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Full application for Oakridge mall redevelopment into city, with terraced towers, floating canopies and more

November 7th, 2012 · 82 Comments

The application to transform Oakridge into a community of 2,800 units in nine towers and a bank of townhouses, a park on the roof of the mall, and more is sure to generate a lot of public interest in the coming months.

Open houses are next week, Nov. 15 and 17.

My Globe story with the preliminary look at the complete design is here and the application to the city is here.

Categories: Uncategorized

82 responses so far ↓

  • 1 boohoo // Nov 7, 2012 at 9:31 am

    What’s striking is the sea of single family homes in that image on the globe page. I wonder how far you would have to zoom out before you see anything different…

  • 2 spartikus // Nov 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Are the tower terraces landing pads for your jet car?

  • 3 Roger Kemble // Nov 7, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I’m disappointed.

    I thought this was going to be a great urban village (city if you like).

    As it’s turning its just same old same old gray concrete towers off-shore speculator grab bag . . .

    No one has any idea what a city is or means to its residents anymore . . .

  • 4 Joe Just Joe // Nov 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Another stellar proposal by Henriquez and partners. Will certainly be interesting to watch how the community embraces the proposal. Think the height of the tallest towers and the lack of parking stalls will be the biggest issues. The amount of density isn’t all that large. Would not be shocked to see the tallest buildings shed a some height and others grow a touch before all is said and done. Would’ve like to have seen a touch more office space but all in all I’m pretty happy with it. How long before Metrotown itself does the same?

  • 5 Rico // Nov 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Overall seems like a good plan for the location and it seems like it will be a big improvement over the current mall. Someone noted that it appeared all the park type spaces seem to be on the mall roof, if this is true it will be very important to have some sort of good obvious connection to the ground level (grand staircase?). Parking may be an issue, maybe not enough for right now (or maybe given its location just right) and too much for our hopefully car lite future (will some of the retail parking be convertable to an other building/park in the future?).

  • 6 boohoo // Nov 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Also, if all the greenery is on the roof of a parkade, they will need to apply expensive measures to ensure a deep enough growing medium if they want trees of any significant size in the ‘commons’.

  • 7 Frank Ducote // Nov 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I had hoped for better connectivity to the wider community. The “new street” could have/should have been at least one street more to the east and could ave been a true high street, relating bth to the mall/library/seniors centre on one side and new development to the west, featuring a ground level park or commons, not an elevated fantasy land.

    Beyond these gripes, this is the one place in the geographical centre of Vancouver where mixed-use densification can best be accommodated, with two major transit routes and many, many nearby religious and other institutions already in place, not to mention the aging demographic in many of those ranch houses in the vicinity, many of whom may be considering downsizing in their own ‘hood.

  • 8 Duncan // Nov 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    While at first glance the design seems pretty decent, I wonder what the long term implications for having this form of a development as a very complicated strata. What’s going to happen in 30-40 years when the site would normally get redeveloped?

    The only reason it’s able to be proposed like this is because it’s a single owner on a single site right now- 40 years from now when one of the towers needs re-developing, it won’t be just the single strata that needs 3/4 of all owners to approve- they’ll have to negotiate with the owner of the mall, of the other towers, of the social housing, etc.

    Does the City have any sense of how this is going to work over the long term?

    We’ve got a lot of complicated stratas across the City, and from my contacts, there is a lot of conflict when you have 3-4 different stratas on a single parcel, and that’s when the buildings are new and there’s no real issues to fight over.

  • 9 MB // Nov 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    What I find intriguing about this concept is that all cars are pushed underground (compare it to the aerial views of the existing mall where every square metre including the roof is covered in parking), the internal streets lined with continuous retail are completely pedestrianized, and the green space on the podium roof is linked directly to the internal streets below making it, essentially, a public park.

    The canopy over the intersection could be a cool element if done right.

    Now, if only they can do an urban design exercise for the surrounding neighbourhood which is rife with the waste of chock-a-block 50-foot lots.

  • 10 Glissando Remmy // Nov 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Thought of The Day

    “Someone get me Gregory on the buzz-phone, pronto! No one takes from my Beehaus (TM) Design, and not mention my name!” – Abee Lykme

    Duncan #8,

    “The only reason it’s able to be proposed like this is because it’s a single owner on a single site right now- 40 years from now when one of the towers needs re-developing, it won’t be just the single strata that needs 3/4 of all owners to approve- they’ll have to negotiate with the owner of the mall, of the other towers, of the social housing, etc. ”
    Bingo! :-)

    “Does the City have any sense of how this is going to work over the long term?”
    Nope. You are asking too much of them now.
    After all, they are… people!
    Some of them… in 40-50 years from now, hmm, just like the Greenest City and the 2040, 2050 plans from Vision, LOL… gone!
    So who cares, right?

    MB #9

    “What I find intriguing about this concept is that all cars are pushed underground”
    The word you’re looking for is “Beehive” with a nicely concealed landing and taking off platform/entrance.
    You know, for the working bees, paying in honey cash, for the privilege of owning a colonial hexagon, that should be enough, don’t you think? :-)

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 11 boohoo // Nov 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    GR,

    Stop with the inane assumption on ridiculous attacks.

    Why don’t we actually find out the answer to the question before we label the entire thing a vision scheme, shall we? Who says it’s going to be one giant strata anyway?

    And if you believe the whole thing is a foregone conclusion scam, then great, why do you bother posting.

  • 12 IanS // Nov 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @Duncan #8,

    I only had time to take a quick look at the proposal, but are you certain it’s intended to become one big strata?

    If so, I agree with your comments. Having a single strata represent a large group of owners with different types of units and different concerns is a recipe for conflict.

  • 13 Dan Cooper // Nov 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Interesting and thought provoking comments.

    boohoo ponders, “What’s striking is the sea of single family homes in that image on the globe page. I wonder how far you would have to zoom out before you see anything different.”

    Not far a’tall, actually. There are a number of small towers (many, it seems, for retirees only) immediately next to the mall site, and a goodly cluster/concentration of low-slung apartment buildings and rowhouses just beyond those to the west and south. A staff member from the local elementary school (Jamieson) once told me that they actually have a fairly high yearly student turnover because of all the apartments in the area/renters coming and going.

    Of course, as far as actually large towers, you have to go down Cambie to 57th. From what I remember of the new Cambie plan, though, that is intended to change…

    Come to think of it, while gazing at google maps, that huge parking lot owned by Translink just off the corner of 41st and Oak might be looking fairly tasty for development down the road.

  • 14 Dan Cooper // Nov 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Oh, and of course not to mention all the row house developments that have been springing up along Oak, Willow…

  • 15 boohoo // Nov 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Yes I was looking at that from the angle of that photo–north of 41st. Take out the hospital and parkland and it is overwhelmingly single family. But you’re right, that bus depot is a massive lot, I didn’t realize how big it is….

    Also right about those row houses on Oak and the Cambie plan….and again I question the philosophy of only densifying arterials. Tunnels it seems…

  • 16 waltyss // Nov 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    @boohoo #11. You simply fail to understand. Facts, reasonable debate and discussion. Those are simply Visionista platitudes.
    As for GR, you are dealing with someone enthralled with someone enjoying the sound of one finger pecking.
    I would be very suprised and very opposed if they created only large strata lot.

  • 17 waltyss // Nov 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    @Dan Cooper #13. I believe you are correct that the Translink parking lot will be developed. I understand they are moving the lot, probably to under Arthur Laing.

  • 18 Glissando Remmy // Nov 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Boohoo & Waltyss,
    FACT
    I wasn’t talking or writing directly to any of you.
    FACT
    I was reinforcing some points made by others before me. That’s all.
    Threw my Twopence in there, so…
    FICTION
    Your interpretation of my words.

    Maybe you two have somewhere else to go, or something else to do… and I’m holding you back. :-(
    Whaddyathink?

  • 19 Roger Kemble // Nov 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    This is nothing more than an enlarge gated enclave with the mandatory greenery (inaccessible to the general public) for swift DPB passage.

  • 20 Frank Ducote // Nov 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Council would have to approve the rezoning application first, after a public hearing. This is in contrast to the recent Ridge development application, which was for a prezoned site.

  • 21 Higgins // Nov 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    “Council would have to approve the rezoning application first, after a public hearing. ”
    Wow… Frank @20,
    Don’t we all know it by now? After four years of green-washing and wall raising, media gag orders, sterile public open houses, swearing at and ridiculing the electorate, the trust in this Council is enormous! Yet the Vancouver tax payers voted them in for a second term. No comment.

  • 22 Silly Season // Nov 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I have to laugh. This was the ‘hood I grew up in. Just across from Jamieson school, in fact.

    All the apartment buildings and duplexes were built at the same time we single family “homesteaders’ were moving in in the early 60′s. In my mind, I can see the piles of dirt we kids played on at each site (unattended!), and the smell of new home wood framing. Sigh.

    ‘Mixed neighbourhood housing’ is nothing new to me. My mom still lives across from Oakridge, so we will be going off to see the models, I’m sure.

    Spoiler alert: she likes big buildings.

  • 23 Bill Lee // Nov 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Hmm.

    And the next day in the Grope and Flail there is a story on Dalek Rennie marketing Brighouse towers as at the end of the Canada Line.
    “Urban villages on horizon for Richmond” 07 Nov 2012
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/urban-villages-on-horizon-for-richmond/article5032561/
    [ may be bey0nd the Globe's paywall, try googling title then ]

    And the comment that the Asian need a car, not Sky/tunnel trains.
    I remember one in the Langara Gardens who had a large car as bling and cried when age meant they couldn’t “drive” it anymore.

    And this monstrosity (summer short shadows in the “supplied” picture in the Globe.
    No appearance of the proposed rat warrens already applied for on the north side of the 41st Avenue strip.

    The bus lot is a nostalgic memory for many seniors who lived in the army camp there in the 1940s, as they did in the Old Hotel Vancouver with demobbed parents after the war.
    See the area history in Bruce MacDonald’s “Vancouver: A Visual history” (Copies on abebooks and amazon)

    And how does the area west of Oakridge, (disparagingly called the Great Wall by some anglo residents for the great number of Chinese in the towers) feel?

    And what about Joolz Verne school north of it or Hamber? Will they have to bring in (Ugh, how Surrey-like) portables?

    And what is the street view? Blank wall or just ‘professional’ services (notary, dentist, over-wide banks etc.) rather than goods selling?

    I’ve noticed in a local street having been away that more and more stores are being turned into “offices” and that fewer are selling goods (food, clothing, etc.) We’ve lost 3 bookstores, 3 cinemas, and numerous clothes stores in the past year.

    Vision is a ghost street purveyor, nice to look at at 60 km/hour but with little substance? And fewer jobs?

  • 24 Ned // Nov 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Another sparkling development. No brainer. Anything is better than a parking lot. However, I think this scheme has a long way to go. It’s a start.

  • 25 Richard // Nov 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    There is really a lot to like about this proposal that hopefully will serve as a model for such large developments around the region. It is truly walking and transit oriented. With no on-street parking and the underground parking accessed a the edges of the site, it will be much more convenient to walk, cycling and use transit than drive.

    They also took the bold step of making the high-street car free. Without cars taking up space and blocking people’s view of each other, it should be a great people watching street.

    This is really the model that should have been used at the Olympic Village and still could be for the remaining parcels. In fact, several people were pushing for it to be car free with underground parking accessed at the edge of the site.

    I would suggest some restaurants and cafes would be great on the podium level. That would be a great place for large patios and add more life up top.

  • 26 Voony // Nov 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Overall a step in the good direction:

    I am of an opinion similar to the Frank Ducote’s one.

    The high street is very inward looking and doesn’t contribute to both Cambie and 41th (in fact if you are on those avenue, be walking or busing, you will see only parkade access ramp). There is significant room for improvement on that topic.

    The rooftop park, not visible from the ground, is obviously designed to be gated, but I don’t see a problem with that. I have failed to see where is the district energy, the compost yard and the urban farm, but may be the open house will provide more detail on it.

    Richard, having the “high street” all pedestrian is not a bold move: All the Malls work like it (open air mall is not even new). Also what you describe, is what french call “urbanisme on dalle” (the car below ground, and all above for pedestrian, by the way no room for cycling): It has proven an universal failure, and we have moved on more than 30 years ago.

  • 27 Richard // Nov 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    @Voony

    We have seemingly endless kilometers of auto-oriented retail along our major streets. On street parking makes driving the easiest and fastest way to get around. The traffic noise and pollution make it miserable to walk along while the speeding traffic means that it is slow and dangerous to cross the street. Only in a few places where it is adjacent to high density housing is it really successful in attracting a lot of pedestrians.

    The high street is certainly a much better space for pedestrians where they can enjoy walking free from traffic. More variety of development is needed around the city and this is a great start.

    It is also at a diagonal so it is a good shortcut for some trips. Routes from Cambie and 41st are also diagonals making walking to the Canada Line shorter.

  • 28 gman // Nov 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    2800 units,so whats that 6000,10000,12000 people plunked down all at once that will all be trying to commute on a train that is already packed? And will the the cities infrastructure have to be upgraded to handle sewage,water and power ? Is there enough capacity to handle all the new students at all levels ?
    I agree that what is there now is a waste of space but this is a huge development that has a whole lot of problems waiting in the wings.But I guess that’s what happens when you let developers do the job the city planners should be doing.And I’m sure it will be a beehive of activity for the three months a year the sun shines.

  • 29 Richard // Nov 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    @gman

    The capacity of the Canada Line can be almost tripled by getting more trains and by lengthening stations. It still has a lot of room to grow.

    And cheer up, today was a great sunny day. We get way more than 3 months of sunshine.

    40% of daylight hours are sunny and 289 days have at least some sunshine.
    http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Canada/British-Columbia/sunshine-annual-average.php

  • 30 gman // Nov 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    @Richard
    Richard if you can show me how many cars the present system is capable of adding per train without extending the platform I would appreciate that info.But as I understand it it can only accommodate one more car.To lengthen a station to accommodate more cars is not an easy task and would cost a huge amount of capital. So I’m not sure how you can say tripling capacity is as easy as you would like to make it sound.
    In order to lengthen a station without shutting down the system entirely you would have to first dig a bypass route in order to keep the system operational while the station expansion takes place and second you would have to expropriate the land to do excavation for the bypass. And yes today was a very pleasant day,although rare for this time of year.

  • 31 Voony // Nov 8, 2012 at 1:08 am

    gman

    All what you say is fear-mongering, ala Bill McCreery, to rationalize opposition again development along Transit rich corridor (in other area he will say it is not Transit rich enough, but it is another story), and this argument has been proven wrong ad nauseam…

    That is the reason no-one has mentioned it so far:
    Richard is right: you can “triple” the capacity of the Canada Line… easily dare I say, you just need to run train there at the same frequency on the Skytrain E/M line…

  • 32 Dr. Frankentower // Nov 8, 2012 at 1:35 am

    I must admit, I didn’t think this city could top Bidwell’s macabre façade. How many coffins could fit in so tight a space? Such grotesqueries take real evil genius to pull off.

    Great Googly-Moogly, was I ever wrong.

    What a horrific and gloriously sombre apparition this is! Are they trying to emulate my pal Hieronymus’ Garden of Earthly Delights? Not quite, I’m afraid. But surely an A for effort for this beastly topographic nightmare.

    Welcome to the People’s Republic of Oakridge Mall, a disturbing and soulless mass of concrete and glass and vine that will nest so many ghosts and VANpires that mere mortals will be lucky to survive one night.

    In fact, despite the back-slapping bravado of Joe and Richard and other dull Vancouverisms, I can pretty much guarantee that none of you will visit this place more than twice in a lifetime.

    Delicious!

    But the best thing of all is that, like Henriquez’s other bold experiment in city-building (Woodwards), the People’s Republic of Oakridge Mall will only function well if it is patrolled by a small army of private security guards.

    Now that is my kind of city.

    Keep up the good work, Vancouver!

  • 33 Roger Kemble // Nov 8, 2012 at 5:23 am

    City? Balderdash!

    On closer look at the DPA stuff things get worse. It is indeed an exclusive gated enclave. One can only hope for an economic downturn to put paid to all this irresponsible game-play.

    Architecture is no longer a profession. Coming up with all this anti-urban stuff, Woodward’s under the W, Marine Gateway, it is just another servile, opportunistic rite of passage for those who’s reach is farther than their throwing arm, their eyes bigger than their bellies!

    Watch sincere merchants, who buy into the Main Street, go rapidly broke as they are squeezed out by the desperation of, weather protected, underground, sans day-light, rabbit warren of big stores.

    A generous green space will wow the public eager for some relief from the incessant dirge of bland, concrete is the new marble. But, look closely, all that green is three floors up, nominally accessible to the public, but in reality absolutely inaccessible: check Devonian Gardens in Calgary’s Plus 15.

    Trinketeers will voice shallow eloquence as it brings density to the Canada Line but there is more to a city than sitting in a metal tube for a good portion of your waking day!

    Good urbanism is about repose, commodity, firmness and delight: security of tenure, enough to pay the bills.

    Shop ’til ya drop. Unfortunately the new Oakridge will be anxiety manifest!

    There is no relationship between the stucco box sprawl of the existing traditional, Oakridge neighbourood: no gentle segue . . . just plunk . . . the monster is there . . . worse, by far, than it was before . . .

    Let’s hope looming economic disaster puts paid to this brutal, opportunistic Caracol of mediocrity.

    QED.

  • 34 gman // Nov 8, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Voony 31

    Midday and peak periods both YVR and Brighouse run at 6-7 minutes with a combined schedule of 3-4 minutes,it would seem to me that doesnt leave a lot of room to stuff another train in between. I could be wrong or the trains could be lining up in the tube.
    As far as fear mongering goes you can talk to the people who keep screaming density as if everything is some great emergency,or should I say intensification as some have taken to call it,I guess they think the public is sick of hearing about the density meme and changing the name will somehow fool them.

  • 35 Joe Just Joe // Nov 8, 2012 at 11:08 am

    The capacity won’t an issue on the Canada Line for decades, like has been stated it is able to accomadate ~3x the current capacity without having to do major work to the line. The frequency can be brought up to ~100sec on the interwined section, it can’t quite hit the 72sec frequency of the Expo line due to the single tracking at the ends but it’s close. There is also the addition of the C car (middle car) which boosts capacity by almost 50% in itself. All said and done, the Canada Line has the same carrying capacity as the Expo Line is moving today.
    The advantage of mixed use developments along the line like this and Marine Gateway is they increase effective capacity. It will provide additonal riders in the opposite direction of normal travel taking advantage of underused capacity and it will also make for shorter trips for some allowing for additional ridership within the same carrying capacity.

  • 36 MB // Nov 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Taking into account Frank’s and Roger’s comments (#7 & #33 respectively), the need for quality public open space at the ground level may help soften and break up the mass of this development and air it out more.

    The developer will only agree to this if he’s at the business end of a shotgun, of course, so as the consultation progresses, so should the negotiation.

    What would it take to place a 3-acre public town square in the middle of the mass (i.e. bring a chunk of the elevated park down to the ground), or extend the “transit square” deeper to the centre of the site?

    While we’re at it, why not increase the setbacks and provide generous sidewalks, overhead rain protection at least 4 metres out from the building walls, multiple rows of street trees and smaller, more diverse storefronts to both the Cambie and 41st Ave frontages?

    Short of the city itself buying ground level space to ensure public ownership and access, there are other tools like offering density trade-offs on other sites with less prominence, and developers could horse trade over it.

    One of the most attractive advantages of this development, irrespective of the architecture presented so far, is the fact it offers almost everything you need on one site, from food to employment and retirement amenities.

    *
    Regarding train frequency, I stood on the eastbound platform of the Burrard Station at 3:30 p.m. on a typical workday recently and counted four 6-car trains in exactly five minutes. The Canada Line may offer similar frequencies and capacity because the trains are automated and the cars are wider.

    In either case frequency is one of the most important leverages for the success of regional rapid transit, and its possible because of grade separation and the very low operating cost penalties of automation.

    I think this is a little more than just a garter adornment on a TX porn star.

  • 37 Dan Cooper // Nov 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    gman writes, “Midday and peak periods both YVR and Brighouse run at 6-7 minutes with a combined schedule of 3-4 minutes,it would seem to me that doesnt leave a lot of room to stuff another train in between. I could be wrong or the trains could be lining up in the tube.”

    I also have my doubts about how much the Canada Line can really expand ridership at rush hour. Full-day figures don’t impress me much, if you can’t move the people when they mainly want to go.

    BUT, that is mainly because of the ridiculously short platform (and thus train) lengths, not time between trains. Go to Moscow and you will see packed trains blasting in and out every two minutes or less. Of course, those trains are also probably four times as long as the silly Canada Line ones, but what I’m saying here is that my guess is they could double the number of trains running on the Canada Line without too much trouble…assuming of course they bought enough of them. Oh, and if (like again Moscow and most other cities I’ve been that are thinking ahead) every station had three or four really big entrances instead of the one tiny little choke-point (now with extra funneling into an insufficient number of turnstiles!) that Translink seems to like, so that people could actually get in and out in a timely way.

  • 38 David // Nov 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Interesting photo from 1948, facing east. The BC Electric Bus depot is under construction, and Oakridge Mall is a forest. http://tinyurl.com/cvhe9qw

  • 39 ThinkOutsideABox // Nov 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    All this talk of Canada Lines and Oakridge Mall developments reminds me of that Röyksopp music video “Remind Me” which depicts all the diligently infinitesimal minutia that governs our lives – in this case the travel of an animatic woman from her home to her computer at work, that I’m sure many here would revel in its nerdly glory:

  • 40 A Dave // Nov 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Well, TOAB, it may seem silly to you, but some of us are affected immensely every day by this rank stupidity.

    I commute to work on the Canada Line during the week, and I can tell you from direct experience that the morning trains are absolutely packed to the point where it is extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable.

    The morning trains run at a frequency of every 3 minutes heading downtown.

    In other words, Gman is absolutely correct, The Canada Line’s capacity and efficiency has been severely compromised. Despite being 1 billion over budget, they cheaped out on the stations and now we are stuck with what Roger accurately calls a “shiny trinket.”

    Adding tens of thousands of units/people to this “transit rich” corridor is going to make an already ugly morning commute immeasurably worse.

    While I live much closer to Main, those buses are so packed in the mornings that at least 1-2 times a week I am not permitted to board due to overcapacity. I was late for work so many times that I finally took to walking nearly 15 minutes to the Canada Line, where no bus driver can shut you out.

    The point is, both lines are stretched to utmost capacity during the morning rush hour RIGHT NOW, and those who think adding a giant development in Oakridge – as part of a larger plan to add nearly 40,000 people to the corridor – is a wise and environmentally sound “plan” are willfully ignoring the reality of the situation.

    Furthermore, it is abundantly clear that some of the most vocal rapid transit / density node advocates on this blog (Richard, MB, voony) don’t actually commute daily on transit, or they wouldn’t be debating the veracity of Gman’s assertions, or bickering over what the actual frequency of the trains are. I’m sorry, but you have all exposed yourselves as having no practical experience of what you so forcefully advocate for.

    No other city in the world would be so stupid as to spend billions on a new rapid transit line and then shortchange the whole system by making the stations so ridiculously small. Doing this while going 1 billion over budget is appalling. Yet not a peep out of the press or pundits about this. Too distracted by the “shiny trinket”, eh?

    The larger picture this paints is pretty dire: we are planning for a future where the singular “vision” for this city is to DENSIFY. There is nothing bold or visionary about this, in fact, it is both banal and completely out of touch with reality.

    But armchair urban theorists, well-paid city planners, and university profs are ramming this down our throats as if it’s as simple as 2+2. They know full well that coming up with the $50 million / station upgrade required anytime in the near future is an absolute pipe dream. Is Translink going find the money to do this before or after the Broadway Line is built? My guess is it won’t happen until we’re all in our graves.

    The only that’s certain is that commuting to work on the Canada Line is going to suck more and more in the years and decades to come.

    But hey, what do the pie-in-the-Skytrain advocates care? They never commute on the damn thing anyway.

  • 41 ThinkOutsideABox // Nov 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Hi A Dave, I don’t find your concerns silly at all. Thanks for expressing these concerns so vigorously.

  • 42 brilliant // Nov 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    @Frank Ducote 20-LOL, like there’s really a chance Vision won’t approve a development? Especially from a pet developer like Westbank?

    @Richard 25-Of course, it’s all so clear-the rich Chonese who this will undoubtedly be marketed at will meekly give up their Bimmers and Mercs for a chance to live in such a green paradise! Only 1,300 spaces for 2,800 units and no street parking?! Lets hope Cambridge has a posse of patrollers or their mall parking us going to be taken up by residents. All in all just another shiny faux- green bauble barfed up by a developer for the inevitable Vision rubber stamp.

  • 43 mike0123 // Nov 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    In the peak hour in the peak direction, the Canada Line operates at about 1/3 its design capacity of 15000 people/hour/direction. The design capacity of the line is immense compared to current travel demand.

    Crowding is caused by the operator not running enough trains. Instead of complaining that the line looks small, complain that more trains need to be used! There are trains sitting in the yard in rush hour as it is.

  • 44 Voony // Nov 9, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Dave,

    “No other city in the world would be so stupid as to spend billions on a new rapid transit line and then shortchange the whole system by making the stations so ridiculously small.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turin_Metro

    Mike0123 answered other assertion…

    But people are right the Oakridge station design is a shame…and this operation is an opportunity to correct it:
    What about a sunken transit plaza, with an underground /subway level retail gallery?

  • 45 rico // Nov 9, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Voony, potentially a good idea about the sunken transit plaza. I could not figure out the point you were trying to make with the wiki link about the Turin metro. Could you elaborate? I assume it also has short stations.

    A Dave I would state your complaints about crowding on the Canada line have more to do poor writing of the P3 document than the capacity of the line. There are 4 trains just siting in the yard every rush hour, use those trains and your crowding complaint goes away for now…and I think the system was designed to run a max of 32 trains so double the now scenario. I do wonder about the platform width and stairs/escalators once we start pumping 3X the people though.

  • 46 Everyman // Nov 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I’d have to agree the stations are the chokepoint. Can anyone envision Bridgeport or Brighouse being able to take three times more people?

  • 47 Frank Ducote // Nov 9, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Brilliant not – I believe the existing 2007 zoning for the O.C. Mall was approved by Sam Sullivan’s NPA council. So, LOL yourself, fella.

    The discussion here should be about the merits of the submission, not one’s knee jerk racial and political biases, as your postings almost always are. “Chonese”, indeed. Even if correctly spelled this is an unworthy statement about this City and its realities.

  • 48 Chris Keam // Nov 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Regarding train capacity, it doesn’t really matter if one leg of a transit trip is uncrowded, if the next leg is as ‘A Dave’ described, and for most commutes, there will be a crowded, unsafe leg to your journey, which is a huge disincentive. The near complete lack of children and parents using transit at peak hours is a scathing indictment of those responsible for funding our system and claiming Families First.

    I’d like to see MLA’s take a month to travel exclusively via transit/walking/biking similar to the welfare challenge MLA Brar took on. I’m not holding my breath.

  • 49 mezzanine // Nov 9, 2012 at 8:50 am

    @A Dave, Voony

    Copenhagen’s metro also has short stations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_Metro

    @ Rico:

    A Dave I would state your complaints about crowding on the Canada line have more to do poor writing of the P3 document than the capacity of the line. There are 4 trains just siting in the yard every rush hour, use those trains and your crowding complaint goes away for now…and I think the system was designed to run a max of 32 trains so double the now scenario. I do wonder about the platform width and stairs/escalators once we start pumping 3X the people though.

    I would agree that a P3 is a as good as you wtite it, but the P3 for the canada line allowed for flexibility. IIRC, we could use the spare trains now, but we would have to pay extra to ProTransBC. This is similar to the “savings” the recent TL audit found by reducing expo and M-line frequency at non-peak times.

    WRT whether the c-line staion can handle growth for the future, i look at metrotown station. a very high and hard to access platform, 1 up escalator, 1 main entrance if you disregard the now-opened emergency exit, yet it still disembarks ++ people. Not very comfortably at peak times, mind you, but it still does. ;-)

  • 50 mezzanine // Nov 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

    @chris Keam

    for most commutes, there will be a crowded, unsafe leg to your journey, which is a huge disincentive. The near complete lack of children and parents using transit at peak hours is a scathing indictment of those responsible for funding our system and claiming Families First.

    at peak hours i don’t see a lot of kids on skytrain b/c a lot of the commuters i see are workers and post-secondary types going farther distances. I do see a lot of younger kids and stollers on buses, esp in the mid-day off-peak hours, and prior to 9am and after 3 pm.

  • 51 Westender1 // Nov 9, 2012 at 9:06 am

    It’s interesting to follow the progression on the site – and I hope that the “incremental approach” will be carefully documented by the City for public consumption. It would be a shame if the sheer size of complexity of this project was used to be-fuddle the public to the point that the applicant attains anything to which they aspire.

    This report from City staff is interesting reading:

    http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20120725/documents/ptec4-OakridgeCentreRedevelopment.pdf

    Particularly the references to objectives unfulfilled from approvals in 1983 and 1991.

    Also interesting to see the conclusions reached for housing in the 2007 policy statement. As summarized on Page 5 of the report the following is indicated for the residential component:

    “Include housing options suitable for households of all types, ages and incomes. Total residential density is envisaged to be between 1-1.2M square feet. Housing mix is to include: Affordable housing: 20% of total units; Family housing (meeting the Council-adopted Guidelines for High-Density Housing for Families with Children): 50% of affordable housing and 25% of market housing; Seniors housing: a minimum of 100 units. Further, opportunities for ground-oriented family housing units are to be optimized, as well as opportunities explored to improve market housing affordability, possibly including ‘flex suites’ or ‘breakaway suites’ (portions of individual units that can be separated into smaller standalone rental units).”

    In some ways it seems like the system worked reasonably well in 2007 to create a policy that was headed in the right direction on housing issues and providing a range of range of housing opportunities. (Although I think “affordable housing” as noted in the 2007 policy statement may have meant something different than the recently re-defined phrase “affordable housing” – meaning “anything other than ownership”).

    The applicant’s submission for rezoning indicates a total of just under 2.7 million square feet of residential floor area.

    Given that the original increase from 353,000 square feet of residential in the CD-1 zoning to 1.2 million in the policy statement, then to 2.7 million in the rezoning application, I would like to see some careful analysis of both the original increment, and this additional 1.5 million square feet of residential floor area. Is the assumption that all the publicly-desirable stuff can only be achieved in the last increment?

  • 52 Roger Kemble // Nov 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Westender @ #51

    Vancouver Economic Action Strategy (2011)

    This action strategy focuses on creating a climate for economic growth, supporting business investment and trade, and attracting and retaining talent. Strategies include expanding the green economy, protecting job lands and office space and promoting Vancouver as a desirable, livable city. To attract and retain businesses and talented employees the Strategy highlights the importance of creating vibrant neighbourhoods with a dense mix of activities and people, walkable and bikeable public realm, access to amenities and services, a range of affordable housing options, and convenient, reliable transit.

    In that light Westender the city, the province has shed all vestige of a wealth creating, fishing, mining, logging, economy I do not see how a green economy can substitute.

    With a population, vis this conversation, besotted by shiny trinkets, gossiping over systems absolutely out of character, (Go to Moscow and you will see packed trains blasting in and out every two minutes or less.), oh yeah for Moscow, a supporting economy is a long way off.

    Vancouver is an ingrown parasitical economy entirely depended on off shore real estate speculation.

    The trinketeers need not concern themselves with an over crowded Canada Line if this thing ever gets off the ground.

    Expect soon a deluge of buyers one rainy weekend: then hey presto the customary, sold out clarion.

    After which the place will sit empty.

    And if I may paraphrase you Glissie This is Vancouver and . . . errrrr . . Alice doesn’t live here anymore . . .

    (Referring to Alice B. Toklass, famous for her brownies)

  • 53 MB // Nov 9, 2012 at 11:57 am

    @ Westender 1 #51

    Given that the original increase from 353,000 square feet of residential in the CD-1 zoning to 1.2 million in the policy statement, then to 2.7 million in the rezoning application, I would like to see some careful analysis of both the original increment, and this additional 1.5 million square feet of residential floor area. Is the assumption that all the publicly-desirable stuff can only be achieved in the last increment?

    Click on the aerial photo in the lead post in this link . . .

    http://blog.placespeak.com/tag/canada-line/

    . . . to see how many millions of square feet are devoted to asphalt, and you’ll get an idea of the much different and arguably a higher quality world over the existing the proposal promises.

    Now there are flaws, and commenters like Frank and Roger and others elucidated some, but that doesn’t mean the design cannot be changed.

    I’m not thinking exclusively of Oakridge here, but am looking outwards to the future of places like Surrey’s King George highway which is lined with automobile retail and hundreds of hectares of cracked asphalt.

    Oakridge could set the stage for the redevelopment of suburban malls into something better. Some of us hope they can do it right by considering said malls as the villages and towns of the future, and learn from the experience of projects like Oakridge.

  • 54 Mira // Nov 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Roger # 52
    “Vancouver is an ingrown parasitical economy entirely depended on off shore real estate speculation.”
    Amen to that!
    But the people of Vancouver are too enamored with the Green snake oil salesmen. Even the kids in elementary are being brainwashed, sorry , greenwashed as we speak…
    No one pays attention to the little man behind the curtain! :-(

  • 55 Dan Cooper // Nov 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Everyman inquires, “Can anyone envision Bridgeport or Brighouse being able to take three times more people?”

    I certainly can’t. Still, although it will never have the same level of ridership as those major terminals, my “favourite” oddity station and symptom of the general condition continues to be 49th/Langara, specifically that anyone who cannot take the stairs has to wait for three different elevators in order to get to or from one of the two platforms. (And even those who CAN use stairs have to take three different sets of them and walk through a tunnel.)

  • 56 MB // Nov 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    @ Roger 52:

    Vancouver is an ingrown parasitical economy entirely depended on off shore real estate speculation. . . .The trinketeers need not concern themselves with an over crowded Canada Line if this thing ever gets off the ground. . . .Expect soon a deluge of buyers one rainy weekend: then hey presto the customary, sold out clarion. . . . After which the place will sit empty.

    Not necessarily.

    This was written about the recent Telus Garden development:

    Local sellers all say that it’s not foreign investors driving the market for the successful projects, but local investors and people planning to live in the condos themselves.

    Ms. Goertz said Telus offered its employees priority in sales at Telus Gardens and 150 of them bought, even though the price discount was a modest one per cent.

    The project’s developers, Telus and Westbank Projects, also didn’t allow anyone to buy more than two units.

    Mr. Forsgren, whose company Intracorp sold out a tower instantly at Metrotown in May of last year, said the company has to track buyers closely because of requirements from FINTRAC, the agency that monitors money laundering and criminal organizations.

    The personal information that had to be submitted for those units showed there were only four offshore buyers.

    He said he expects Intracorp’s newest tower, Silver, to get about 50 to 60 per cent investors among the 3,000 buyers lined up for it. That’s similar to what Mr. McTavish said was the ratio for Marine Gateway.

    But those investors tend to be local investors, people who are buying something for their children to move into some day and renting it in the meantime, or people who are looking for an investment that’s more stable than the stock market appears to be right now.

    It’s ironic how accurate tracking of the now required personal information weeds out the criminal money laundering element — and gives the analysts quality data on where the buyers come from.

    http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/teluss-vancouver-condos-fly-off-the-market/article4098423/?service=mobile

  • 57 Dan Cooper // Nov 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Okay, I will put out one more factor that is a problem throughout North America and thus not the fault of the planners or designers here in Vancouver: North Americans won’t pack and push into trains or buses the way people will most anywhere else in the world, and what is considered “too full” for more people to enter here is a very different thing than in the rest of the world. I always shake my head when I see a “full” bus go by with no one in the back third, and none of those in the front two thirds standing closer than a foot from each other. Maybe Translink needs to hire some “push men” from the Tokyo subways, or import Russian babushki or Japanese obatarions (feisty elders by any name…) to ride the buses and trains and shove everyone back? Or we will all need to get over our fear of coincidental physical contact with other human beings not related by marriage. *heh*

  • 58 brilliant // Nov 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    @Frank Ducote 47-reduced to being the spelling marm, how sad. Yes, I realize your ilk likes to gloss over the wave of foreign investors who have driven up real estate prices. How else could you peddle the notion to the gullible locals that they should be thankful for the opportunity to shoehorn their families into one of these shoeboxes in the sky.

  • 59 Roger Kemble // Nov 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    MB 2 #56

    1. Remember the Beasely? Line-ups on the street.

    2. Remember Gateway? That rainy weekend beginning of this year? Lots of empties now!

    3.Telus employee incentives? Shot gun or what.

    A real city comes in little pieces all joined together.

    Oakridge? One great big sealed package! You only get sun light if you pay.

  • 60 Frank Ducote // Nov 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Brilliant not – whose peddling what, schoolmarm? At least you managed to avoid racist and political invective in this latest post, sticking only with personal insult. Oh well, that’s a tiny improvement for which I am grateful. Keep it up! Soon you may even be brave enough to reveal your identity so we can all know who it is that can post such diatribe.

  • 61 waltyss // Nov 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    @Frank Ducote #60. Brilliant not and its racist twin Mira know only one thing: to spew hateful, racist filth. That’s what they do and we should feel sorry for them, difficult as that may be.
    If feeling sorry for their ilk is too much to ask, then the next best thing to do is ignore them and continue on with commentary that has at least somewhat of a constructive element.

  • 62 boohoo // Nov 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    “then the next best thing to do is ignore them”

    Heed your own advice!

  • 63 Chris Keam // Nov 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    “Maybe Translink needs to hire some “push men” from the Tokyo subways, or import Russian babushki or Japanese obatarions (feisty elders by any name…) to ride the buses and trains and shove everyone back?”

    Again, this is not conducive to encouraging parents and children to use the bus and further, if a driver can rightfully expect there to be road space to use their vehicle, transit users should be able to reasonably expect a seat on transit for their fare during all operating hours, with some exception for large public events. Shoving people onto already overcrowded transit isn’t a solution, it’s an insult IMO — to those people making a smart, community-friendly transportation choice.

  • 64 Westender1 // Nov 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    MB, I’m not indicating an objection to the intensification of development at Oakridge or the conversion of surface parking lots – these are probably positive things. I do find it odd that in 2007 the City completed a public process to arrive at a policy statement that would guide changes at Oakridge – but the content of the rezoning application doesn’t appear to reflect that policy, at least in terms of floorspace and heights.

  • 65 Frank Ducote // Nov 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Westender1 – you are right about the shift in policy since earlier rezonings. The biggest one being, IMO, the public park requirement.

    This CD-1 application does change the game – in the words of the architect – substantially. But that is the nature of the beast in terms of CD-1 rezonings in Vancouver, they are each a separate entity unto themselves. (For those anti-Visionistas out there, this is independent of what party holds power.)

    Personally, I’d prefer such a large development, which will have to be phased over many years, to have different architects for different buildings, in order to ensure variety in character and expression.

    I admit that at the rezoning stage that this preference is of rather small significance.

  • 66 brilliant // Nov 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Sadly Frank Ducote and waltsyss can’t see the bamboo for the trees. To ignore the obvious factor of foreign investors and to try and stifle discussion of it by bleating “racism” is as silly and inneffective as Visions affordable housing task force, which did exactly the same thing.

  • 67 Terry M // Nov 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Waltyss @ 61
    This must be a record for you.
    “Racist; spew; hateful; filth… words”and ad hominem attacks on two people in ONE sentence!
    I’m feeling sorry that Iwas subjected to reading that! Phew!

  • 68 rico // Nov 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Vancouver has ALWAYS had a large number of foreign realestate speculators. It was built be foreign speculator (or at least out of province speculators like the C P R). I would venture a guess that based on the size of the city now versus say 1910 the portion of out of city speculators now is probably less. So apart from the complaint about foreign what is the problem? If it is housing affordability I would assume most speculators rent their units out (pretty stupid not to) so speculators make it more expensive to buy but cheaper to rent…and maybe not as much more expensive to buy as you think because the good market drives the creation of more units and with the world of supply and demand increasing supply decreases costs (the problem here is demand is increasing faster than supply).

  • 69 Chris Keam // Nov 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Bamboo is a grass and placing the smaller item in front of the larger completely nullifies the meaning of the expression.

  • 70 Glissando Remmy // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Thought of The Day

    “More Expensive & More Expensive… the Twin Brothers!”

    Rico #38
    “o speculators make it more expensive to buy but cheaper to rent…”
    Yes & No
    I’d say it’s become ‘more expensive’ & ‘more expensive’.
    A 600sqft 1Bdr apartment “worth” $125,000 in West End in 1997 was rented with $600-700/mo.
    Now the same apartment is “asked for” $500,000 and/or rented with $1,500 -1,800/mo.
    Worth the money? Absolutely not.
    Where there major improvements or fancy appliances or amenities added to this unit? Absolutely not.
    Did the owner/ landlord earned that increase in the asking price? Absolutely not.
    Is there a particulate self entitlement in the air vis a vis a real estate market speculation? Absolutely yes.

    I liked and agree with what Roger #52 said too:
    “Vancouver is an ingrown parasitical economy entirely depended on off shore real estate speculation.”

    So…

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 71 brilliant // Nov 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    @Chris Keam 69-if one can’t see the bamboo for trees, the bamboo would be behind the trees, no?

    @Terry M 67-be gentle on waltsyss, its all he knows.

    @rico 68-the CPR developed the land with the intent to sell it to local residents.This wave of foreign buyers includes far too many who don’t intend to rent their aquisitions, they simply sit empty, as sources such as Peter Ladner have reported. The houses are simply a safe place to park their money, they’re not homes.

  • 72 Chris Keam // Nov 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    @Brilliant:

    I sense you may not understand the intent of the original metaphor.

    cheers,
    CK

  • 73 Voony // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    rico @ 45:

    Voony, potentially a good idea about the sunken transit plaza. I could not figure out the point you were trying to make with the wiki link about the Turin metro. Could you elaborate? I assume it also has short stations.

    Yes, it has, but more than that, its subway is very narrow, 2m08.

    regarding the pedestrian street, and my concern on it, I have elaborated on it in the next post at comment @41

  • 74 jolson // Nov 12, 2012 at 10:19 am

    The upper limit on density is always liveability, measured by established design guidelines. For this site it is easily twice the area proposed. The interesting question from a development perspective is; what does density mean in terms of overall energy consumption by society? We assume that TOD development is a sustainable strategy as an act of faith in the rhetoric of supporters. But what is needed is someone to do the environmental analysis on forms of development, travel patterns, and means of transport. Having armed ourselves with a bit of knowledge on the fundamentals, we might then amuse ourselves with urban design thoughts about getting things right.

  • 75 Chris Keam // Nov 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

    “A 600sqft 1Bdr apartment “worth” $125,000 in West End in 1997 was rented with $600-700/mo.
    Now the same apartment is “asked for” $500,000 and/or rented with $1,500 -1,800/mo.”

    Hmm, the way I parse those numbers it sounds as though purchase cost quadrupled and the rental cost only tripled, and Rico’s point stands.

  • 76 Dan Cooper // Nov 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Chris Keam writes, “…if a driver can rightfully expect there to be road space to use their vehicle, transit users should be able to reasonably expect a seat on transit for their fare during all operating hours…”

    Oh wow! I post a silly suggestion while riffing on the ridiculousness (alliteration alert!) of “full” buses that area actually a third empty and the socially phobic North Americans that cause this, and I get a response that is completely divorced from the reality of the universe in which we live…yet apparently competely seriously intended. Oh my.

    No public transit system anywhere in the world provides a guaranteed seat at all hours to every one of its riders. None of them even come vaguely close to such a thing, and in fact anything like it is simply impossible with current technology. I’m ruling out teleporters, you understand. There are often special services – e.g. designated, long distance commuter buses with severely limited hours, paratransit for the elderly and disabled – that do, but they are by far the minority of service provided. Why is this? Because a system that guaranteed a seat (or even a square metre of standing space so you don’t have to touch anyone else) would be ungodly expensive, not to mention wasteful since most of the massive number of vehicles that would be necessary at rush hour would sit empty the rest of the day. It would probably have to be either to a system of universally available chauffered (or Google driverless) taxis sitting on every street corner, or half the entire land area of the city devoted to rail lines and small rail cars going every which way. Since someone would have to pay for this (TANSTAAFL) it would either bankrupt the government, or would charge so much for each ride that no one would actually use the system (which would…bankrupt the government that built it).

    p.s. The fact is that car drivers also sit in traffic jams rather than being guaranteed road space whenever they want it, and for the same reason. There simply is not unlimited space, money and technology to make it otherwise.

  • 77 Dan Cooper // Nov 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    A correction and mea culpa: Social phobia is, of course, an actual problem for those who have it, and I should not have used it in reference to the behaviour I described above. Rather, I will say: “…’full’ buses that area actually a third empty because many North Americans will neither move back or out of the way so others can get in or past, nor (especially among Canadians) look at, speak to, or (heaven forbid) get close enough to another human even for a moment in passing that incidental contact between them might occur.”

  • 78 Chris Keam // Nov 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    @Dan:

    “The fact is that car drivers also sit in traffic jams rather than being guaranteed road space whenever they want it, and for the same reason. ”

    That’s a false analogy. For starters, I don’t know of anywhere in Canada where one can’t get their car onto the street because there isn’t room. Travel speed is irrelevant, as bus passengers undergo similar delays during peak periods. The reality is that automobile users are allocated a huge excess of road space, as evidenced simply by standing at any major intersection in Metro Vancover at any time outside of peak hours. There are hundreds of kilometres of unused space going to waste for at least 20 hours a day… to accommodate peak demand. Why should transit users be treated differently? Further, for your analogy to hold water, as one got closer to a major destination, there would be an expectation for drivers to have smaller vehicles, to take up less road space, just as a standing passenger on a bus takes up less floor space than a seated one.

    The actual reality is that it’s a question of prioritizing funding, not a lack thereof. After all, you can buy a train, bus, or plane ticket that will take you across the country for a few hundred dollars, seat guaranteed, and yet it’s impossible to ensure people can’t travel in comfort for a few kilometres for (soon-to-be) $2.75? It doesn’t wash.

    Any other form of transportation is ‘full’ when all the seats are taken… and in an automobile it’s against the law to take more passengers than seat belts. Transit users are clearly second-class citizens to the people that hold the purse strings. It’s the only logical explanation, otherwise we’d spend less on blacktop and more on mass methods of moving people safely and comfortably.

  • 79 Chris Keam // Nov 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    ““full” buses that area actually a third empty”

    Have you seen the Commercial Station/99b line situation in the morning? The buses so full at Cambie and Broadway in the afternoon, that it can take two or three pass-ups to enjoy the luxury of being forced into a too-close for comfort situation on a bus that epitomizes ‘packed to the gills’ . I don’t know if you actually ride the bus Dan, but my experience is that during peak hours there’s no extra room at all, and in fact there needs to be a certain amount of free aisle space for people to get off and on the bus, that rarely exists… the end result being that people miss their stop, or the bus has to wait even longer for the embarkation/disembarkation cycle to be completed. That’s not even mentioning the fact that the overcrowded transit in places like Japan has to allocate women-only cars to prevent unwanted sexual contact, and as I’ve already mentioned, that over-capacity transit renders buses basically unusable for people trying to travel with small children at peak hours. Been there, done that, got the Car2Go card to address the issue. More money out of the local economy because we are afraid of a true rationalization of road space that reflects a desire to move the most people for the lowest cost.

    cheers,

    CK

  • 80 Chris Keam // Nov 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    A final point.

    If we take your opinion that buses are two thirds full when only two thirds of the aisle space is being used, one could argue that all we need to do is roughly double transit capacity at peak periods, to ensure there’s seats for one and all. With Translink’s 2012 budget at roughly $1.3 billion (which of course includes road facilities, which would not have to necessarily be expanded to accommodate a larger bus fleet, and admin costs – [same as road vis a vis added expenditures not having to scale], it ‘only’ requires an additional $500m a year at the absolute uppermost estimate to guarantee a safe, comfortable experience for transit users. It sounds like a lot of money, but in reality, given what we know about the costs of other initiatives, from photo-opp fake lakes to $15m propaganda campaigns, (http://www.theprovince.com/business/Clark+must+defend+million+blitz/7504103/story.html#ixzz2BSxMKozA) what we have here is failure to prioritize.

  • 81 Chris Keam // Nov 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    OK, I guess one should never put ‘a final point’… because something invariably occurs to you five minutes later.

    My estimates regarding the cost to ensure safe, comfortable transit for all are grossly excessive, because not every route is standing room only/pass ups. It would only take investment in additional capacity on key routes to make our transit system as comfortable and easy to use as a SOV.

  • 82 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Timely link for Dan Cooper:

    http://sobadsogood.com/2012/11/18/the-nightmarish-reality-for-japanese-commuters-by-michael-wolf/

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