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Old July 10th, 2005, 11:39 PM   #381
ssiguy2
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LRT can spur development as easily as SkyTrain.
SkyTrain is expensive and RAV underground is obscene. One of the benefits people speak of when discussing SkyTrain is the cost saved by not having to tunnel and no land aquisition........................RAV negates both of these.
Calgary's CTrain puts SkyTrain, Vancouver, and Translink to shame.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 03:28 AM   #382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.x
True. But we need to spent money wisely.....do we really need to re-model these stations (except for the installation of turnstiles) or is there a better way to spend money elsewhere such as building more rapid transit lines and buying more buses?

The Expo SkyTrain line stations can be expanded so they can accommodate 8-car Mark I's. I'm not sure if the M-Line has the same capability.
If they add lots of retail shops (bookstores, fast food) in the stations like most stations in Asia, they could make money on rent to pay for remodelling. Plus shops and human activity would make the stations seem safer. Just look at the bunker-style Granville Station, dark, deep, has the perception of unsafe.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 04:40 AM   #383
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en
If they add lots of retail shops (bookstores, fast food) in the stations like most stations in Asia, they could make money on rent to pay for remodelling. Plus shops and human activity would make the stations seem safer. Just look at the bunker-style Granville Station, dark, deep, has the perception of unsafe.
Well they are starting to add in shops. I love Commercial Station, that's how every station should be like.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 05:55 AM   #384
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Did you know............
The escalators on the SkyTrain Granville station are illegal.
It is against safety/construction codes to have that deep an escalator without a break in the middle.
When have you EVER seen an escalator going that high but that long, never. Thats due to the fact that if anyone were ever to fall they would plung 3 storeys down.
And yes, the Granville station looks, dark, uninviting and dangerous. You feel your going into a dungeon.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #385
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Granville is hardly that scary, relative to subways in other cities. The vertigo is interesting though. Also, it's a fairly safe station, relative to many others.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 08:54 AM   #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
When have you EVER seen an escalator going that high but that long, never.
Apparently you have never paid a visit to Moscow subway stations
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Old July 11th, 2005, 09:27 AM   #387
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Wally, was your comment on spurring development referring to RAV or M-Line ridership?

WRT my comment on the M-Line ridership - that's why I said that the shortfall would be "partly" due to the incorrect assumption. The exceprt states that the shortfall is also due to lower than expected evelopment along the line.
My point is that come 2006 - ridership probably won't hit 75,000 either because the Coquitlam Line won't be built by then, so the assumption that lead to the 75,000 figure (that a rapid transit link from Coquitlam would be feeding riders into the M-Line by 2006) - would be incorrect.

On the RAV line, I haven't said that LRT wouldn't spur development - I've said that Vancouver City Council would not allow LRT on the street because it would reduce road capacity (and without freeways, Vnacouver depends on its arterial roads more than cities that have alternate routes via freeways). I've also wondered whether the City of Vancouver would intensify development at stations other than those identified under CityPlan - because it has been their policy to date not to disrupt neighbourhoods by upzoning property merely because a rapid transit station has been built. If the City sticks with that policy, none of LRT, RAV nor Skytrain would spur development - because the City would not issue development permits.

++++++

WRT the Granville escalators, they are probably just non-conforming (as opposed to being illegal). i.e. they would have had to have complied with the codes at the time it was built (or received an exemption) - it just doesn't meet current codes. The same could be said for all the houses in Vancouver that are not sprinklered or older buildings that do not meet current earthquake codes.

BTW - From what I've seen, the new Granville Station escalators through the Hudson condo does descend to the upper platform from the street level using three escalators - two arranged as a switchback under the Hudson, then the corridor/tunnel under the St. Regis Hotel, then another to the upper platform. Either that or the corridor/tunnel is on the same level as the upper platform and the next escalator goes to the lower platform.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 09:37 AM   #388
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^ I was referring to the M-Line since if I recall, M-Line was suppose to be LRT. If the premier of BC at that time did not change the technology into the cost prohibitive skytrain which you seem to continue to defend despite its failure, then the Lougheed Corridor would have still realized the transit oriented developments that are happening such as the one in the Brentwood Mall area due to an LRT Line. In addition, the LRT option would have guaranteed the Coquitlam extension much sooner, spuring even more transit oriented developments in this much more heavier populated area and because the technology is flexible, cost effective and readily available with numerous vendors out there, it could also extend all the way to UBC with no need for bus connections. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the plan to extend the Skytrain at Broadway wouldn't go all the way to UBC but instead, stop at Cambie or Granville while the rest of the way will be done by buses?

So is the Millenium Skytrain line a failure? YES.

As for RAV, now that you mentioned it, its so sad that the city of Vancouver is still so damned focus on a car oriented society. If at grade LRT were to result in less roads and more inconvenience to those single occupancy drivers, then all the better. This should force more people out of cars and into transit and will actually help ensure that the taxpayers of the GVRD won't be punished by that ridiculous agreement in which they are liable if ridership doesn't go above 100k a day, which it surely won't.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 10:07 AM   #389
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I think the ridership estimates would have been based on Skytrain, not LRT. So I don't know whether an LRT M-Line would generate the same level of ridership. Typically, the ridership studies show higher ridership for Skytrain than LRT.

BTW, Glen Clark wasn't premier at the time when spearheaded the change from LRT to Skytrain - I think he would have been Minister of Transportation.

LRT would have been cheaper, but if the same change in government occurred following the M-Line construction, there's no guarantee that the Coquitlam extension would not have been cancelled since it serves primarily NDP ridings.

The westward extension of the M-Line was to be 2/3 funded by the Province (under the NDP) to Granville Street - I don't know if that still holds (probably not since the Liberals pulled the plug). There was also consideration to extend it to Arbutus to link up with the future streetcar line on the Arbutus ROW. There would be Rapid Bus (the B-Lines) to UBC from the end of the line.

I've read in the papers (some time ago) that LRT may be considered from Broadway & Commercial to UBC instead of extending the M-Line. The RAV RFP requires that the Broadway Station allow connections to both an extended M-Line or an LRT line. One of the major considerations though on Broadway is the loss of on-street parking - which the businesses along Broadway oppose. A lot of businesses along Broadway also use the curb lane for loading and unloading goods. Broadway west of MacDonald would be reduced to one lane in each direction and left tunrs would be prohibited except at major intersections. So I'm not sure how an LRT would be received.

Here's the link to the City of Vancouver's 1999 study. Translink should be preparing a study in the near future, as planning for the section between Commercial and UBC is in its 5 year plan:

http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transpor..._extension.htm

And to Vancouver City Council's resolution supporting Skytrain:

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/000328/rr1.htm

Note that both are now outdated.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 02:30 PM   #390
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Well, I don't think there is a question as to whether they should be building Skytrain systems for Greater Vancouver...obviously they should...the question is where to put them to maximize their usefulness.

They are never going to have the kind of ridership numbers of some other cities, simply because most of the city of Vancouver, and the rest of Greater Vancouver is not designed or built to be serviced by such lines very efficiently....the stations don't have a lot of close-by customers because they are not on the street grid (you start losing HUGE amounts of potential walk-in customers after 400-500 metres distance from a station)...the distance between stations are too great....not enough feeder lines supplying it with customers either.

This is not an urban mass transit system designed to get people "around" the city 24/7, but a rather suburban system designed to get people in and out of the city during peak commuter times. It's also run by an agency who's major customer are suburbanites...and the system is designed for them. The only real urban part of Vancouver is the small area of the downtown penninsula...which people say is compact enough that it doesn't need much transit to get around...if that is indeed the case...then fine.

All of this is just something that has to be accepted, as this is the reality of Vancouver. The question is, just how do you make it as efficient as possible, and to best grow the ridership to make it better. It's simply a matter of how much you are willing to spend to have it....because given the way things are in Vancouver, a Toronto-like situation is simply not going to happen.







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Old July 11th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally
As for RAV, now that you mentioned it, its so sad that the city of Vancouver is still so damned focus on a car oriented society. If at grade LRT were to result in less roads and more inconvenience to those single occupancy drivers, then all the better. This should force more people out of cars and into transit and will actually help ensure that the taxpayers of the GVRD won't be punished by that ridiculous agreement in which they are liable if ridership doesn't go above 100k a day, which it surely won't.
On the other hand, you also don't want to inconvenience the passengers and make taking transit less appealing by increasing travel times, which is bound to be longer with a slower at grade system. Nor do you want cars sitting idle stopped at rail crossings with their engines on burning gas and pumping out smoke, nor increase their stop-and-go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB
This is not an urban mass transit system designed to get people "around" the city 24/7, but a rather suburban system designed to get people in and out of the city during peak commuter times.
Have you ever checked Skytrain's schedule? It runs very frequently in both directions at all times of the day. And I'd hardly call the Metrotown and New Westminster areas "suburban".

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB
The only real urban part of Vancouver is the small area of the downtown penninsula...which people say is compact enough that it doesn't need much transit to get around...if that is indeed the case...then fine.
Have you ever been to Vancouver??? Surely, you wouldn't suggest that all of Toronto is as dense as the downtown peninsula.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 08:08 PM   #392
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Thhe downtown is very well served by the current bus system. If Translink wanted the M-LINE is should have started from the city and gone outwards not the opposite.
A line down Broadway/Lougheed was a good idea but they didn't serve the most heavily populated areas {Broadway} but instead built the low-density Lougheed and now there is no money for the Broadway Ext. They want LRT down Broadway which will be slower due to having to go down the middle of the street........absurd.
Its not that SkyTrain is a bad technology. It is decent for medium-density but instead the build it down low density areas.
translink builds for the suburbs not the city.
BTW...... MetroTown/Lougheed/Newest are suburban........thats the problem.
TTC subways/MontrealMetro/CalgaryCtrain offer far superior innercity service because they were built from downtown and then headed out not the opposite.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 08:33 PM   #393
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New Westminster is the oldest City in the Province - it was incorporated before Vancouver and was the capital of the former colony of British Columbia. Its downtown core (though it has seen better days) is not suburban in the Mississauga sense.

Also remember, though, that Vancouver isn't TO or Calgary - its not a head office city. So there's a lot of cross-town commuting as well as suburb to core commuting. The system is trying to serve crosstown commuting - that's why the Livable Region Plan includes the "T Line" (the M-Line with connectio to New Westminster). The T-Line would have been built even if it were LRT. So as to link Surrey with Coquitlam and encourage development away from the core so that people can live closer to their work.

West Broadway very much resembles Bloor Street West from say Bathurst to Lansdowne or Ossington - or the Danforth - a main street retail commercial district without highrises or other concentrated sources of riders. TO's catchment density, however, is probably higher because many of their homes are semi-detached on 18 foot lots, while Vancouver is a newer city, and its homes are on 33 foot lots. Broadway's density on the arterial itself, though, is probably higher as a result of the City's "main streets" program of encouraging approx 4 storey condos on major arterials.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
Did you know............
The escalators on the SkyTrain Granville station are illegal.
It is against safety/construction codes to have that deep an escalator without a break in the middle.
When have you EVER seen an escalator going that high but that long, never. Thats due to the fact that if anyone were ever to fall they would plung 3 storeys down.
And yes, the Granville station looks, dark, uninviting and dangerous. You feel your going into a dungeon.
Granville station is awsome it reminds me of somthing you might find in Europe. It's my favorite station on the expo line.

That escaltor is not dangerous, rememer its the station that severs all the entertainment districs with all the bars and pubs, drunk people go up and down it all the time and Iv never heard of an accident.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 05:21 AM   #395
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Granville Station is scary, the Moscow escalator is even more so.



Regarding the M-Line extension to UBC, it should be underground SkyTrain to Arbutus so it can meet with the city's planned Arbutus corridor streetcar. The remaining commute to UBC would be by rapid bus from Arbutus..
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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #396
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Given the RAV will be double decker precast concrete segments placed in a cut and cover trench, I wonder whether Translink/the Province would consider that for the M-Line west extension too. The Skytrain cars are small - and there is precedent for double decker in the Dunsmuir tunnel.
On top of that, the tunnel is expected to be under 10th Ave - and trenching would just disturb residences there, not businesses. The tunnel is also expected to be shallow so that escalator free access can be made laterally into the hillside from Broadway using ramps. Double decker would work well for a ramp system and all the platforms and entrances could be on the north side of teh tracks.
If the construction technique works well for RAV, I would expect to see it used for the M-Line as well.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 07:09 AM   #397
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"Have you ever checked Skytrain's schedule? It runs very frequently in both directions at all times of the day."


Well, that's just what I mean...they have to keep a reasonably high frequency, or nobody would consider it....but the ridership makes it cost-inefficient to do that...classic catch-22. Meanwhile, the TTC subways and LRT's have even better frequencies, and actual ridership to make it very cost-efficient. This is do to better placement of routes with higher density working and residential close by, and very good feeder routes providing many more riders.







"Have you ever been to Vancouver??? Surely, you wouldn't suggest that all of Toronto is as dense as the downtown peninsula"


I'm not sure I get the connection between that comment and what you quoted me on....I was just mentioning that Vancouverites always claim the downtown doesn't need mass transit, as it's compact size doesn't warrant it...which I was accepting if that is indeed the case (although I would think it could use a good surface LRT line making a circle route around the penninsula).








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Old July 12th, 2005, 07:22 AM   #398
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If they wanted to serve Vancouverites they could also extend Waterfront to KootenayLoop. Hastings is a med/high density area already and has lots of storefront shops/restaurants. It is urban, not suburban.
Translink is damned and determined to serve suburbanites before urbanites and that is reflected in the low transit patronage when compared to Tor/Mon or even Ott/Cal which where built for urban dwellers.
The transit lines served the city cores and then went outwards as the cities grew while Translink does the opposite.
Translink also spends huge amounts of money with very little to show for it in terms of new ridership.
the $1.8bil RAV will only attract 30,000 new passengers a day by 2020. A horrific waste of money when LRT would do at less than half the price.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 07:35 AM   #399
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A city with no highways and limited road capacity for the future, LRT on the Cambie corridor is out of the question. Calgary, Portland, Toronto, and especially European cities all have an extensive network of highways and rapid transit rail (most commonly LRT). The rapid transit technology in Vancouver has to pick up the slack that roads/highways leave, elevated/tunnel technology is required for RAV. Transit and roads work hand in hand.

LRT on Cambie ain't rapid transit at all. The current plan has a commute time of 25 minutes, with LRT it could be 40 minutes.....that's longer than a car ride from downtown to Richmond Centre.

I haven't been around the Hastings Street area for a year now but the city should do some rezoning from downtown to the PNE, rezoning the corridor to dense residential and commercial. The DT eastside as well.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 07:38 AM   #400
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^ Making a system to transport suburbanites is probably made that much more pressing by the bottlenecks of bridges that they already have. We don't want that much more automobile traffic coming into the city from the 'burbs nor TO style smog.

What's more, the NIMBYs make development of new transit systems within the city that much more difficult.
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