Professor warns of suburban sprawl, ai???horrificai??i?? congestion.

Zwei has been warning about this for several years, and now, now someone has noticed?

I’m sorry, but I just do not see any improvement in our regional transit chaos, until someone has the moral fortitude to put a wooden stake through the heart of SkyTrain.

For too long, TransLink has been recycling bus riders onto the SkyTrain mini-metro and claiming transit success, while the reality is that the percentage of the regions population that use transit has risen only by 3% in the past 20 years. Car use has remained static at 57% during the same period, this after an over $9 billion investment in our light-metro network.

It seems our mega investment in a mega expensive transit network has failed to attract the motorist from the car. Bad planning and management by TransLink’s senior managers and CEO is only part of the problem. There is a gross over emphasis on land-use and not enough emphasis in providing a consumer friendly transit system that the people want to use and here lies the problem. In the 21st century, transit is seen as a product by the consumer and if the product is poor, the consumer spends his/hers transit dollars on other modes of transportation. (Hint: Transit customers hate forced transfers) TransLink operates the transit system like the Monty Python “Dead parrot” sketch; “There’s your transit – now use it“. But for the transit consumer, the transit offered is 2nd rate, crowded and expensive. Taking the car is just the better option.

Until the UBC and SFU boys and girls come to recognize that urban transportation is a science in itself and not an add on course in planning or engineering programs, gridlock will remain endemic in the Metro Vancouver region.

UBC planning professor warns of suburban sprawl, ai???horrificai??i?? congestion

Investing in transit now will grow a healthy region, says Lawrence Frank

By MATTHEW ROBINSON, Vancouver sun November 17, 2013

VANCOUVER — Spending money on transit now will save even more money and lives down the road, says a UBC professor who will be speaking Monday on a panel alongside TransLinkai??i??s CEO. Lawrence Frank is pushing a comprehensive vision for the regionai??i??s transit future as a provincial referendum on funding the stressed system rolls into view.

More money is needed, but it has to be spent strategically and viewed differently, the professor at UBCai??i??s schools of Population and Public Health and Community and Regional planning told The Sun on Sunday. ai???Iai??i??m concerned that in the absence of some significant changes in land use planning that weai??i??re at risk of having a fairly sprawling region with horrific congestion and no way to keep up with it,ai??? he said.

Frankai??i??s plan is all about investing in transit proactively as a way to grow a sustainable and healthy region. ai???Increased time spent in cars is associated with obesity that causes chronic disease,ai??? he said, adding that transit encourages people to walk more, which helps reduce obesity and leads to cash savings for the health care system.

But transit needs to be located near peopleai??i??s work and homes, something that is difficult in outlying areas. ai???We have an incentive to build further out,ai??? he said, explaining there are few neighbours that can block developments, thereai??i??s less NIMBYism, and infrastructure in the form of roads and sewers is readily provided by governments. Frank envisions doing that by levying fees on low density or remote development projects that are far from transit corridors. Part of Frankai??i??s plan is a report card of sorts that would tie transit funding to a cityai??i??s performance on development according to Metro Vancouverai??i??s Regional Growth Strategy.

That plan is in place to manage the additional million people who are expected to live in Metro within in the next 30 years, boosting daily transit trips from 6 million to 9 million. TransLink maintains it can only afford to maintain the system and not expand it. The mayorsai??i?? council on regional transportation has previously suggested a regional sales tax, along with a vehicle levy, carbon tax and road pricing as potential funding sources for transit. The province has rejected a vehicle levy and carbon tax, and said any other funding sources must go to a referendum ahead of municipal elections next year.


One Response to “Professor warns of suburban sprawl, ai???horrificai??i?? congestion.”
  1. Sean says:

    One solution to solve traffic congestion in Vancouver and its suburbs is to build a massive tram-train system. The train routes could follow major highways (Hwy 1, 91, and 99) and existing corridors, such as the Arbutus corridor, the Canadian sector of Amtrak Cascades right-of-way, and the VIA Rail corridor. Most of the train routes would travel street-running in Downtown Vancouver, but with exclusive right-of-way and also some grade separation. The reason SkyTrain does not work is because of lack of flexibility (no Arbutus corridor, no Amtrak Cascades corridor, no Via Rail corridor, no street running in Downtown Vancouver, and no right-of-way in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, Delta, Langley, and even places further east. In fact, with over twenty train routes, the tracks in Vancouver, the existing rail corridors, and the tracks along the major highways would have at least four routes on them. The tram-train solution is a good way to solve traffic congestion.