The Rapid Transit Density Con Game Exposed

Vancouver’s unique rapid transit/density debate is now fully exposed as a con game and nothing more.

TOD or transit oriented development has been the philosophers stone for so many academics, transit, and planning pundits that they remain oblivious to the real reasons to build transit: to move people.

TOD has been around for a millennia, ever since traders started using defined routes for caravans, such as the “Silk Road”. Services followed the caravan routes, which became important trade routes and over time villages grew into major cities and trading centres. Where trade routes were established population densities increased to service the caravans and travelers. This continues into the present day.

In Vancouver, the history for TOD is a little different; In the early nineties, the BC Crown Corporations Secretariat found that “SkyTrain” was so expensive to build on its own and decreedAi?? that “rapid transit be only built for purposes of land use.” This gave rise to Vancouver’s unique and as some would say obsession with density, so much so a modern day land rush has taken place along the various light-metro lines and station hubs, with building massive high rise condos and retail malls.

The folly of this is now apparent; affordable lower density housing is being replaced by unaffordable high-density housing, displacing (in many cases) those people who are transit dependent, to areas not serviced by SkyTrain or poorly service by buses.

By creating massive high-rise zones around transit hubs, may in fact reduce the actual number of people that will use transit, thus making a mockery of the political and academic density diktat: that massive density must follow rapid transit lines!

What the density debate has become is a tawdry bit of graft, where politicians allow developers to up-zone properties along transit lines so they can make massive profits at the expense of the taxpayer and the transit dependent poor.

Don’t expect things to change as developers have invested tens of millions of dollars on local civic, provincial and federal politicians, to continue the density charade and in BC, developers get what they pay for!

In Metro Vancouver, rapid transit is built to move money, not people.

No Vacancy: The face of Metrotown ai???demovictionsai???

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver’s News. Vancouver’s Talk
Posted: June 01, 2016

Imagine being forced to move twice in two years, your home sold out from under you and replaced by towering high rises with rents two to three times what you were paying?

Thatai??i??s the story of Don and Eleanor Gorman, and itai??i??s symbolic of hundreds of others in their Metrotown neighbourhood, an area changing rapidly under a wave of development.

The pair arenai??i??t your prototypical senior couple; they didnai??i??t meet until their 40ai??i??s, in the personals column of the Vancouver Sun.

Nearly thirty years ago they moved to Burnaby, building a cozy home in a one-bedroom suite much like their current one: packed with knickknacks and photosai??i?? but barely affordable atAi??$750 dollars a month.

No home

The neighbourhood was a different place back then; the Expo Line had just arrived for the first time, long before big malls, and Starbucks, and sushi restaurants on every corner.

ai???It was like heaven,ai??? says Eleanor.

But Don says itAi??all changed in 2014 when the owner of theirAi??complex sold the building.

ai???The owner got such a big offer that he couldnai??i??t turn it down. I think it was $40-million or something for the one building, so I guess he just couldnai??i??t resist and he sold it? I guess itai??i??s like winning the lottery, isnai??i??t it?ai???

The pair had to pack up their lives, and quickly, because the building was zoned for demolition to make way for a high-rise condo.

Luckily, they found another rental building close byai??i?? heartened by promises it would be a permanent home. They had received an unwritten promise from their landlord and owner that the building wasnai??i??t going anywhere.

Instead, it happened again. That building too was sold, zoned, and Don and Eleanor are once again on the moveAi??as their home faces the wrecking ball.

But it isnai??i??t just them; the more Don and Eleanor looked around the Metrotown neighbourhood they spent three decades in, the more they didnai??i??t recognize it: Building after building pegged for demolition.

ai???How many are going down on this street, five or six, something like that. And over on the other street there,

ai???Somebody must just hate Burnaby the way it is. They must hate it. They figure it looks like a slum. I donai??i??t think thereai??i??s anything slummy about

All along Beresford and Dunblane, rental unit after rental unit sold off, zoned, and bulldozed to make way for high-rise condominiums that are well out of the Gormanai??i??s price range.

ai???We like Burnaby. We like the shopping and everything. Itai??i??s been really good, but the money talks, and there you go.Ai??We were walking around some of these high rises, you know what the prices areai??i?? $1700 for a one-bedroom suite,Ai??$2200 for a one-bedroom suite. I mean thatai??i??s fine if you got that kind of money, but how many people can afford it?ai???

For the rest of the story…………..

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