Archive for the ‘Enviroment’ category

NYC subway proves boon to the city and environment

November 15, 2009

ED. In Vancouver the car is king and government builds even more roads to encourage auto use.  New York, on the other hand, is so advanced in its public transportation system that we should be modeling ours on this American city, rather than having big business tell us what we should build.


More than half of the households in New York do not own a car and up to 75 per cent of the population of Manhattan is without four-wheeled transport, thanks to the city’s mass rapid transit system and their extensive network of public transport.

Due to the New York City Subway, one of the few 24-hour metro services of the world, and the fact that New Yorkers use the public transport very extensively, it is one of the most energy-efficient cities in the US.

One in every three mass transit users in the US, or 4.9 million people a day, use the New York City Subway, which is the largest subway system in the world, measured by track mileage. It has grown from 28 stations when it was founded in October of 1904 to 462 stations at present.


Los Angeles County chooses light rail

November 14, 2009

ED. Design of L.A. stations are superb – if only Vancouver could have hired architects with vision and imagination.

L.A. Times

By Christopher Hawthorne ARCHITECTURE CRITIC

Mariachi Plaza Station (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) This stop was designed by architect William Villalobos and artist Alejandro de la Loza.

Sunday’s opening of eight new Metro stations on a path from downtown to East L.A. lays down tracks toward an exciting future.

It’s the latest light-rail line in Los Angeles County, running six miles from downtown L.A. through Boyle Heights and into East Los Angeles. When it opens to the public on Sunday, the Gold Line will run from Pasadena to East L.A. The Eastside extension cost $898 million to build. Construction began in 2004.


– New York moving quickly to improve public transporation

October 29, 2009

by Rich Kassel

In 2008, the mayor’s proposal to use congestion pricing to fight traffic and help fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority dominated the transportation agenda of the city and state. When the plan hit a roadblock in Albany (after passing the City Council), attention turned to efforts that could improve transportation in the city without requiring the state legislature’s approval.

Today, New Yorkers are resting in pedestrian plazas formerly reserved for honking cars and riding to work on dozens of new bike lanes. Work is progressing on “Select Bus Service,” a new style of bus service that is providing a faster, more convenient bus commute along Fordham Road in the Bronx and that is slated to be expanded throughout the City over the course of the coming decade. (more…)

– Campbell says Evergreen Line will go ahead

October 26, 2009

ED. Here we go again… Campbell is again demanding that heavy rail be used on the Evergreen line…. regardless of the fact that major cities across north America and around the world are choosing rapid light rail – rather than the extremely more expensive heavy rail Skytrain technology.  Why is that?  And now I predict the Evergreen line will be built by for-profit private business (his developer friends). This again shows Campbell’s lack of understanding about transportation issues; and his right-wing philosophy about letting big business run things.

News 1130

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Gordon Campbell continues to say the Evergreen Line will go ahead, despite Metro Mayors voting against the necessary funding needed for TransLink to expand the system.

The vote put the fate of the Evergreen Line in question, but Campbell remains optimistic it will be built. “The federal government is a huge partner in the Evergreen Line, they’ve come to the table for that urban transit system, the provincial government is a major partner in the Evergreen Line. I’m sure we’ll be to find ways that we can move forward so that we have the kind of public transit that is going to be necessary for the long term health of this region.”

It’s the first time Campbell has spoken about the line since the mayors’ vote, and the first time he’s alluded to the possibility of TransLink not being involved.

Campbell wouldn’t say if other funding options for the mega project are being explored.

– Nuisance claims serious for P3 projects

October 22, 2009

National Post

Work on the Canada Line rapid transit system in Vancouver in 2007. A recent court ruling made the systems owners liable for losses by a local business. It cost them $600,000.

Work on the Canada Line rapid transit system in Vancouver in 2007. A recent court ruling made the system's owners liable for losses by a local business. It cost them $600,000.

Donalee Moulton

Noise, inconvenience and disruption go hand in hand with construction projects. Now, a spring ruling from the Supreme Court of British Columbia may make those everyday realities a very costly component of doing business for public-private partnership (P3) projects in this country.

In Heyes v. City of Vancouver, the province’s Supreme Court ruled that the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc., and InTransit BC were liable for adversely affecting a local maternity clothing business — a finding that cost them more than $600,000. The case is under appeal.

“This was a nuisance claim,” notes Dianne Saxe, an environmental lawyer based in Toronto. Such claims, she says, have been out of fashion for some time — principally because of government statutes prohibiting them.


– 36 Reasons Streetcars Are Better Than Buses

October 19, 2009

from The Infrastructurist

If you want a system that really attracts riders and investment, many transit experts will attest that streetcars are the best dollar-for-dollar investment a city can make.

Of course, there are plenty of situations where old-fashioned bus service or newfangled bus rapid transit (which usually has dedicated lanes) are just the thing. But for cities facing a choice between building a streetcar system or high-end BRT and the cost difference can be smaller than might think it’s handy to know that transit riders overwhelming prefer streetcars.

Well, overwhelmingly if the comments section from a recent story on this site can be taken as a fair sample. One reader posed the question, “buses or streetcars?” and the responses from laypeople and transportation experts alike came fast and furious. In the end, we were left with dozens of reasons why streetcars are superior, ranging from the obvious to the wonderfully creative.