And Light Rail Transit – Premier Horgan, Are You Listening?

What this story does not mention is that Portland has an extensive LRT/streetcar network, a transit network designed to meet the needs of the transit customer.

Unlike Metro Vancouver where transit is built to meet the needs of land developers and land speculators, Bombardier and SNC Lavalin, all political friends with sitting councils.

Building with LRT enabled Portland’s suburbs to survive, unlike Metro Vancouver where the city is being torn apart by massive land development and almost eternal gridlock because of a definitely non-userfreindly public transit system. It seems many who move into those $1,000,000 or more condos prefer to drive, rather tan take  bus, then rapid transit and a bus again to go where they want to go.

SkyTrain has now given a new word to an ever expanding transit lexicon: “Demoviction“.

Both Vancouver and Portland started investing in rail transit about the same time, but Portland built LRT to meet the needs of transit customers, while Vancouver built proprietary light-metro to meet the needs of various political agendas, both civic and provincial.

Net result: Portland is a livable city where Vancouver has become a playground for the wealthy.

Premier Horgan please take note.

The initial LRT line in Portland cost less than a quarter to build than Vancouver's SkyTrain, enabling the transit authority to build more lines, reaching more customers.

The City Where Retail and Residences Actually Mix Well

Unlike most places, Portland, Ore., offers easy living and shopping — and it’s paying off for the city.
July 2017

Portland’s Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood (Wikipedia)
By Scott Beyer  |  Columnist


Portland, Ore., has a well-deserved reputation among urbanists for its sound design sensibilities, from pedestrian-friendly sidewalks to tasteful public squares to a downtown waterfront park that was once an overpass. One less-reported aspect of this aesthetic is its charming retail hubs.

Rather than concentrating all of its retail into a few corridors, as most cities do via strip malls, Portland has allowed it throughout its residential areas, particularly in its Eastside neighborhoods across the Willamette River from downtown. Some hubs are just a few blocks long and offer niche retail, while others are longer and include more practical features like grocery stores.

Take Sellwood-Moreland, where I lived recently. The neighborhood, at under two square miles, has about 12,000 residents and a half-dozen of these retail hubs, most just a few blocks apart from each other. The strip that I lived near, at the corner of 13th Avenue and Bidwell Street, was so diverse that I forewent countless car trips. It had a library, a bar, a convenience store, a coffee shop, various restaurants and even several food carts, which are common citywide.

These hubs reflect Portland’s history, says Tom Armstrong, a staffer for the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Sellwood-Moreland and other Eastside neighborhoods, such as Irvington and Mt. Tabor, began as streetcar suburbs, later to be annexed by the city. This meant they each developed their own Main Street-style, pre-automobile retail centers, featuring narrow streets and apartments above storefronts.

The hubs remain thanks to what the city did — and did not — do. While Portland has its own ugly urban renewal history, many of these historic areas were spared in the post-World War II decades. Portland also did not insist as much as other cities did on separating its uses into residential and commercial. Starting in the 1980s, there were conscious efforts to protect and bolster these hubs in the city’s comprehensive plan. There are 23 of these so-called neighborhood centers mentioned in the current plan, along with a formal strategy to allow housing and amenities around them. Meanwhile, the zoning map also allows for dozens of additional autonomous retail spots that are either within or near these centers.

The result is that Portland, despite still being largely single-family residential in nature, has a much stronger retail presence than most U.S. cities with similar designs and histories. Walkability scores for its Eastside neighborhoods are generally in the 80s and 90s. At street level, this gives the city a spontaneous quality. One can meander through a quiet residential area and suddenly stumble upon a bakery or a micropub.

Perhaps more important, it has paid off for the city, showing the value of mixed uses. In other places, this kind of retail-residential mix has been hard to implement — often because it’s a target of NIMBY resistance. But these urban-style amenties have made median home listing prices in Portland’s Eastside neighborhoods some of the highest metrowide. “They’re very popular places,” says Armstrong, “and we keep seeing redevelopment and new investment in those places.”

As I discovered, they’re convenient, placing Portlandians near charming, historic retail streets that provide whatever they could want.

Comments

14 Responses to “And Light Rail Transit – Premier Horgan, Are You Listening?”
  1. Scotty on Denman says:

    Now, what about the idled Esquimalt-Nanaimo Railway? It was constructed as a term of BC’s confederation (it’s part of our constitution) and instructed to run “in perpetuity,” which Premier Vander Zalm had to explain to Prime Minister Mulroney who attempted to shut it down in the 80s under his rubric that ‘aw, that’s only a hundred year-old, out-of-date part of the constitution.’

    The E&N was intentionally run in the most begrudging, user-unfriendly way until several years ago when much of the rail bed was deemed unsafe for passenger travel—of course because maintenance was assiduously neglected. The stats used in feasibility studies for reviving the E&N for commuter use on fast (-est) growing east Vancouver Island come from this period of willful neglect and official sabotage. The studies are of no evaluative use, therefore.

    Today a lobby of cyclists are soliciting signatures in Courtenay, the E&N’s northern terminus, to pull up the tracks and convert the right-of-way to a bike path to Victoria, but many have called for governments to restore the E&N and run it properly so that people can make practical use of it.

    Former BC Liberal MLA Graham Bruce chairs a consortium of municipalities and First Nations who have plans and have raised funds, but haven’t accomplished much. But worst of all, their designs include only the southern half from Nanaimo to Victoria. The constitutional requirement is from Victoria to Courtenay.

    The most important thing, even if it be used for cyclists or hikers in the interim, is to preserve the continuous right-of-way between Canada’s two most important military bases on the West Coast, CFBs Comox and Esquimalt.

    The naysayers always say the same thing, that it’s too expensive to restore or that nobody will (train) ride it, or that there are too many level crossings, and they’ve gotten away with it so far. But the time is well past that we have to question population growth: it’s here now and continues to be among the fastest in BC.

    Rail for the Island! Why not?

  2. Kingo Bingo says:

    “SkyTrain has now given a new word to an ever expanding transit lexicon: “Demoviction“.”

    Interesting….it seems that the SkyTrain is 3 times the price as the Portland Oregon system “per km” although it is a tram system so not really the same as the SkyTrain…seems to operate at slower speeds.

    For example I noticed that the SkyTrain covers 21 km from Waterfront to New West in 30 minutes but the Portland MAX train blue line on its Government Center to Pioneer blue segment, is somewhat longer, takes about 45 minutes. Also judging by the general appearance it looks like it runs on surface in part as a “tram” concept so that might be why it was significantly cheaper to build.

    Also I see it carries almost exactly the same number of passenger-trips a day as the Edmonton LRT on a considerably shorter overall track despite having a metro population of about twice metro Edmonton’s, but the latter which has substantial ROW and grade-separation which was apparently quite expensive to build. Although Edmonton has invested in CBTC and has 2.5 minute headways downtown underground downtown at peak hours with 5 car Siemens LRVs, and my observation is that it is pretty busy then! Again…quite expensive to build those underground stations downtown and at the University of Alberta!

    Maybe it’s simply a case of “pay more get more?”

    You mention what might be called as “cronyism” between the transit authorities and the manufacturer. Might there be “industrial-municipal” cronyism in the USA as well as in B.C.? Have you looked at that issue?

    Also — have you ever been published in any peer-reviewed journals like the International Journal of Transportation? I’m not asking for quotations from peer-reviewed journals, rather, whether you yourself or anyone in your organization is published in peer-reviewed/academically sanctioned literature or accredited as an expert.

    Thanks!

    Zwei replies: Commercial speeds of a transit system are really a man of straw argument, as LRT tends to have more stations per route KM than a light-metro. More stations = more user friendliness of a transit system. Portland’s LRT actually travels a 90 kph on portions of its line.

    As for ridership, TransLink forces all Vancouver bound bus passengers to Transfer to the light-metro and TransLink admits that over 80% of SkyTrain’s ridership first take a bus. On most transit systems a 40% transfer rate from bus to metro is the norm. Transfers = user unfriendliness. In fact every transfer loses about 70% of potential ridership and too many transfer for a journey means very few people will take transit.

    As for peer review, we have several transportation engineers and specialist that read the blog and they keep old Zwei in line, in fact our blog is probably read more out of province than locally.

  3. Kingo Bingo says:

    Sorry:

    to rewrite:

    Also I see it carries almost exactly the same number of passenger-trips a day as the Edmonton LRT the latter which operates on a considerably shorter overall track despite having a metro population of about twice metro Edmonton’s, but the latter which has substantial ROW and grade-separation in the downtown and university reas which was apparently quite expensive to build.

    Another factor is that Edmonton has invested in CBTC, re-working their U2 and SD160s for “SELTRAC” and has 2.5 minute headways downtown underground downtown at peak hours with 5 car Siemens LRVs, and my observation is that it is pretty busy then! Again…quite expensive to build those underground stations downtown and at the University of Alberta!

    Zwei replies: Edmonton and Calgary were not LRT as is known today, rather a copy of German Stadtbahn, using the latest articulated LRV, the Duwag U-2. Both Edmonton and Calgary were so designed to operate as full blown metros if so desired. I think the Belgian term of Pre-metro suits the need. But of course they use classic LRV’s and are part of the LRT family, but by today’s standard, they really not LRT but of course a light-metro, just like SkyTrain, except for one very important item, both Calgary and Edmonton’s, LRT can operate on lesser rights-of-ways if need be and they are extremely adaptable in operation, something that SkyTrain is not.

  4. Kingo Bingo says:

    You mention that “both Calgary and Edmonton’s, LRT can operate on lesser rights-of-ways if need be and they are extremely adaptable in operation, something that SkyTrain is not.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “adaptable.” If you mean in terms of where they run, Edmonton had to expropriate and bulldoze a lot of houses for the south LRT extension. It takes years for the City to do the appropriate surveying, engineering, and legal work needed to set up the alignment. Also in Edmonton they have the underground stations, rights of way, large LRT-station transit centres, the Menzies bridge — so I’m not sure what you mean by “extremely adaptable!” The reason the system is underground at the University of Alberta is because the UofA refused to allow a surface alignment. Takes years of planning. So the alignment is most definitely not “extremely adaptable.” Perhaps you meant that where it runs on ground it could be tunneled or elevated in exactly the same location?

    If you mean adaptable in terms of how many trains they run, I would have thought the driverless system is much more “adaptable” to changing demands than a system with a certain number of drivers to pay, driver rest/recovery limitations to work around, union contracts, etc.

    Also — you mention, “As for ridership, TransLink forces all Vancouver bound bus passengers to Transfer to the light-metro and TransLink admits that over 80% of SkyTrain’s ridership first take a bus. On most transit systems a 40% transfer rate from bus to metro is the norm. Transfers = user unfriendliness. In fact every transfer loses about 70% of potential ridership and too many transfer for a journey means very few people will take transit.”

    But that’s exactly how the Calgary LRT works — people park their cars at “Park ‘n’ Rides” at LRT stations or take the bus to the LRT station and then take the LRT downtown. There’s a huge amount of transferring everyday from buses and especially private automobiles to the LRT. Calgary downtown has the most expensive parking in Canada. There was a deliberate choice to get people off the road (at least toward the core of the city) and get on the LRT. The daily C-Train commute from Anderson road to downtown is packed with people who’ve left their Audis and BMWs in the Park and Ride.

    Yet despite this heavy design emphasis on transferring, you hold up Calgary as an attractive model!

    Also as you are obviously aware, the new Edmonton Valley line operates on a grade-separated right of way, through its own tunnels on the north side, on a non-grade separated right of way, as a tram in the downtown, and like the Skytrain with an overhead guideway and an overhead station (Davies — with 2 more planned — Misericordia and WEM). All on one line. It seems quite difficult to categorize! How would you categorize such a system?

    Zwei replies: You can’t blame the mode when planners do not understand the concept of modern light rail.

    Forcing people to transfer from bus to transit and park and ride lots are totally different.

    North American transit planners and politicians love subways and this has been how transit has been largely planned, except for a few exceptions. This is why North American transit systems tend to be very expensive yet poor in attracting ridership. Recycling bus riders and pretending they are new to transit is a fools game. The 2015 plebiscite showed that the public were not impressed.

    The result in Vancouver is massive congestion, despite now over $11 billion spent on 4 rapid transit lines. All TransLink has managed to do is to match ridership with population growth. The problem is, there is no money for any realistic transit network and the preferred transit mode is the car.

    It should be remembered that modern LRT has a proven record of dramatic modal change on routes it operates, something that so called rapid transit does not.

  5. Kingo Bingo says:

    “Zwei replies: You can’t blame the mode when planners do not understand the concept of modern light rail.”

    “Forcing people to transfer from bus to transit and park and ride lots are totally different.”

    Hmm…I’m quite familiar with the Calgary LRT and the park-and-ride and bus transfers happen in the exact same locations at the bigger stations like Anderson, Southland, Chinook, etc…Not quite sure how they’re ‘totally different.’ They seem to a lay person like me to be quite the same…..I mean yes I get that one is a bus and the other is a personal automobile, but how are they different? Would it be better if people could not take the bus to get to the C-Train? Calgary is a fairly big place — would it be time-efficient to have some other rail system in Calgary? The SkyTrain might be faster but Calgary did not commit to that type of system. Yes, I suppose Calgary urban planners have allowed sprawl to happen…but that’s the trouble with Albertans in general and Calgarians in particular. They tend to make a lot of money, drive nice cars, and prefer big houses….hence sprawl. But they work a lot of hours so they need an LRT that moves fast around their sprawl-y city. I don’t see that a friendly lower-speed tram would cut it for them.

    $11 billion has indeed been spent on 4 ALRT lines in Vancouver (although I think somewhere else you said it was $20 billion)….but I’m not quite sure about the “cause and effect” relationship between “computer-driven train” and “gridlock.”

    I remember when the SkyTrain was built in 1984-1986. Happened to live there. Since I left Vancouver in 1987, Metro has added maybe a more people now than it did then….a million! Might that in and of itself had anything to do with the congestion? Is there really an alternative design that gets you from Surrey to Waterfront that would have eliminated the congestion despite adding an additional million people? For perhaps just 1/2 the money? I mean, obviously if you could add the current population of Calgary to the GVRD in 30 years, but have spent just 5 billion and have way less congestion, a serious mistake has been made with the ALRT!!!! Efficiency is important, but I always thought you had to pay more to get more. Perhaps I’m wrong.

    I’ll give you another example that I am more recently familiar with: Jasper Avenue in Edmonton. There are 3 underground LRT stations (on the Edmonton definition) on Jasper Avenue (Central; Bay, Corona). In the late 1980′s Jasper Avenue was quite “dead” and there was serious talk about mothballing the LRT system….today Jasper Avenue is “bumping” and often quite jammed and the LRTs are sometimes too full….I suspect that the traffic jams on Jasper are not so much the fault of the underground LRT as they it is symptomatic of the population doubling in that time…of course, that’s just my opinion! Would Edmonton have little or no congestion after having doubled its population had it not built its LRT and instead put in some other train system?

    Also — one more thing — inflation. The Edmonton LRT was opened in 1978. According to the Bank of Canada, $1 in 1977 (when it was mostly built) is the equivalent of $3.89 today, so a $389 million dollar project back then might be well over a billion to build today.

    But I don’t think you’ve factored inflation into any of your cost comparisons. Do you think it’s important or useful to factor price inflation in when you compare costs?

    Zwei replies: The cost ratio will remain the same notwithstanding inflation. The big problem in North America is over engineering, which results from a lack of knowledge.

  6. Kingo Bingo says:

    “It should be remembered that modern LRT has a proven record of dramatic modal change on routes it operates, something that so called rapid transit does not.”

    Is that necessarily desirable?

    One criticism of “BRT” for example is that it isn’t really very permanent, so the car lanes eventually force the bus back off the bus lane. Hence it’s difficult to commit to financially.

    Similarly, a “modern” LRT system that in one depiction on your website consists of a tram running down rails with grass growing between them, next to a highway is fairly easy to force off of its the tracks when the public decides it needs to widen the road.

    Also — you mention in one post that the “Zweisystem” you envision could be built along “abandoned railway track.” Who owns the land the track is sitting on?

    If it’s, say, CP or CN, would they necessarily part with their track and ROW for cheap just because they don’t run trains along them anymore? What is their “track record” of negotiating in an expropriation?

    Zwei replies: Actually the Leewood Study plans to use the former BC Electric interurban line from Vancouver to Chilliwack. The roadbed still belongs to the province but the railway is run by the Southern railway of BC. There is a legal right to operate a passenger service along this rout, which the CPR reluctantly resigned a few years ago. This means if their is an investment, who ever operates the service has a legal right to operate it.

  7. Kingo Bingo says:

    I guess what I’m thinking is that in Vancouver’s case, perhaps 4 SkyTrain lines wasn’t enough….maybe the SkyTrain needs to be something like 8 lines and 200 km of track, with more “criss-crossing” lines….maybe that’s just what it takes! And if it costs an additional 20 billion to do it, then so be it!

    Cheaper solutions would be great….but do cheaper solutions really work?

    In Edmonton, with the more modest LRT system, the mayor is championing spending an additional 7 billion on the LRT network to complete the ultimate buildout, about 70 kilometers of track. This is for a population of about 1 million. The GVRD has at least 2.5 times that amount, so maybe 200 kms of skytrain with multiple routes is simply what it takes!

    And yes…it’s very expensive!

    Zwei replies; but why build with SkyTrain when you get the same results or better with light rail at a fraction of the cost?

  8. Kingo Bingo says:

    Zwei replies; but why build with SkyTrain when you get the same results or better with light rail at a fraction of the cost?

    Good point…..What do you think it will take to convince decision makers that they can get the same results or better at a fraction of the cost of SkyTrain?

  9. Kingo Bingo says:

    Just in more general terms…Edmonton with a population of about 1 million recently estimated that the final buildout of the LRT will cost 9 billion. Of that, 1.8 billion has been spent on the Valley Line southeast, which is under construction so that leaves about 7.2 billion to finish the LRT. That’s for a city of a hair under a million people. The ultimate buildout has in the range of 80 km of track I am told.

    Similarly, Calgary has budgeted 4.65 billion to complete the first 20 km of the 43 km Green Line LRT, which features a number of underground stations. That’s for a city of about 1.3 million or so. So assuming the first 20 km costs 4.65 billion, it is reasonable to assume that last 23 km will cost another 4.65 billion, to a total of a little under 10 billion.

    Granted, Edmonton and Calgary are pretty far apart, but that’s something in the range of 9 + 4.65 + 4.65 = about 18.3 billion to complete the LRT buildouts from where they are as at today.

    So, call it 20 billion for about 2.3 million people….is it possible to do all this for a fraction of the cost? Say half that? Thoughts?

  10. Kingo Bingo says:

    Zwei replies: The cost ratio will remain the same notwithstanding inflation. The big problem in North America is over engineering, which results from a lack of knowledge.

    Possibly but I’m referring to the direct figures you quote:

    Calgary’s C-Train Development & Operating Costs

    Posted by zweisystem on Friday, August 19, 2016 · 16 Comments
    First published in 2009

    -Train’s Development and Operating Costs
    Total system development costs to date: $548 M

    As at 2009, there was in the range of 60 km of track built (took the C-Train every day when I was in high school before I moved away).

    Under the new Green Line estimates, which, granted, include underground stations, although most of the Green Line is a surface line, it will cost 4.65 billion to build the first 20 km of the system. Full cost breakdown courtesy of the City of Calgary found here:

    http://www.calgarycitynews.com/2017/06/green-line-route-and-stations-approved.html

    So using the Green Line figures, the total cost of building the Calgary system in today’s dollars would be 60 * $4.65/20 = $13.95 billion. That would be like Edmonton’s with an underground component in the downtown.

    548 million just doesn’t seem to buy you what it used to!

  11. Lucas says:

    Zwei as a resident of Portland I can tell you that MAX move infuriatingly slow through downtown. It currently takes around 25 minutes to travel 3 miles across downtown on the red and blue lines. At grade operation also limits capacity due to downtown Portland’s short block lengths meaning trimet can only run two car trains which hold around 370 people. Since the steel bridge can only handle 30 trains per hour giving the bridge a capacity of 11000 pphpd. Divided among the 4 lines that use the bridge that gives each line only 2775 pphpd, far less than skytrain, which carries 4 times as many passengers as max in a similarly sized metro area. Portland should be looking to Vancouver as an example instead of the other way around.
    Oh by the way Portland is now considering a downtown subway :)

    http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2017/06/city_floats_subway_tunnel_thro.html

    Zwei replies: I am well aware of the problem with the downtown section and I do know that steps are being done to improve commercial speed in the downtown core including priority signalling. As most people tend to terminate their trip downtown and few going cross town this is not as big as a problem as you make it out to be.

    According to Gerald Fox, who has done a lot of work on MAX; “we now have two routes through downtown, which will eventually load both ways, giving a theoretical peak hour rail capacity of 37,000 into or out of downtown.

    Presently the Expo and Millennium/Evergreen lines have a limited capacity of 15,000 pphpd and the Canada line is limited to around 8,000 pphpd, due to having 40m long platforms and only able to operate 41 metre long 2 car trains of non-articulated stock.

    Subway are not a cure all for transit and they add on huge costs to a transit system for construction maintenance and operation. In Germany, several cities, including Essen and Karlsruhe are actively considering reinstating tram tracks on top of downtown subway routes.

    Your comment; “Portland should be looking to Vancouver as an example instead of the other way around.” gives away the game because Portland actually considered ALRT SkyTrain but planners at the time found it to be extremely expensive to build, operate and maintain, and opted for LRT instead.

    The total cost to the taxpayer of the SkyTrain lines to date is now in excess of $11 billion!

  12. Lucas says:

    One reason why most terminate in downtown is that it is incredibly impractical to go across because of the slow speed. The west side line serves many large employment centers such as Nike and intel. Those two alone employ around 27,000 people, many of which live on the east side. Speeding up downtown, by subway or any other means, would be a big boost to ridership.
    Light rail can be just as expensive as skytrain. The recent MAX orange line cost around $200 million USD more than the Canada line and was 7.5 kilometers shorter and the Canada line carries 10 times as many people as the orange line. Seems like Vancouver got much more for what they spent than Portland.

    Zwei replies: You make the mistake of accepting over engineering and making LRT a light-metro.

    The Canada Line is capacity constricted and can only catty about half what the Expo and Millennium/Evergreen Lines can. Today the real cost is some where between $2.3 to $2.7 billion, but because it is a P-3 projects all costs have not been released. TransLink pays about $110 million a year to the SNC Lavalin concessionaire of the P-3.

    The Canada lines high ridership comes from all Richmond and South Delta/Surrey bus customers forced to transfer from bus to metro to continue their trip downtown Vancouver. As well there are over 130,000 U-pass $1.00 a day, ride at will passes issued to post secondary students in the metro Vancouver area and the Canada line sees multiple use of the U-pass holding students traveling several times a day on the metro. Though ridership seems high, much of it (over 80% of the Canada Lines users first take the bus) on smaller 41 metre trains, give the impression of high ridership.

    As well, because TransLink is not subject to independent audit of ridership, ridership numbers tend to be fudged upwards by as much as 20%. Fact is, the Canada Line has not attracted the motorist from the car and the promised 200,000 car journeys taken off the road never materialized.

  13. eric chris says:

    @Lucas, it’s always nice to read different perspectives from across the border. “Speeding up” the speed of public transit merely extends the distance traveled and replaces short distance commuters with long distance ones (Marchetti’s Rule).

    http://persquaremile.com/2012/09/13/marchettis-constant/

    People are willing to commute 30 minutes, at any speed, including tram, subway or walking speed. If the trams are being utilized fully now in Portland, it is hard to see how the subway is going to pack in more transit users in the USA where many commuters see public transit as second class transport for lepers.

    Whenever our American friends visit us and we suggest taking the trolleybus downtown for dinner and drinks or whatever, they go into shock and we drop the idea. They don’t “transit”. Are you crazy, transit?

    Tram speed of 20 kph in the city is perfectly fine for most commuters and targets most commuters making short trips (less than 10 km). Trams are easy to access and fit for purpose. Trams are versatile and can also be used as tram-trains traveling at 80 kph for regional travel between Chilliwack and Vancouver, for instance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46Fo7qCcyW0&feature=youtu.be

    If trams aren’t fast enough in Portland as you contend, Portland’s climate is mild and good for e-cycling. Have you considered e-cycling?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_h-WxZgMfM

    Some weeks ago, an 81 year old senior blasted past me on his e-cycle. I caught up with him at the traffic light and joked that he was in good shape. He had a holder on his handle bars (makeshift and custom design) for his vacuum cup filled with coffee and looked pretty relaxed to me. He said, yeah, he doesn’t “sky” train. Too slow, and too many creeps, he said. He must have read my mind.

    https://www.flcseniors.ca/activities/cycling

    “Here are three case studies of seniors who have come back from illness by exercising on electric bikes. The challenges they faced included multiple heart attacks, cancer, neurological problems, and stroke. But they didn’t let that stop them – they got out there on e-bikes, and they kept on exercising and enjoying life! Because of cycling on e-bikes, they have all enjoyed an improvement in their health, and a better quality of life [without “sky” train in the subway].”

    https://averagejoecyclist.com/case-studies-three-seniors-regained-health-e-bikes/

  14. eric chris says:

    TransLink = subway = high rise towers along subway = real estate appreciation along subway = mass exodus of families and singles who can’t afford to live in Vancouver = more people living outside Vancouver and commuting into Vancouver for work = more cars on the freeways = more road congestion = disaster = TransLink. Subway construction by TransLink correlates to the escalating cost of housing in Vancouver and worsening road congestion in Vancouver.

    “Size matters for a number of reasons, not only because the buildings will not provide a proper fit for the neighbourhood. The increased height and density inflates the land values around the site as it sets precedents that increase development pressures on older, more affordable surrounding housing stock.”

    https://elizabethmurphyblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/stir-resurrected/

    If the contention made by TransLink’s directors and planners about more road space leading to more cars on the roads is true, subways free up road space, and funding for subways to curb the number of cars on the roads can’t be used as justification to fund the subway along Broadway (Duranton and Turner, U of T).

    http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-370.pdf

    Only trams taking road space away from drivers might curb road congestion. This is political hot potato and politicians in Vancouver are fibbing about the subway curbing road congestion to have their cake and eat it, too. That is, they are creating more jobs at TransLink paying directors and planners doing no work to “direct and plan” the construction of subways doing nothing to encourage drivers to drive less.

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