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Old May 30th, 2008, 05:28 AM   #2941
dleung
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When you approach the 4-5 ppl/m2 density on a skytrain it actually starts to get comfortable again, you don't have to hold onto anything for support, and you can sleep standing up...
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Old May 30th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #2942
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I've been on the train from Tokyo to Tachikawa once during the afternoon rush hour once... it was cozy to say the least but it really wasn't that bad but beats paying $600 a month for a parking spot.. won't even mention how long it'll take to get to work on the regular roads. Freeways are like $10-15 each way. We North Americans are generally so spoiled.

Lol dleung well... I got scolded at by the skytrain attendant once to hold on because I almost crashed into other passengers when trying to flip the page of the 24 Hours paper I was reading and the skytrain was stopping at the same time unexpectedly. I think it's wise to hold on.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #2943
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Old June 4th, 2008, 06:35 AM   #2944
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More updates by Tafryn, May 23:
http://canadalinephotos.blogspot.com/




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Old June 4th, 2008, 08:16 AM   #2945
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Quick question, the pillars, will they be painting that at all? I just feel that all that concret makes the whole thing look so boring. I know, function above form, but it'd be nice if it did look aesthetically pleasing!
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Old June 4th, 2008, 10:37 AM   #2946
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirtaheri View Post
Quick question, the pillars, will they be painting that at all? I just feel that all that concret makes the whole thing look so boring. I know, function above form, but it'd be nice if it did look aesthetically pleasing!
No need when Richmond is installing:



Which are planters for vines to grown on to. Some will also be wrapped with graphic community art.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #2947
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richmond is the only place to do anything with their pillars

i don't think surrey burnaby etc have ever done anything to the pillars or guideway
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Old June 5th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #2948
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Money for single UBC subway line could pay for region laced by light rail.


View full article and comments here http:///News/2008/06/05/UpWithTrams/

By David Beers
Published: June 5, 2008
TheTyee.ca

The planned SkyTrain subway spur along Broadway and out to the University of British Columbia campus will cost taxpayers 15 times what it would take to build a tram line along the same route.

In fact, for the $2.8 billion cost of the single 12 kilometre SkyTrain tube from Commercial Drive to UBC, Vancouver could build 175 km of tram lines crisscrossing the city and beyond.

That is the finding of a study led by Prof. Patrick Condon of the UBC Design Centre for Sustainability. His team based their calculations on the recent experiences of Portland, Oregon, and various European cities with light rail transit.

"This study demonstrates that the money needed for one 12 km subway line would be more than enough to rebuild and substantially expand the region's entire historic streetcar system," state the authors, noting that Vancouver and surrounding communities were built along trolley lines dating back to 1890.

Portland success story

But isn't Vancouver now too congested with traffic to make room for street cars on major thoroughfares?

Not if your guide is Portland, which is about the same size as Vancouver and in the last decade has installed tram lines along former street car routes long ago abandoned to busses and autos. Not only did Portland's trams not clog traffic, they stimulated real estate development along their routes, which vitalized neighbourhoods, sparking a building boom that created more tax revenue for the city.

"Within a one-block distance from the streetcar, new net development increased more than three times as rapidly as in any other block-distance," the report's authors calculate.

The demand for cost efficient public transit in Portland came directly from voters, who shot down a bond measure that would have funded a more expensive system. That message from the citizenry caused planners to seek out tram technology that is two thirds cheaper than more common light rail options and vastly less expensive than the SkyTrain system.

Portland tram trips are much slower than SkyTrain, but could be made speedier than automobile travel by coordinating street light changes as the tram travels through intersections, and by giving the tram a dedicated right of way over parts of routes, say the report's authors.

Slower can be better

The tram's pace may be better suited to the cross town UBC run than a faster subway with fewer stops, the authors assert.

"A high speed system is best if the main intention is to move riders quickly from one side of the region to the other. Lower operational speeds are better if your intention is to best serve city districts with easy access within them and to support a long term objective to create more complete communities, less dependent on twice-daily cross-region transit trips."

The report doesn't portray the SkyTrain as a white elephant -- nor is it the all purpose solution to big city transportation needs.

European cities such as Berlin, Vienna, Paris and Dublin offer a model of how to balance "expenditures between high speed trains, subways and light rail, and cheaper and lighter tram systems to serve more complete urban districts."

"There is no doubt that such a system would not be as fast as a subway," concludes the UBC team. "However based on the Portland experience, the benefits may be an improved quality of life in many neighbourhoods, an improved investment climate for higher density homes and job sites, enhanced access for citizens within their own districts and to other parts of the city (especially for the rapidly expanding seniors' demographic) and a substantially reduced cost per ride.

"As our region pushes towards a goal of 80 per cent reduction in per capita greenhouse gas production, it behooves public officials to look carefully at how taxpayer dollars can be most effectively used towards the creation of a very different pattern of transportation than the one we know today. A return to a pattern known before the rise of the automobile may merit a careful re-examination," wrote the authors.

'Take a hard look' urges prof

The $2.8 billion earmarked for the SkyTrain subway line to UBC is "a huge amount of money for a line to serve just the west side," Condon told The Tyee.

"The good news is we have time to figure out how to best use our limited transit money to make a more sustainable city. Portland has used very modest transit investments to make their neighbourhoods better places to live and work; transit for neighbourhoods, not simply through them. We should take a hard look at their experience before it's too late," said Condon, who holds the UBC James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments and is helping to develop a sustainable town for 15,000 residents in Surrey.

The report, co-written with Condon by UBC Landscape Architecture students Sigrid Gruenberger and Marta Klaptocz, can be read here.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #2949
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i do not know how all those students will fit on trams....
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Old June 6th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #2950
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Very impressive ... I will post again.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:32 AM   #2951
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i still think the trains look too short......
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:33 AM   #2952
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Excellent article with alot of food for thought. Good find D J M K.

I know this was addressed, but it would seem that a plethora of trams would clog car traffic.

The other issue is wait times. If you have to wait longer than 3 or 4 minutes to hop on, public transport is not fun.

But, if the model works, it works, and I'm for maximizing "bang for the buck" with tax dollars!
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:53 AM   #2953
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i dont think we need to extend the skytrain all the way to ubc. up to arbutus is fine and if it has to go more than ubc should chip in... the university has money to fund the rest of it if it needs too..
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #2954
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Jared from SSP puts it best:


- Portland's streetcar is basically a trolley bus on rails; it runs in mixed traffic and stops every couple of blocks. The report suggests you could speed it up by adding a bunch of improvements, but those would be expensive, and suddenly the amount of tram you can buy for $2.8 billion is a lot smaller. But a smaller number isnt quite as dramatic, is it?

- The $2.8 billion figure is (apparently) supposed to be a final-cost figure (i.e. construction costs in 2020 dollars). I have no idea what year they got their Portland costs from (they dont make it clear), but I doubt they assumed another 12 years of construction inflation. Hence, the amount of tram you could built would likely be lower.

- The report automaticaly assumes the tram caused the massive redevelopment of downtown Portland; it it not safe to assume this would not have happened without it. If vancouver built a streetcar along Pacific Blvd in the early 90's, people would claim the streetcar caused Concord Pacific/North False Creek. And yet we know that's false, because all that development happened even without the streetcar. I'm not saying the tram didnt help, I am simply saying the report does not sufficiently analyse the three different possibilities (causation, correlation and co-incidence). Also, there is absolutely no analysis of redevelopment due to SkyTrain, which has shown itself to have, at the very least, a strong correlation to real-estate development. In fact, it would do even better if it wasn't prevented via zoning restrictions (*cough* Broadway, Namaimo, 29th Ave *cough*).

- The study's spending breakdowns for all those European bunch of cities are flawed, since it doesnt examine in which context these different technologies are chosen (i.e. why is there mixed spending and how is technology assigned to different routes). If anything the mixed spending speaks to the sensibility of using the correct technology where appropriate, something I'm sure most of us advocate. Ironically, Paris's Metro system, due to its close station spacing, is too slow to be useful over city wide distances, so they built the RER to cover these long distances. Likewise, use SkyTrain for regional stuff, and trams for localer (i know thats not a word!) stuff. Of course, you have to shrink everything from the Paris context to the Vancouver context, since we're much smaller, but the principle stands. Using Strasbourg as an example is stupid, due to the geographical proximity afforded by being a city of only 250,000, everything is closeby, even if its on the other side of town. A tram system (by itself) would not work in a much larger city, like Vancouver.

- As some others mentioned, building rails along Broadway is more expensive that normal, due to the massive amount of utilities along Broadway.

- They completely ignore all issues surrounding capacity on Broadway. The 1999 report by the CoV predicted, iirc, 120,000 to 150,000 riders/day. It should be noted:
a) report assumed a transfer to Rapidbus at Arbutus
b) numbers were pre-Upass
c) natural population growth has occured since the report
d) people are flocking to transit in droves, for both financial and environmental reason
e) a more built out system by the time the line reaches UBC (canada line, evergreen line already done) makes transit that much more attractive.

- Worst of all is the assumption that speed isnt important, and its station spacing which matters. There's a reason why the 99 B-line is chock-a-block, but the 9, WHICH FOLLOWS THE EXACT SAME ROUTE, doesnt have massive lineups. People want to get where they are going, and they want to get there FAST. Getting to the 99 is a much longer walk for me than the 9, but I still take it. Why...oh right, i save a hell of a lot of time, despite the longer walk. Portlands streetcar averages 16km/h. At 12km to UBC, this would be a 45minute ride, compared to the 40 minute B-Line.

- The map may make a sexy case for trams, but it doesnt in any manner differentiate between the quality of the two systems in the map.

- The notion that the SkyTrain will only serve Westsiders (cant remember if this was in the study or in the article) is silly. The extention is GEOGRAPHICALLY LOCATED in the Westside (which appently extends as far as Clark Dr. now, but whatever...), but it is really where the ridership is coming from that matters. People all over the lower mainland go to the Broadway corridor and UBC, and hence they will all benefit. The report suggests that it would be nice to be able to use the system to get around you own neighborhood (isnt that what buses are for?), but it ingnores the fundamental fact that lots of people need to commute cross-regionally. Last time i checked, not every neighborhood has a University. Actually, come to think of it, the study seems to have a strange notion that more kms of track is automatically better, when in fact it is the ability to attract (current and future) riders that matters.

---------------------


All that being said, I dont want to make it sound like I think tram/streetcar/LRT suck. They dont, infact im strongly in favour of building a bunch of them, but buildign them where they are appropriate. Broadway is not such a place.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #2955
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There are some capacity issues that will become a problem in 20 years, but for now it's pretty typical of the Vancouver way of doing things. The system is automated, so it revolves around shorter trains which arrive more frequently. Overall it's pretty good, we have trains coming every 2 to 3 minutes on the expo line during rush hour, and on the Canada line it will be every 3 minutes in Vancouver (combined service) and every 6 minutes in Richmond and on Sea Island (Airport branch).

On opening of the Canada Line Vancouver will have the longest rapid transit system in Canada at 68.5km. Sure Toronto's capacity is much higher, but then again they have more than twice as many people in the region than there is in Metro Vancouver, so we're doing pretty well I think.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #2956
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Expo line (combined service) trains arrive every 90 seconds or less during peek hours.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #2957
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
Expo line (combined service) trains arrive every 90 seconds or less during peek hours.
Not to be too nitpicky....but the Expo line sees sustained headways of 108 seconds during peak periods. 90 seconds is the closest practical headway. Headways can go down to 90 seconds to clear delays, but they are not sustained.

Any way you slice it though, the wait isn't long.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #2958
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I agree. Leave it for academics in their ivory towers to get it all wrong and not in the perspective. Most of us at UBC who want the skytrain (even though we'll probably be finished our pHD by then) are from the Eastside or beyond Vancouver. This prof claims people would rather see a wider network as opposed to a short travel time - he's dead wrong. For those of us that don't have the luxury of living close to campus, a minimum 45 minute one-way trip to UBC is a huge waste of time. Taking 10 or 15 minutes off of that makes the trip more tolerable but what would a professor and his graduate students know of the suffering of the plebes (lol).

I don't think the extension was ever intended to serve the neighbourhoods of Westside just simply because those neighbourhoods were designed to have everything you'd need. Each of those cute little Westside neighbourhoods is well self-contained, the need for residents top travel between them is minimal - even then, they wouldn't need LRT or Skytrain to do it.

And honest to god, I want skytrain because it's automated. I'm sick of dealing with bus drivers that don't take in mind our rush to get to places we need to get to. Taking the bus drivers out of the equation and having a set schedule in which the trains run would take a lot of stress away for me.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #2959
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Yes and it's not like Broadway is exactly lacking in development projects already. They're going to keep coming even if nothing is done. The trolley network will supplement the skytrain extension for a beautiful system that can serve local and commuter traffic along Broadway.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 01:52 AM   #2960
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One thing that REALLY pisses me off it the whole UBC SkyTrain and RAV is that they HAD to be underground because if not it would be an eyesore so we can spend a couple of extra billion between the two to keep the Westsiders {who are the least likely to take transit in the first place} appeased. They get better transit, huge increases in their property values {like they need it} and still maintaining the Westsiders fine sensabilities.

Translink and the city had no problem with making the poor eastsiders have to put up with it.
Vancouver is truly one of the most socio-economic stratified city I have ever been to.

Anyway, seeing Clarke stuck us with SkyTrain down Lougheed it is basically imperative that it be continued to atleast Cambie/RAV and possibly down to Granville/Arbutus but that's it. Ideally it would be great to have it all the way to UBC but that can wait as there are too many other priorities first. Hasting comes to mind which after the BLine hits Granville is a far busier route and much more congested. The BLine can also be relieved by BLine down Joyce and 4th Ave if needed. There are no such alternatives for Hastings.

Right now Broadway carries 2 routes that serve it east of Arbutus and it runs very well and after Alma it flyes. Hastings on the other hand has to handle 5 regular buses, one BLine and has 2 buses only parelling it just one block north to handle the traffic. This does not even include rush-hour buses. After Arbutus Hastings is a FAR, FAR busier bus route and congested than Broadway will ever be. Also, Broadway West is built up as much as it can be while Hastings has huge areas that can be used for huigh density residential epecially between Clarke and Commercial.

The long term plans are also oh so typical of Vancouver elitism. The gov has said that in the long term they would like to see LRT down Hastings. A good idea but again the Westsiders get an expensive, fast, tunneled SkyTrain but Eastsiders have LRT and only in "the future".

I do not agree with building trams/streetcars where they are just a regular streetcar. It seems like a waste of money to me. LRT on the other hand is a different situation. ROW, spaced stations, reduction of left-hand turns/lanes. That would require Translink/Vancouver to put their money where their fat mouths are and actually make transit the #1 priority and that is not the case in Vancouver.............just look at how the #98 BLine was suppose to be but again that it would have been neccessary to inconvience the Shaughnessy crowd.

LRT down Commercial/Victoria, Main St, King George, 4th Ave, Arbutus, Joyce, Scott Rd station to Newton, and Hastings all the way to Port Moody and also up to SFU if possible due to the mountain.

All these possible routes are being sacraficed to appease our non-transit users in the Westside.

Toronto has decided that even with a much denser city and a metro care 3 times as large, that LRT is the way to go with selected tunnel sections and only small subway extentions which were originally the province's idea. This is how great cities build great transit systems. In this day and age where employment centres{especially Vancouver}/cultural venues/ population diversity is decentralized it is imperativve to serve all the metro with excellent transit which affordable LRT can do and an expensive little UBC subway won't.
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