/out traffic onto Morton Ave to the north side of the “Laughing Men” statues – this will connect these statues to the beachfront, as the short section of Beach Road and Davie Street that lies between it and the seawall would become a bike path and pedestrian space.
The drop-off parking in front of Cactus Club is also part of the problem, but can be fixed by also relocating it to the north of the “laughing men” statues.
The impact of these changes to traffic will be minimal, as the area is a 30km/hr zone access road to and from the park, which means drivers should not be travelling in a hurry.

Half a percent is a little for a lot

11 Dec

Half a percent is a little for a lot.

The next couple of months will be critical to ensure the message is put out as to why this plan needs a yes, and how simple the funding strategy is.



For those that argue against, saying they’re not getting enough, or they’re paying more than those free riders, the reality is that for the public good, someone is always paying less than you, just as there is always someone else paying more than you. Ultimately all of Vancouver wins if the referendum succeeds. If it fails, then our region will continue to fall behind cities around the world where public infrastructure is viewed as a funding necessity, and not a pain in the ass.

Stanley Park Causeway: A Suggested Refinement

10 Dec

Lowering the bike path versus the pedestrian walkway is not ideal; Vancouver is a wet and windy place, which means the bike trough would be constantly clogged with debris, mud, and water. A potential alternative would be to lower the outside pedestrian path and ensure it has good drainage to the drain tile between it and the park.

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From Frank Ducote:

While my personal preference of narrowing the causeway lanes from 12′ to 10′ and thus slowing traffic and saving more trees wasn’t studied, I think there is a refinement of the proposed design that could help reduce bike/pedestrian conflicts on the east side. It is pretty simple, as shown below.

Simply lower the bike lane to that of the road surface. But keep the barrier on a raised curb to protect the cyclists.


I’d like to know what your other respondents think of the idea.

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