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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #1121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.x
Vancouver Sun, Page A01, 25-May-2006
More city residents legging it to work

By Frances Bula

More people in Vancouver walk to work than anywhere in North America except New York City.

The proportion of people commuting by bicycle has doubled in 10 years.
...
That's the latest transportation picture for Vancouver, a city that is setting the standard as North America's "greenest" city as it bucks the trend to more cars, roads and traffic that prevails elsewhere.

Vancouver has already exceeded the goals it had for 2021 when it comes to reducing car trips and promoting cycling and walking downtown, a shift that many environmentalists and planners say is vital in order to reduce pollution and create more livable cities.

"Our projection for 2021 was to be at 18 per cent for all biking and walking trips. We're now at 27 to 32 per cent, as of 2004. This does not look very ambitious any more," says Lon LaClaire, Vancouver's strategic transportation planning engineer, the co-author of a report outlining the city's progress on its transportation plan.

...

Although trips to the city have increased by 23 per cent between 1995 and 2005, vehicle traffic decreased by 10 per cent across Vancouver boundaries in the same period.

The just-released statistics in the city report come from trip diaries, surveys and 24-hour road counts done mostly in 2004.
How are these figures developed? They certainly aren't Census results which were last done for 2000. Who is sampled to prepare trip diaries? What kind of surveys and who conducts them? What road counts?
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Old May 30th, 2006, 02:37 AM   #1122
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Choke Point: Our busiest transit hub
The transit hub at Broadway and Commercial is the busiest in the Lower Mainland with lineups for popular bus routes


Emily Chung and Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, May 29, 2006

Vancouver planners call it their Port Mann bridge -- the choke point that controls the flow for the whole system.

Visually, the transit hub at Broadway and Commercial -- the busiest in the system -- doesn't attract as much attention as Port Mann congestion, because hundreds of transit passengers waiting for a bus or SkyTrain don't snake down Highway 1 the way cars and trucks do.

But those in the 200-person lines up and down the street or packing the SkyTrain platforms experience about the same travel delays as anyone idling in traffic at either end of the Port Mann during rush hour.


The congestion leads to scenes like one on Friday morning rush hour, when it took three tries for a young couple to get a large suitcase onto a SkyTrain at Broadway station.

The man's attempt to shove the suitcase onto train No. 1 failed when he was shut out by a wall of passengers bursting out the doors.

The couple waited for train No. 2, which stopped down the platform, away from them. They ran toward it and got half the suitcase onto the train before a straggling passenger forced them to pull back out to let him off. They finally got onto train No. 3, which barely accommodated the suitcase and both its chaperones between other close-packed passengers.

The couple were lucky. Even without a suitcase, commuter Sande Rees, 22, said she usually watches one or two full trains go by before she can squeeze into a SkyTrain car at the Broadway station during the morning rush hour.

Broadway and Commercial, the busiest transit hub in the Lower Mainland, brings together two SkyTrain lines and the two most heavily used bus lines in the entire system, the 99-B rapid bus that travels along Broadway to the University of B.C. and the No. 9 local bus that also runs on Broadway.

"The fact that our main route is at capacity on Broadway is actually a much bigger problem for us than the Port Mann," said Lon LaClaire, Vancouver's strategic transportation planning engineer. "And the more we get people interested in transit, all these lines get bigger. But the fact that our critical links are tapped out is a problem."

And in three years, it will all get worse, as the newly opened Canada Line brings even more commuters into the system.

As it is, more than 100,000 people come through the Broadway/Commercial hub daily. At peak times, a SkyTrain arrives there every 108 seconds, a 99 B-line bus arrives every three minutes and a trolley bus arrives every three to five minutes, said Ken Hardie, director of communications for TransLink. Nevertheless, passengers can wait here up to 15 minutes for a spot on a SkyTrain car or a 99 B-line bus.


"Between 8 and 9 [a.m.], it gets horrendous here," said John Holdal, who works for Coast Mountain Bus Company, helping load people on the 99 B-line bus. "Usually there's two busloads standing here at once."

Holdal gestured to the lineup stretching more than 20 metres from Broadway into the station's atrium. He said it is usually twice as long, extending almost to the fence that separates the back of the atrium from the bushy gully cradling the Millennium line SkyTrain rail.

Jin Ming Song, who has been handing out the 24 Hours commuter paper at the station for a year, said sometimes the buses are slow to arrive, and the line winds "like a snake."

Bobbi Macdonald, who was standing in the lineup for a 99 B-line bus at Broadway, agreed. "The lineup can sometimes be 100 people long," she said. "It's really unpredictable, I find."

Each morning, Macdonald, 36, makes an hour and a half bus journey that begins at her home in the Grandview neighbourhood. From there, she travels with her two-year-old son, Morgan, to his daycare at Broadway and Nanaimo.

Then, she tries to catch one of the few 99 buses that starts its route at Boundary (most begin at Commercial Drive.) If she misses it, she must take another bus to Broadway station. There, she said, she waits in line up to 15 minutes for a 99 bus.

"The buses are always overfull," she said.

Hardie said transit ridership went up 24 per cent between 2002 and 2005. "And a lot of that has been along that [Broadway] corridor," he added, noting the student transit pass introduced at UBC in 2003 was a large contributor.

"Sometimes, though, if there's a lot of demand for something, it's not that easy to access," he said.

He noted the corridor is the next prime candidate for rapid transit -- after the Canada Line to Richmond and the Evergreen Line to Port Coquitlam -- but for now, service along the corridor is almost at saturation.

"In terms of the management of people at Broadway and Commercial itself, we're probably physically moving as many buses as possible."

In fact, Hardie said, wait times and "pass-ups" are worse at later stops along the route, and TransLink is addressing those problems by not filling buses to capacity at Broadway/Commercial and by starting some buses at later stops such as Main St.

That doesn't help commuters like Macdonald. The unpredictable commute times have prompted her to get her learner driver's licence. "I can't continue to be late for work," she said.

That's exactly the kind of thinking that has transportation planners worried.

The Vancouver region is seeing a rapid spurt of interest from commuters in using transit. But if it doesn't have a system to serve them, they'll be turned off for years.

In fact, transit use declined slightly after a peak in 2004, shortly after the U-Pass system was introduced, likely because people were put off by the crowding.

TransLink and the city of Vancouver are working on some improvements to help the existing hub work better. TransLink is trying to accelerate the arrival of 34 new SkyTrain cars that were due to arrive in 2009.

With the help of some federal funding, about $3.5 million will be spent on revamping the Broadway/Commercial "village" to create more plaza space, widen the narrow sidewalk on the south side, widen the overhead walkway across Broadway, relocate escalators that are blocking flow and generally improve the look of the overworked corner.

The city is also in the process, along with all the other work it's doing on Broadway, of creating bus-only lanes from Commercial to Arbutus for the rush-hour periods. That will be in place by September, usually the busiest month of the year as college and university students flood back onto the system.

Over the next year, it will also put in a traffic-light coordination system so buses will be able to delay lights turning red against them at pedestrian crossings.

As well, it's putting in bus bulges between Macdonald and Alma, a small improvement that will shave 10 seconds per stop off bus travel times.

"But all we're doing is tweaking the system to get a little improvement," LaClaire acknowledges. Things won't be better until Broadway gets the SkyTrain extension that it was originally scheduled for 2006, before the Canada Line to Richmond and the Evergreen Line to Port Coquitlam jumped ahead.

In the meantime, he said, "it's really painful to watch."


echung@png.canwest.com

fbula@png.canwest.com

TRANSIT'S TOP TRANSFER

Broadway and Commercial SkyTrain station is the most important single transfer point in Greater Vancouver, connecting Millennium and Expo SkyTrain lines with Broadway, the region's busiest bus corridor. Facts about this station:

75,000

Daily SkyTrain boardings and disembarkings.

41,000

Daily bus boardings and disembarkings.

116,000

Total daily boardings and disembarkings.

232,000

Projected total daily boardings and disembarkings by 2021.

Source: TransLink
© The Vancouver Sun 2006
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Old May 30th, 2006, 07:05 AM   #1123
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i was just gonna post something about that too

---------

Busiest transit transfer point in Vancouver is reaching it's limit on capacity

By: Katharine Kitts

It's a harsh reality for the people who depend on the bus or Skytrain every morning. Broadway and Commercial is so busy, it's taking some people hours to get to work. It's like a scene from the TV series The Amazing Race but the people here aren't trying to win a reality show, they're just trying to get to work. The Broadway and Commercial station is the busiest in the city, serving over one hundred thousand people a day. But the commute to and from work means scrambling to get in long lineups and overcrowded Skytrains. In some cases, you almost need elbow pads to get your square inch in this transit hub. There are also many horror stories of waiting three hours to board a bus. One commuter wants to see something done about it, and she thinks there should be more Skytrains on the Millennium line. She says she finds there's many Skytrains here that don't come as often, compared to the rest of the line. There are more people taking transit than ever before and by 2021, the number of boardings is expected to be over two hundred thousand a day.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #1124
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Idea for M-Line expansion...Construction could start 2012, service starting around mid-2015

Last edited by Blitzlicht; May 30th, 2006 at 09:13 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:11 AM   #1125
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Idea for Arbutus Corridor LRT/Tram line. Could be built by 2012, not much is needed to be done except for tunneling a few sections(around Granville, under major roads). Terminus could be at Marine Drive and Cambie to connect with the Canada Line Station. Could have a transfer point at Arbutus and Broadway with a future Millenium Line extention. Also later could be extended along W 2nd and up Quebec St. until Science World to connect with the Expo Line and Downtown.



Pink section is tunnelled.

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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:25 AM   #1126
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i have read that by 2012 or 2013 the millennium line will be expanded to intesect with the canada line somewhere and end at granville street

but not sure if that is in planning, planned or delayed
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Old May 30th, 2006, 05:38 PM   #1127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spongeg
i have read that by 2012 or 2013 the millennium line will be expanded to intesect with the canada line somewhere and end at granville street

but not sure if that is in planning, planned or delayed
it'll intersect with the Canada Line at Cambie at Broadway, the Broadway-City Hall Station. The line was delayed because the Canada and Evergreen Line became priority.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #1128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzlicht



Idea for M-Line expansion...Construction could start 2012, service starting around mid-2015

I don't know who prepared this map. However, I did know an economist who worked for the Rapid Transit office during the time when the Millenium line was built. He told me that at one point they thought they had a route selected and agreed upon to take the line as far west as Granville Street. A few days later panicked calls came from City Hall repudiating the agreement and citing intense pressure from property owners mainly in the neighborhood around City Hall.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #1129
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Link to the City's reports and recommendations for the M-Line extension - from 1999.

http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transpor...infosheet1.pdf

http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transpor...nfosheet2a.pdf

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

More background information:

http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transpor...tension_bg.htm
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #1130
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I dont get why they only want it to Granville, it would make more sense to build it at least to Arbutus, even if there is no station at Burrard.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #1131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by officedweller
Link to the City's reports and recommendations for the M-Line extension - from 1999.

Thanks for these links. They discuss a western extension in fairly general terms, sometimes illustrating it as a line along Broadway, at other times West 10th.

It also aludes to earlier discussions around the Grandview Cut. Yes, the Cut is for transportation, but no, it would not be a truck route, period. In fact, the Grandview Cut route and then Grandview itself east of Nanaimo was about the last possible highway/freeway connection route between the Trans Canada Hwy and downtown, via the Georgia Viaduct. When Mayor Mike Harcourt opened the Cambie Street bridge, he talked openly about this possibility, referring to it as the "Grandview connector" to avoid the use of the verbotten terms highway or, God forbid, freeway.

Subsequent councils heard the wrath of residential property owners, large and small, Westside and even some Eastside, and thoroughly nixed any possibility of using the Cut for trucks or vehicles by stuffing the Skytrain line into it. Any reasonable person would have run LRT's second line along Lougheed in Burnaby and then Broadway in Vancouver, or on a street such as 10th that is just one block off that alignment, all the way out to Point Grey and UBC.

But one has to understand that optimizing LRT for actual transportation purposes was not the object of the exercise. Using LRT as a blunt instrument for blocking the construction of an effective highway system was.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 08:27 AM   #1132
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The only reason Granville is mentioned, is because the NDP government under Glen Clark agreed to pay for a portion (can't recall how much) of the M-line extension - but only as far west as Granville.

After that, it's up to Translink to fund on its own - the connection to the Arbutus ROW is a no brainer though and the M-Line would likely be built to Arbutus.

BTW - the proposed Home Depot proposal at Broadway and the Arbutus Corridor was required by the City to place a plaza at the NW corner for future rapid transit station access.

http://www.2010broadway.com/sketches.htm

The Broadway corridors is between 8th and 10th - but 8th has a massive GVRD trunk sewer along it - so it's out. Broadway also have a ton of utilities under it. The cheapest route is along 10th.

BTW - did you see the similarity between the M-Line theoretical station and the actually proposed Broadway-City Hall Station (which is now up for redesign due to costs).

WRT the Grandview Cut - the City of Vancouver also wanted to promote the Flats as a high tech / biotech office zone. The Rapid Transit Project Office went along with the City's proposal because the Grandview Cut route was cheaper than Broadway and would have less disruption. There was also thought that the soils under Broadway near VCC were problematic (underground streams?).

And I agree that staff at City Hall probably viewed it as a way to prevent a roadway in the Cut - although there is space for double tracking the BNSF - they made sure of that - so there could be space over top of the railway tracks for an elevated 2 lane road.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 10:22 AM   #1133
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I'm thinking that the M-Line Broadway extension tunnel will be a stacked tunnel. There's not much room on most of West 10th Avenue for side-by-side construction without digging into the backyards of townhouses and homes.


.....Unless they choose to bore the line.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 11:05 AM   #1134
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They probably would bore the line, it would just be too problematic to cut and cover all of 10th avenue, plus i think its much too narrow for a trench to be cut out. They would only cut and cover for stations.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 05:43 PM   #1135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by officedweller
... - the connection to the Arbutus ROW is a no brainer though and the M-Line would likely be built to Arbutus.
...

WRT the Grandview Cut - the City of Vancouver also wanted to promote the Flats as a high tech / biotech office zone. The Rapid Transit Project Office went along with the City's proposal because the Grandview Cut route was cheaper than Broadway and would have less disruption. There was also thought that the soils under Broadway near VCC were problematic (underground streams?).

And I agree that staff at City Hall probably viewed it as a way to prevent a roadway in the Cut - although there is space for double tracking the BNSF - they made sure of that - so there could be space over top of the railway tracks for an elevated 2 lane road.

A connection between LRT and the Arbutus line would, as you say, be a no-brainer, assuming that the objective is efficient transportation. The only problem is, I don't think that's the objective at all. In a way you allude to this kind of thinking with your discussion of the City's dream of promoting the warehouse/industrial areas between Venables and Great Northern Way as a noveau high tech precinct, and therefore wanting to bend the Millenium line to assist in doing that. Transportation routes, be they road or rail, obviously have to take account of likely origins and destinations, but they also have to make sense as linear conduits in themselves. Distorting and misshaping them in order to promote some future real estate venture is a bit outside the scope of normal planning. Secondly, why couldn't an additional station on the Expo line between Main Street and Broadway have served the non-existent high tech offices Larry Beasley and company were dreaming about?

Returning to the issue of how far West the Millenium line could or should go, given that the RAV/Canada line is on Cambie, won't that now be the western terminus for the Millenium Line? The only way I can see BC or Vancouver deciding to go further west would be to meet an heavy rail service on the Arbutus line, a West Coast Express or GO Train type service that would originate somewhere in the southern Fraser Valley.

I agree there is room remaining in the Grandview Cut for an elevated two lane roadbed, perhaps three, and therefore four to six if they are stacked. However, all the associated changes such as the Central Greenaway and upgrades to single family homes along the way would be aesthetically degraded to an unusaul degree by constructing an elevated freeway alongside them. The political optics would be next to insurmountable. Vancouver and BC planners are clever, if not entirely honest in their statement of motives.

Finally, with all of these route/technology selections, a given route and rolling stock is associated not only with different costs but different benefits. A conventional, on grade LRT along Broadway or 10th would be slower than some Skytrain arrangement, but not by too much. And its impact on office/commercial/residentail development along the corridor would, I expect, be far greater than any of the alternatives.

Skytrain is really a kind of all round poor fit in my opinion, not fast enough to do the job of heavy rail, and far too expensive to do the job of light rail.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 04:14 AM   #1136
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http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...47136a&k=51011

Evergreen line in jeopardy
Corrigan: Burnaby mayor, seven others issue joint statement urging province to kick in $230 million

William Boei, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, May 26, 2006

GREATER VANCOUVER - The Evergreen rapid transit line to the northeast sector of Greater Vancouver is in serious jeopardy if the provincial government does not contribute more money to help pay for it, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said Thursday.

Corrigan and seven other northeast mayors issued a joint statement urging the province to kick in $230 million -- in addition to $170 million it has already committed -- for the $800-million light rail line.

TransLink, the regional transportation authority, is planning to borrow $400 million for its share of the cost.

The mayors said the Evergreen Line is needed to link some of the region's major growth centres with rapid transit, and said it would "enhance the effectiveness" of the province's $3-billion Gateway Program to build new roads and bridges.

Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon was not encouraging.

"My position today is that we will maintain the commitment we have always maintained -- $170 million available for the northeast sector line post-2010," Falcon said. "And that has not changed. I respect their right to ask for more money but I'm not making any commitments in that regard."

TransLink wants to get the line built before the 2010 Winter Games, but has been told by the province its contribution won't be available until after 2010 and TransLink will have to borrow if it wants to build it earlier.

TransLink's financial projections show it will be running operating deficits in the hundreds of millions of dollars by the end of the decade unless it gets more funding.

Corrigan wasn't surprised by Falcon's response.

"That's going to require a cabinet decision and the premier's going to have to be involved," he said.

But he said the province once paid for 100 per cent of major transit projects, and has now pared that down to 20 to 25 per cent.

"That is putting an unreasonable burden on the property taxpayer," Corrigan said. "And it certainly isn't assisting growth and development in the Lower Mainland."

Corrigan said the Evergreen line is in serious jeopardy.

"The project has been in jeopardy since the time they made the decision to go with the RAV Line," he said, referring to the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver line, now called the Canada Line.

TransLink, under pressure from the province, agreed two years ago to make the $2-billion Canada Line its first priority, vaulting it ahead of the northeast line.

Some northeast mayors on TransLink's board voted for the change only after they were promised the northeast line would be built simultaneously. But with the funding shortage, that commitment is looking increasingly shaky.

"This is what I've been saying since they prioritized the RAV Line," Corrigan said, "that it was the northeast sector line that was going to suffer, and that we would find ourselves in a position where there wasn't enough money to do both projects."

He said only public pressure can change the government's mind on its share of the funding, and predicted "that many of the people in those northeast communities will react very strongly."

In addition to Burnaby's Corrigan, the joint statement was endorsed by the mayors of Anmore, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.

In a statement, the mayors said, "All mayors agreed that the current estimated funding shortfall of $230 million for the Evergreen transit project is posing a serious threat to its timely implementation."

bboei@png.canwest.com

© The Vancouver Sun 2006
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Old June 1st, 2006, 11:09 AM   #1137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smelser
Distorting and misshaping them in order to promote some future real estate venture is a bit outside the scope of normal planning.

Returning to the issue of how far West the Millenium line could or should go, given that the RAV/Canada line is on Cambie, won't that now be the western terminus for the Millenium Line?

Finally, with all of these route/technology selections, a given route and rolling stock is associated not only with different costs but different benefits. A conventional, on grade LRT along Broadway or 10th would be slower than some Skytrain arrangement, but not by too much. And its impact on office/commercial/residentail development along the corridor would, I expect, be far greater than any of the alternatives.
For GVRD planners, rapid transit is seen as a growth shaping tool for transit oriented development as much as to serve existing population bases. The M-Line is an example, as it runs through predominately low density areas. Running lines through areas with high development potential also allows a significant increase in ridership potential since the area will absorb a good amount of growth, unlike some built-up areas that are resistant to change or won't accept more density.

The M-Line west will serve the office developments along the Broadway corridor. The main office building zone ends at around Granville Street (i.e. the tower above the Chapters).

At-grade LRT is still a possibility along Broadway. The Broadway-City Hall Station specs set out in the Canada Line RFP require connectivity to both an underground M-Line extension and a surface LRT on Broadway. The toughest problem would be locating a railyard - probably on the False Creek Flats rather than on the Endowment Lands.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:43 PM   #1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by officedweller
For GVRD planners, rapid transit is seen as a growth shaping tool for transit oriented development as much as to serve existing population bases. ...

At-grade LRT is still a possibility along Broadway.

In their artists conceptions and sketches the GVRD planners may see transit as a means of influencing land use. But they have no control over zoning, and the "planning" documents, such as the much ballyhooed LRSPlan contain no price information. An economic plan without price data? Where did we used to see that sort of thing, once every five years?

I find it hard to accept that you could have both a Skytrain LRT and an ongrade LRT proceeding west along Broadway to Granville Street, or Arbutus. If Skytrain is eventually extended west to UBC, will it move back to an Eastside type elevated configuration once it gets west of the business district at Burrard Street?
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:57 PM   #1139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smelser
But they have no control over zoning, and the "planning" documents, such as the much ballyhooed LRSPlan contain no price information. An economic plan without price data? Where did we used to see that sort of thing, once every five years?

I find it hard to accept that you could have both a Skytrain LRT and an ongrade LRT proceeding west along Broadway to Granville Street, or Arbutus. If Skytrain is eventually extended west to UBC, will it move back to an Eastside type elevated configuration once it gets west of the business district at Burrard Street?
True, but of the cities that have received rapid transit, only Vancouver has not actively densified at its stations. Royal Oak in Burnaby could be an exception, but it is an industrial area (likely being preserved as such). There are plans for Braid once he warehouses move. Sapperton will be upcoming since the Labatt's brewery came down.

LRT on Broadway would be instead of Skytrain (which would end where it does now or maybe one more stop west to the Finning lands). Conceivably, LRT would be on Broadway from Broadway & Commercial heading west to UBC. It was one of the options evaluated by the City of Vancouver.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 09:33 PM   #1140
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BTW - Came across the Copenhagen Metro site - specs read similar to the Canada Line and the Canada Line stations will be a similar size

http://www.m.dk/en/welcome.htm

They call it a "MiniMetro".
Trains are 39m long and 2.65m wide (300 passenger capacity) - 19 trainsets for phase 1, then expanded to 34 trainsets.
22 Stations, each 62m long. System is 21 km long with two branches.
Automated controls. Initial frequency is 3 min combined service on common track and 6 min on each branch. Freq on common stretch to be reduced to 90s. 15 min freq. all night weekends

Overview of system:

http://www.m.dk/introduction.pdf

Report on selection of MiniMetro technology - compares MiniMetro; Tram; Light Rail:

http://www.m.dk/minimetro.pdf

Overview of operation:

http://www.m.dk/experience_outlook.doc



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