Wednesday, May 30, 2007

SPEC Ads

A recent comment on this blog claimed that SPEC did not support commuter or transit trains in the Fraser Valley. Of course, this is false. Ironically enough just today SPEC announced an advertising campaign to promote passenger rail in the valley.

Audio ad clips:
Traffic Jams
Next Stop- Langley

Print Ad:
http://www.cleanairradio.ca/images/Print_Ad2_web.jpg

And speaking of media. Here is a great video about the South Fraser Perimeter Road:



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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Academics/Experts on Gateway and Congestion

I came across the most bizarre quote from another blogger. In response to the statement, "double the Port Mann bridge and you'll get double the traffic within a year or so" he states, "this assertion is utterly false. No responsible expert would state such rubbish."

Why does the Gateway Projet bring out such Orwellian Doublespeak?

In fact the exact opposite is true. Experts almost universally agree with this statement. Here are a few quotes.

Larry Frank, currently the UBC chair of sustainable urban transportation systems:

"Building these highways in the absence of strict growth controls will only result in more congestion and auto dependency.....You cannot build your way out of congestion."

quoted from: http://www.straight.com/article/plan-to-build-city-for-fitness-not-fatness

Bill Rees, UBC professor:

“In our province, we have the ludicrous Gateway project, ...There’ll be more cars, and in about three months, we’ll be jammed up and more cars will be idling than now.”

quoted from Vancouver Sun May, 2007 and http://stephenrees.wordpress.com/2007/05/07/pushing-the-planet-to-its-limit/

Gordon Price, director of SFU’s City Program:
"[the Gateway emissions projection] just doesn't pass the smell test."
http://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/Stories/sfunews09280701.shtml

John Robinson, a professor at UBC's Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability,
said the controversial Gateway Program could undermine the premier's climate change goals by creating more car-dependent sprawl rather than more compact communities. He said there has been no serious analysis of the long-term implications of Gateway on climate change.
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/story.html?id=7833cf0a-b519-4b51-9a59-b14fcb9a3f51&k=43792

Patrick Condon Professor, UBC Design Centre for Sustainability:
"The Port Mann project is propelled forward by assumptions that are 20 years out of date."
http://thetyee.ca/News/2009/03/25/LightRail/

Mark Jaccard,Simon Fraser University professor
is also critical of the Gateway project
http:www.sierraclub.bc.ca/quick-links/publications/cool_b-c.pdf

Christopher Barrington-Leigh, PhD, Department of Economics, UBC
"These deep problems with the Gateway rationale, its published documents, and its public accountability must be addressed ...."

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gateay Project not an environmental debate?

At a press conference last friday Federal International Trade Minister David Emerson said regarding the Gateway Project:

"But don’t disguise that debate as an environmental debate,.."

This is probably the most bizarre statement from Emerson.  The gateway project will include:

- an increase of container ships which each contribute more than pollution than 2,000 diesel trucks (including particulate matter which has NO safe level).
- the loss of a wildlife management area three times the size of Stanley park
permanent damage to the hydrology of Burn's Bog
- the loss of 1,000 acres of farmland
- an increase of 31% in on-road green house gas emissions
- the serious health concerns associated with increased traffic

And it is not an environmental debate?????

This is Orwellian double-speak at its worst.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Highway Exapnsion as Common Sense

The opponents of a liveable region have taken to using the phrase “common sense” as an explanation of why we need to expand the Port Mann bridge.



Of course “common sense” can be applied to almost anything. I am sure that at one point people thought the concept of a flat earth was “common sense.”



Transportation and pollution are issues that are too important to be discussed with terms like “common sense.” Instead shouldn't we be looking at the evidence?



- Doesn't the evidence suggest that highway expansion does not relieve congestion?

- Doesn't the evidence suggest that highway expansion will increase pollution and greenhouse gas emissions?

- Doesn't the evidence suggest that highway expansion will lead to increased health problems?



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Friday, May 04, 2007

Reducing Commute Times for Families.

A recent opinion piece tried to make the argument that we need to twin the Port Mann Bridge to give people more time with their families.



The MacPhee, Collins and Smith study found that travel time by a light rail transit system from Abbotsford to Coquitlam would be about 40 minutes as opposed to the 1.5 to 2 hours in the article's scenario.



Evidence from across North American suggests that adding freeway lanes (especially just one in each direction) reduces congestion for only short periods of time (sometimes only a few months). After which people would be back to the 1.5 to 2 hour commute.



So if we really want to give people more time with their families why not implement the best solution NOW? Why implement a very expensive short term fix that has all the associated problems with pollution and global warming?





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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Investors Greeted by Protesters at Goldcorp AGM

Investors faced a spirited protest as they entered Goldcorp's annual general meeting in Vancouver. Protesters in masks handed out leaflets detailing Goldcorp's environmental and human rights violations in the Americas.

Goldcorp's mining operations in Honduras and Guatamala have contaminated water supplies with heavy metals. Authors of independent studies on the water supply contamination have received death threats.


More info on Goldcorp's mining operations and the effect on local populations can be found at:
http://thetyee.ca/News/2007/02/07/MarlinProject/

http://blog.reportero.org/?page_id=80

http://www.dominionpaper.ca/weblogs/dawn/1059


Investors Greeted by Protesters at Goldcorp AGM Investors Greeted by Protesters at Goldcorp AGM Investors Greeted by Protesters at Goldcorp AGM

Tags: Environment | Goldcorp | human rights | mining | Vancouver