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Old 12-15-2014, 02:31 AM   #76
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in recent times I have been able to travel a lot, including the following countries: Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and I've noticed something, the major cities (and even less major cities in some cases) have amazing public transit.

so, what's wrong with vancouver? a number of things, but the ones that are obvious are:
1) lack of half decent city planning. mass transit is an afterthought. decent roads are an afterthought. what is the forethought for city planners?

2) geography. Vancouver is a small city not close to anywhere else. I would think the best solution for vancouver would be a hub and spoke transit system, moderate speed trains from north shore to vancouver, burnaby, richmond, surrey, with a localized tram system in each district. the problem here is that the train infrastructure is too costly given it can only be used locally, it's not like you're going on the train to calgary vs. in europe you use the trains as a part of a europe wide system - the capital cost is worth it.

skytrains are not the answer, they're too expensive, yet we have no clear vision as to what will be the best plan, and that's the problem - no clear driver for BC's transit mandate - this is why i would not welcome an additional 0.5% consumption tax. as was rightfully said, most sane places issue bonds to cover capital expenditure for infrastructure, why can't BC?

BC has had it too good for too long with respects to having Vancouver be a small town whereby being car dependent has been ok. nowadays, vancouver is getting too small for the number of ppl, or more importantly, the infrastructure is not keeping pace - with continued immigration in, one needs mass transit as the roads truly cannot accommodate the extra cars. but as with all things, the government are about 20 years behind the times, 20 years too late with their infrastructure plans.

the people of BC deserve better, but if they're not willing to stand up and say "enough is enough" then it will turn into a case of "you get what you ask for"
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:51 AM   #77
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so, what's wrong with vancouver? a number of things, but the ones that are obvious are:
1) lack of half decent city planning. mass transit is an afterthought. decent roads are an afterthought. what is the forethought for city planners?
More bike lanes!

The other piece of this is, as I already mentioned, much of this planning is being left to a group of the mayors of the various cities... and while I'm sure most of them do have the bigger picture in mind, they also have their own voters in mind, and a project that would mainly benefit North Vancouver won't be as important to the mayors of Surrey and Delta, especially if it means choosing between that, and a project in their own back yards.

Your question itself is indicative of this issue: "what's wrong with Vancouver?" Well unless Vancouver is going to have its own bus system that stops and turns around at Boundary Rd. and never crosses a bridge... mass transit is not a Vancouver issue, it's a regional issue. It's not Vancouver's problem to address.

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2) geography. Vancouver is a small city not close to anywhere else. I would think the best solution for vancouver would be a hub and spoke transit system, moderate speed trains from north shore to vancouver, burnaby, richmond, surrey, with a localized tram system in each district. the problem here is that the train infrastructure is too costly given it can only be used locally, it's not like you're going on the train to calgary vs. in europe you use the trains as a part of a europe wide system - the capital cost is worth it.
Here we see another problem: Vancouver's transit needs are regularly compared to other places like Calgary, Toronto, etc., for example: talking about how we could use a light rail system like Calgary has...conveniently ignoring the fact that compared to the GVRD, Calgary is flat as a board. They same technology isn't feasible here. Toronto has far more people to spread the cost around, and is also flat. Most parts of Europe are also relatively flat, AND have a far higher density of people.

These are just not valid or fair comparisons. If you want to compare topologies, San Francisco may be closer. Seattle. Portland.

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the people of BC deserve better, but if they're not willing to stand up and say "enough is enough" then it will turn into a case of "you get what you ask for"
I think it's just as important to have governments who are willing to stand up, say "enough is enough", stop pandering to the vocal minority, and say, "fuck you, this is getting done, because it's been put off too long and it's needed now more than ever."
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:23 AM   #78
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Transit planning is a complex issue in Metro Van.

1. Build park and rides.
Can't do it because there's not much vacant land, especially in areas that are close to Vancouver. Even if there was, does it make sense for Translink to pay the costs to acquire and to keep that land vacant for parking lots? Not really, unless it becomes a real estate developer and builds condos to pay the costs of acquiring and holding the land.

2. Higher density should be encouraged in order to ensure higher ridership and profitability for future transit expansion.
Most municipalities in Metro are doing this, but there are lots of angry and vocal minorities who oppose change. Considering that only 30% of residents vote in municipal elections, mayors don't want to do too much and will only focus on rezoning industrial and commercial zones.

3. Increase fares for users.
It's an appealing option on the surface, but if you increase fares too much, then it will hurt low-income people who actually need public transit and you'll discourage middle-income earners from using it. The more you discourage people from using it, the more congestion we'll have on the roads which will accelerate wear and tear on existing infrastructure. And no one wants more congestion, I think.

4. Better urban planning.
It's easy to criticize the lack of urban planning, but there's really no point because in the end, you have to try to move forward and get better results. If money won't be spent and if no vision is created, we'll get poor results.

5. Hub and spoke model.
If you really look at the system, it's actually a hub-and-spoke model. However, the reality is that most people in Metro travel from region to region in no set patterns. Lots of people live in suburbs and commute to other suburbs. So, how does one build a system to accommodate random commuting patterns? Density and the town centre model helps, but people here eventually tire of the condo lifestyle and want more space.

I think the real problem is governance. Too many mayors and an organization that is hamstrung with poor leadership.

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Old 12-15-2014, 09:33 PM   #79
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5. Hub and spoke model.
If you really look at the system, it's actually a hub-and-spoke model. However, the reality is that most people in Metro travel from region to region in no set patterns. Lots of people live in suburbs and commute to other suburbs. So, how does one build a system to accommodate random commuting patterns? Density and the town centre model helps, but people here eventually tire of the condo lifestyle and want more space.
Of course, this kind of plan is great if you build it that way from the start... problem is, things are repeatedly just cobbled together, a little bit at a time, with no thought given to a larger regional plan like this. Each of SkyTrain's stages was done this way - oh, we need to serve this area, how are we going to connect it this time? - instead of, well we could put a new line here, but that's not going to meet up with anything else we might want to do in the future... why don't we run it this other way, and later down the road when we need to expand it, we'll be ready.

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I think the real problem is governance. Too many mayors and an organization that is hamstrung with poor leadership.
Yep. As I said, everyone involved has their little fifedoms to be concerned about, instead of JUST the big picture.

Don't get me wrong, having the various mayors on the TransLink board is crucial... but they need a single APPOINTED official who has the final say over what gets done when, and where the money goes.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:48 AM   #80
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I have said it many times when it comes to transit related threads and I'm going to say it again... GVR simply doesn't have the population to support our public transportation system. And the fact the translink operates the longest distance service in NA make it worse.

If Translink doesn't get this, residents in the GVR would always be subsidizing the transportation system. And seriously, by the amount of money they are spending on expansion, they might as well fund housing programs so that low-income people (those who really need the public transportation) can afford to live close by.

This won't make us any good. I know it takes planning and all, but GVR simply won't grow into a city like NYC or Taipei or Tokyo so that the pop. density can support such a complex system. At least not in a foreseeable future. Spending money now to expand Translink doesn't make any sense, period.

We need better city planning... not transportation.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:06 AM   #81
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Sometimes translink just needs to grow some balls and realize that they cant please everyone.

Take the Patullo bridge for example. earlier this year the mayors council agreed on building a 4 lane bridge that can be expandable to 6 lanes with modern size widths and barriers and pedestrian and cycling as well.

But the city of new west bitched and moaned about traffic and not wanting to increase/expand their feeder roads and now nothing is done. Translink just needs to say sorry everyone else has agreed including surrey so we are building it so go fuck off.

So now the bridge is like as old as when dinosaurs walked the earth and could fall down any moment, especially if there is an earthquake. and they are spending $100 million or so on repairs that would keep it up to "operate-able" shape for another 3-5 years. Why not save ourselves the $100 million and begin building the new bridge already. if we are going to build a new bridge after the 3-5 years, just save ourselves the money now.

The bridge is super narrow and unsafe, one earthquake and you better have your swimming vests on. Like it's almost a necessity to replace it as it is old as fuck.

we've wasted countless money on all the studies and such.

think of the economical impact this has on trucks and shipping goods idling and sitting in traffic. We need to eliminate some obvious bottlenecks imo.

PS. the mayors should have went 6 lanes from the start instead of 4 lanes.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:16 AM   #82
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^ while we're on the topic of new west, i want to rant about how their city and municipality is the worst in the lower mainland. holy fuck are these guys fucking morons.

1. they dont want truck traffic because they say it doesn't benefit the city. hello?? you guys are in the middle geographically. we need trucks and goods to pass through efficiently to support our economy? the economy supports you. how do you think your groceries got to the store for you to buy it? it just magically appeared??

2. the city also wanted to limit rail and freight by the fraser river because it disturbed the newly build condos residences? umm wtf? the fraser river was there before they got there. as well as the railway tracks. should we just limit rail traffic because you guys dont like it? lets slow down the shipment of rail goods of everyone else in the province just for you guys.

I could go on and on . . . ..
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:28 AM   #83
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Simple solution to New West. Told every single bridge. The reason why there is so much traffic is because Patullo is free and ppl want to save a few dollars especially truck.

Build a new one and put a toll on it. Instead of going for the free options people will just take the bridge which is closest.
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:53 PM   #84
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Sometimes translink just needs to grow some balls and realize that they cant please everyone.
Like I said, the only time shit gets done RIGHT is when someone steps up and says, "Fuck you, this is getting done the way it NEEDS to."

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But the city of new west bitched and moaned about traffic and not wanting to increase/expand their feeder roads and now nothing is done.
Was the same thing with the Braid St. Bailey bridge. Coquitlam built a nice wide four-lane United Way right up to it... and New West put a gate across their side because they didn't want all that traffic. Coquitlam finally got the gate removed by declaring it a safety hazard that would impede the movement of emergency vehicles... but nothing was done to improve traffic except to add a light for flow control.

And then engineers decided the bridge was falling apart and needed to be replaced, so it was closed, and will (last I heard) FINALLY be getting a new two-lane bridge... which is what should have just been done in the first place, instead of repeatedly wasting money on a gate, and a light, etc. etc.


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2. the city also wanted to limit rail and freight by the fraser river because it disturbed the newly build condos residences? umm wtf? the fraser river was there before they got there. as well as the railway tracks. should we just limit rail traffic because you guys dont like it? lets slow down the shipment of rail goods of everyone else in the province just for you guys.
Hahahah, I remember someone ranting here, just about the time the first segment of the SFPR opened, about it disturbing the Fraser shoreline and what not... apparently oblivious to the fact there are existing rail yards and industrial lands between it and the Fraser, things that have been there for DECADES.

*sigh*
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:10 PM   #85
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Toll every single bridge
I've always said this exact same thing. Tolls could be dirt cheap like $1.00 if every bridge was tolled, people wouldn't avoid certain bridges because it would be affordable for everyone and traffic would be spread out. Translink would get their damn money in the end. I wonder if anyone with half a brain even thought about this at translink.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:53 PM   #86
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^ while we're on the topic of new west, i want to rant about how their city and municipality is the worst in the lower mainland. holy fuck are these guys fucking morons.

1. they dont want truck traffic because they say it doesn't benefit the city. hello?? you guys are in the middle geographically. we need trucks and goods to pass through efficiently to support our economy? the economy supports you. how do you think your groceries got to the store for you to buy it? it just magically appeared??

2. the city also wanted to limit rail and freight by the fraser river because it disturbed the newly build condos residences? umm wtf? the fraser river was there before they got there. as well as the railway tracks. should we just limit rail traffic because you guys dont like it? lets slow down the shipment of rail goods of everyone else in the province just for you guys.

I could go on and on . . . ..
To be devil's advocate...

Yeah, these things are easy to say when you don't actually live in the city and wouldn't be directly impacted.

The problem with New West is the physical geography and existing development that there's not much space to build new bigger roads on.

So you build a 6-lane bridge to patullo, where's that traffic going to go? You going to take make Kill a bunch of Queen's Park to make McBride bigger so traffic can just get jammed up 10th? Just tear down a few hundred houses to make 10th 6 lanes right?

You going to rip down all of front street and associated buildings to build a new highway there? How about ripping down the buildings on Columbia street instead!
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To be devil's advocate...

Yeah, these things are easy to say when you don't actually live in the city and wouldn't be directly impacted.

The problem with New West is the physical geography and existing development that there's not much space to build new bigger roads on.

So you build a 6-lane bridge to patullo, where's that traffic going to go? You going to take make Kill a bunch of Queen's Park to make McBride bigger so traffic can just get jammed up 10th? Just tear down a few hundred houses to make 10th 6 lanes right?

You going to rip down all of front street and associated buildings to build a new highway there? How about ripping down the buildings on Columbia street instead!
no one said anything about a highway. for sure there will be increased traffic, but the expansion of the roads is not an issue, if you read the report and plans that the mayors have all agreed too (even New west agreed too before they flip flopped), they have maps of all the road expansions. its feasible. lots of empty areas that roads can be expanded to. hell just google map the Mcbride area and you can see theres green space all around.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:23 PM   #88
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To be devil's advocate...

Yeah, these things are easy to say when you don't actually live in the city and wouldn't be directly impacted.

The problem with New West is the physical geography and existing development that there's not much space to build new bigger roads on.

So you build a 6-lane bridge to patullo, where's that traffic going to go? You going to take make Kill a bunch of Queen's Park to make McBride bigger so traffic can just get jammed up 10th? Just tear down a few hundred houses to make 10th 6 lanes right?

You going to rip down all of front street and associated buildings to build a new highway there? How about ripping down the buildings on Columbia street instead!
The thing people forget though, is that while if you build it, they may come... they can also go. Go sit in traffic on McBride for half an hour just to get from 8th Ave. to the Patullo, and tell me a straighter, wider, faster bridge wouldn't be a massive improvement.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:47 AM   #89
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^ while we're on the topic of new west, i want to rant about how their city and municipality is the worst in the lower mainland. holy fuck are these guys fucking morons.

1. they dont want truck traffic because they say it doesn't benefit the city. hello?? you guys are in the middle geographically. we need trucks and goods to pass through efficiently to support our economy? the economy supports you. how do you think your groceries got to the store for you to buy it? it just magically appeared??

2. the city also wanted to limit rail and freight by the fraser river because it disturbed the newly build condos residences? umm wtf? the fraser river was there before they got there. as well as the railway tracks. should we just limit rail traffic because you guys dont like it? lets slow down the shipment of rail goods of everyone else in the province just for you guys.

I could go on and on . . . ..
New Westminster is a classic example of a bygone town living on past glories that is desperately trying to stay relevant. Yes, we get it.. you were the capital of BC once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away but it's time to get with the program and recognize your role as a major transportation hub that a significant portion of commuting and industrial traffic has to pass through.

Really, any time between 4-6PM on a weekday it's faster for me to drive from my workplace at YVR, up SW Marine and then Boundary to HWY 1 to get to my GF's house in Port Coquitlam than it is to simply take Marine Way, go through New West, and take Lougheed in. About 50% of that commute is spent idling in New West's crappy traffic... there are a few roads they could expand and lights they could remove, such as the expansion that perimeter road (forget the name) running right by the water. It would alleviate traffic by a ton, but nope.. let's stick to trying to be a small town within a big city. Bunch of fucking morons.
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:41 AM   #90
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Really, any time between 4-6PM on a weekday it's faster for me to drive from my workplace at YVR, up SW Marine and then Boundary to HWY 1 to get to my GF's house in Port Coquitlam than it is to simply take Marine Way, go through New West, and take Lougheed in. About 50% of that commute is spent idling in New West's crappy traffic... there are a few roads they could expand and lights they could remove, such as the expansion that perimeter road (forget the name) running right by the water. It would alleviate traffic by a ton, but nope.. let's stick to trying to be a small town within a big city. Bunch of fucking morons.
Front St. is a LOT better now that the SFPR is taking a lot of port traffic that would have previously cut through New West. It's also not so easy to "just expand" it - that whole parking structure would have to go, and you'd still be limited to a single lane each way going under the bridges.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:40 AM   #91
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no one said anything about a highway. for sure there will be increased traffic, but the expansion of the roads is not an issue, if you read the report and plans that the mayors have all agreed too (even New west agreed too before they flip flopped), they have maps of all the road expansions. its feasible. lots of empty areas that roads can be expanded to. hell just google map the Mcbride area and you can see theres green space all around.
I must be dumb, can you link me the plans for how they will deal with the increased traffic? I don't see where it's laid out how the roads will be re-routed. I see a shitty little map that says the traffic will go along Stewardson Way..

That would be great if that wasn't a shitshow to begin with aswell. They can't really deal with the choke point at Queensborough as I doubt they will want to rebuild the bridge to allow 2 lanes to go underneath and continue onto Marine.

10th Ave, and Canada Way cannot be expanded, thus wasting money on a McBride expansion is futile.. Stewardson has houses and skytrain pillars.. again futile. And WTF is the point in expanding Brunette just to bring traffic back to Portmann? I understand we need to upgrade and shit, but I don't think it's a BIGGER BRIDGES issue... it's a MOAR BRIDGES issue. I'd like to see a bridge put in between Queensborough and Knight. Maybe between Byrne and Boundary.
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:21 PM   #92
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I must be dumb, can you link me the plans for how they will deal with the increased traffic? I don't see where it's laid out how the roads will be re-routed. I see a shitty little map that says the traffic will go along Stewardson Way..

That would be great if that wasn't a shitshow to begin with aswell. They can't really deal with the choke point at Queensborough as I doubt they will want to rebuild the bridge to allow 2 lanes to go underneath and continue onto Marine.

10th Ave, and Canada Way cannot be expanded, thus wasting money on a McBride expansion is futile.. Stewardson has houses and skytrain pillars.. again futile. And WTF is the point in expanding Brunette just to bring traffic back to Portmann? I understand we need to upgrade and shit, but I don't think it's a BIGGER BRIDGES issue... it's a MOAR BRIDGES issue. I'd like to see a bridge put in between Queensborough and Knight. Maybe between Byrne and Boundary.
I must be dumber, because I cant find them anymore. there were basic maps that showed which streets were to be expanded depending on where you put the bridge. but cant seem to find them anymore.


the problem with the pattullo is that its old and is essentially a safety hazard. either we tear it down, or waste money trying to keep it operable, which is just way too costly.

or we can replace it, either at its location or another location.

As someone who doesnt take it, i really dont care.

But to add onto the new west bashing, the city is known for being slow and inefficient in terms of getting permits, planning, technology, building development etc etc.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:10 PM   #93
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the problem with the pattullo is that its old and is essentially a safety hazard. either we tear it down, or waste money trying to keep it operable, which is just way too costly.
It's also a terrible design - the lanes are narrower than current standards, and the sharp turn at the north end is tricky at best for cars, and downright dangerous for big rigs. They CAN'T put a barricade down the middle because it would take too much room and the lanes would be too narrow for trucks to fit AT ALL - that's how narrow it is. Even a new properly-designed four-lane bridge would be a massive improvement just by virtue of being wider and straighter (or at least have wider-radius curves).
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Old 12-20-2014, 03:56 PM   #94
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:13 PM   #95
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Somebody posted a video of an electrical fire on one of the trains on the Canada Line.
No. 3 road traffic is really backed up now.

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Last edited by pastarocket; 12-20-2014 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:40 PM   #96
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Traffic was shit balls in richmond today.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:30 AM   #97
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Not sure if anyone has mentioned this but I believe at some point in the late 60's the government proposed to build a 8-10 lane freeway all the way from the second narrow to the downtown core and a new bridge up towards north Van connecting back to the trans Canada. I think it was called Project 200. There were talks of ring roads and more freeways connecting to other municipalities among other things. Nothing materialized because the majority of citizens opposed the upgrades. The government did forsee the need for infrastructure upgrades. Too bad it never happened. I believe GVRD would be overall better off today if the infrastructure was built then. My guess is that it would have delayed the emergence of the current congestion and transit problems by at least a few more decades. On the flip side, negatives such as urban sprawl and increased reliance on cars could occur.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:38 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyota86 View Post
increased reliance on cars could occur.
most people rely on cars in Vancouver, don't kid yourself.

only select small neighborhoods can realistically live sans car.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:10 AM   #99
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^^ depends where you live and your lifestyle. That's why you see apartments being being next to shopping centers that's connected to a a major skytrain station. Some apartments don't even offer parking stalls for studio units or units below a certain floor.

For some ppl (myself included) this works out great. It makes more sense for me to take the skytrain to work (literally my work is 5min away from a skytrain station). So is faster than driving.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:23 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HappySilp View Post
^^ depends where you live and your lifestyle. That's why you see apartments being being next to shopping centers that's connected to a a major skytrain station. Some apartments don't even offer parking stalls for studio units or units below a certain floor.

For some ppl (myself included) this works out great. It makes more sense for me to take the skytrain to work (literally my work is 5min away from a skytrain station). So is faster than driving.
i worked downtown, lived downtown, 20 min walk to work.

still had a car, in fact, both me and the mrs had a car each, it just didn't work otherwise, seeing family would have been too cumbersome without, not to mention all the other things that would have been too difficult to do without a car in van.

and this is not bc i'm a transit snob, not at all. where i live now i only have a car bc my company gives me one (one car between the two of us), for personal travel i use transit 95% of the time.
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