Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Public Input on Bike Lanes

Certain elements in the Vancouver media are trying to create opposition to the plans for the Hornby bike lane.  Critics often claim that Vision, the current political party in power, has pushed forward bike lanes in an "aggressive" manner with a disregard for public process.

Ironically as the NPA leaning blog CityCaucus.com points out, the previous NPA government actually created more bike routes during its tenure.

Some of these were simply bike routes that shared the road with vehicles.   But there were many actual bike lanes that gave a distinct strip of pavement to bikes.  Many were downtown and some removed parking and/or lanes for motor vehicles.  Examples of bike lanes introduced before Vision took power include:
- Burrard Street
- Hornby Street
- Pacific
- Carrall Street
- Homer
- Richards
- Pacific
- Beatty
- 41st
- 49th

But from what I remember in most cases there was LESS pre-construction communication and public process for these changes then there has for the Burrard bridge, Dunsmuir Lane expansion and the Hornby Lane expansion. 

In advance of the the Hornby Lane there were two public open houses plus websites and social media that solicited input.  And the original plans were changed based on the public input.

It seems to me that the reason we are hearing more criticism is because there has been earlier and more public communication about these projects prior to construction.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Transportation Modal Share - Vancouver vs. other Cities

With recent announcements of investment in cycling infrastructure some are predicting economic disaster if Vancouver reduces the number of light duty vehicles on the road.  The table below compares transportation modal share in Vancouver with other selected cities.

All of these cities have significantly less personal car use than Vancouver.  In many cases it is less than half.  Are these cities suffering economically?




citycountrywalkingcyclingpublic
transport
private
motor vehicle
VancouverCanada12%4%25%58%
Metro VancouverCanada11%2%13%74%
New York CityUS8%1%54%32%
BernSwitzerland11%11%54%24%
ZürichSwitzerland8%5%63%25%
CopenhagenDenmark6%36%29%26%
BerlinGermany30%13%26%31%
StockholmSweden15%7%43%33%
DresdenGermany24%17%21%38%
HelsinkiFinland12%6%40%41%
MünchenGermany9%8%41%41%
AarhusDenmark7%27%19%43%
BilbaoSpain23%0%34%43%
FrankfurtGermany11%7%39%43%
The HagueNetherlands5%22%30%43%
AmsterdamNetherlands4%22%30%44%
MadridSpain9%0%43%48%
HanoverGermany9%13%29%49%
BremenGermany7%19%24%50%
HamburgGermany8%8%33%51%
LondonEngland21%2%40%38%


source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_share



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Double Hulled Spill Dogs Enbridge Announcement

Today Enbridge announced plans to file for approval for a pipeline that would allow them to ship petroleum from a BC Coast port.  As part of the announcement they tried to reassure BC residents about the risk of spills by toting the safety of the double-hulled tankers that would be used at the port.  They ran advertisements in major newspapers also promoting the safety of double-hulled tankers.

Meanwhile a double-hulled tanker off the coast of Singapore was damaged on the and is leaking crude oil equivalent to 18,325 barrels.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Most Cost Effecitve way to Reuce ghg Emissions

As construction starts on the Dunsmuir separated bike lane it might be helpful to remember a Norwegian study earlier this year found that building cycling infrastructure was one of the most cost effective ways to fight climate change.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Action as BC Fails Climate Goals

A group of local residents occupied a construction site for the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) for several hours on Sunday and unveiled a large banner reading "Climate Action Now."



The action came on the heals of news that BC was the only province to see substantial increases in greenhouse gas emissions during 2008, the first year of the carbon tax implementation.

The SFPR is part of the massive Gateway Program which even the proponents admit will increase ghg emissions by over 170,000 tonnes per year.

The action along the SFPR alignment coincided with the annual pilgrimage to Burns Bog.Technorati Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Farms not Freeways


A large sign reading "Farms not Freeways" has been erected along highway 17 in Delta, BC. Residents of the area joined forces with the Council of Canadians and GatewaySucks.org to put up the sign.

It is located near the route of the South Fraser Perimeter Road.  It is estimated that over 200 acres (90 hectares) of farmland will be lost by this project.  It is part of the larger Gateway Program which will increase greenhouse gas emissions by over 200,000 tonnes per year.



"Farms not Freeways" billboard - Harold Steeves Speaking Out

Monday, February 01, 2010

Would you like some chemicals with your snow?

With the continuing warm temperatures in Vancouver, VANOC has had to resort to drastic measures to keep the snow at Cypress Bowl, the local snowboarding and ski venue.  They have said that they may use "snow hardening" chemicals to help prepare the snow for the games.  And this has local residents expressing concerns about those chemicals.

VANOC has ignored requests to identify which chemicals they will be using.  They have claimed that this measure was included in the provincial environmental assessment for the venue.  However, I was unable to find any mention of snow hardening or preserving chemicals in the assessment.

Generally the chemicals used to prepare ski and snowboard courses can include sodium chloride (salt), calcium chloride, urea, ammonium nitrate , and potassium nitrate.  Some of the chemicals used can be bio-accumulative.

A swiss study found that water in streams fed by treated ski runs had much higher concentrations of salts than background levels measured in neighbouring streams. In fact, elevated levels were detected more than 15 years after treatment ended.  The chemicals also can contribute to higher levels of chlorides, nitrogen and phosphorous in the local water systems.

This is part of ongoing analysis of how "green" the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games are. More articles at www.2010greenwatch.org