The Land Developers are Coming to Town

The problem it seems is that the Urban Land Institute seems to be more interested in land development more than anything else and certainly do not seem to be transit experts as the news article portrays them to be.

On the thorny question of what kind of technology the line should use ai??i?? SkyTrain, light rail, subway or bus ai??i?? the ULI panel will be silent. Boniface said it may lightly look at whether it should be underground or above grade, but the main purpose is to examine where stations might go and what the impact they would have on neighbourhoods.

This is the the big issue! LRT, mini-metro (SkyTrain) and rapid bus are different transit modes built to deal with different transit problems. Mini-metro (SkyTrain) is obsolete, made obsolete by modern LRT and modern LRT is built because it is much cheaper to operate than buses on a heavily used transit route. Oh by the way, for light rail, stops would be every 600 metres or so along Broadway, simple stuff that you do not need the Urban Land Institute. The big issue for LRT on Broadway would be eliminating two traffic lanes for tram operation.

This seems to be nothing more than a PR stunt to build a capacity constricted SkyTrain subway under Broadway to subsidize land development and land developer’s profits.

For those who do not want to believe, modern LRT does indeed have a much higher capacity than LRT

The Canada Line, with its very small 40m to 50m station platforms has about one half the capacity than SkyTrain!

International panel to advise on Broadway corridor transit

Washington, D.C.-based Urban Land Institute will do an independent assessment


4 Responses to “The Land Developers are Coming to Town”
  1. Rico says:

    The ULI is more of a new urbanist kind of organization and is likely to be hostile to high rises ect. (that said it is highly variable dependant on who is speaking). It is a forgone conclusion that they would be against elevated and they would likely be pro at grade. Reading the article already has my expectations low, it is critical against the 49th and the King Ed stations…..because they are in single family areas….no mention of connecting transit services etc….no mention there should be more stations….

    Zwei replies: Transit is move people, not enrich developers, why would not have a station in residential areas? As always, transit in the metro region is built to subsidize developers and win elections

  2. eric chris says:

    We hardly require the opinion of out of town real estate agents… from ULI to tell us where the sky train stations might be located on Broadway. They are putting the cart before the horse, unless the decision to go with the subway along Broadway is cast in stone, as it appears to be, even though TransLink has no budget for it and no basis for it.

    Patrick Condon from UBC is one of the preeminent authorities on sustainable transportation. He has shown trams to be the most sustainable form of transit for Vancouver:

    Patrick is a credible and unbiased authority when it comes to transit along Broadway. Patrick Condon who threatens the establishment at TransLink is shunned by the newspapers. TransLink advertises heavily in the newspapers.

    The more “nice” articles on transit, the more advertising that the newspapers receive. Newspapers, even if they know that TransLink is a scam are not going to kill their golden goose, TransLink, buying them off.

    On other hand, Gordon Price who does not understand transit operations and can’t apply scientific methods to objectively evaluate transit options is not shunned in the newspapers. He is a professor of economics at SFU – Faculty of Arts. Impressive. Gordon Price receiving funding from TransLink has strong ties to TransLink and can say whatever he wants in the newspapers.

    Gordon Price who is the instigator of the “free” visit by ULI “pays ULI” to be one of its members. This free visit will not be free. Surely, ULI will be meeting COV staff and TransLink staff having nothing but time to kill. It will cost taxpayers money to entertain ULI. Anytime that I read an article with Gordon Price mentioned, it rankles me.

  3. eric chris says:

    If you want to become a distinguished expert like Gordon Price, pay the money and join ULI; there are no eligibility requirements:

    Join ULI today!

  4. Haveacow says:

    Most of the ULI is actually academic, although I am quite sure there are probably a few developers in there as well. Zwei has a point, station location is always best when/where the riders can most easily access the stations. The point I believe the article is trying to make (although it makes it poorly, IMHO ) is that, the effect of the station’ s location on the surrounding community must be a paramount decision in its placement. A transit station location must be so that it is most useful but, not detrimental to the community around it. For example, a unnamed Scarborough RT station location in a half built development destroyed what would have been a very dynamic and accessible park, turning it into a semi desolate public space devoid of any natural components. Moving the station east or west would have made the station location less constrained, greatly improved the look of a civic gathering space and not harmed access to the station from a major area shopping mall located next door. All at the cost of a very small amount of parking, in a horrifyingly dangerous surface parking lot.