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TransLink starts consultations on service “optimization” as it becomes a service more concentrated on serving existing customers than shaping future demand

November 9th, 2012 · 284 Comments

Transportation experts talk about the two functions of transit. It can primarily serve, which means putting most of your transit where existing demand is. Or it can be used to shape — so transit lines are built or routed into areas where demand isn’t strong yet, but the hope is that if transit goes there, development, density and demand will follow.

As a result of all the pressure to be efficient, efficient, efficient, the system — which had been very focused on shaping (many suburban bus lines running every 15 minutes even though not necessarily full, the Millennium Line, the West Coast Express, etc etc ) —  is now shifting over more to the serving mode. As a result, this just-out announcement from TransLink consultations for “service optimiatization,” which to people in more suburban areas is likely to translate as service cuts.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to offer comments and suggestions on proposals to provide transit service around Metro Vancouver in more efficient and effective ways. Public consultation on a set of proposed bus service optimization changes will begin November 19. Draft plans for refining and redesigning certain services will be presented both online and at a series of local open houses across the region. Feedback received will be taken into consideration as the plans are finalized in the New Year.

Service optimization is a critical part of TransLink’s ongoing program of managing the transit network. Its goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transit network by reallocating existing resources from areas of low-productivity to areas where demand is higher. Using technology such as automated passenger counters and GPS tracking, TransLink planners can see how each bus route in the system is being used and use this information to better match transit supply to demand.

“Demand for transit service is growing in the region,” says TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis. “Our goal is to match that demand with an efficient service. Last year, we added 14 million more rides at no extra cost. We’re building on that success, and have a robust process in place to ensure we’re thinking about our customers and taxpayers as we plan and deliver transit service. We’ve done an analysis and now we want to hear from the public.”

The guiding principles for Service Optimization were established through consultations in 2010. One of those principles is to maintain service, to the greatest degree possible for transit-dependent customers while being efficient. (The guiding principles for Service Optimization can be found online at<>)

The increased ridership in 2011 through the optimization initiative generated 5 per cent more transit revenue, simply by shifting resources to where they were needed most. This indicates that service optimization is not only addressing current demand, but also generating more ridership.

The online consultation and open houses will continue through 4pm, December 13, with feedback being used to help finalize service changes. Any service adjustments will take effect later in 2013 or after.


Online consultation begins Monday, November 19 at<>. Comments will be welcome until December 13 at 4pm.

VANCOUVER (routes 2, 22, C21, C23)
Tues., Nov. 20, 4-7:30pm, Roundhouse Centre (Room B) – 181 Roundhouse Mews (off Pacific Blvd. at Davie)
2, 22: Combine as 22 and extend some short-turns to Knight and Kingsway
C21, C23: Separate services, extend C21 to Stanley Park and C23 along Terminal Ave

COQUITLAM (routes 153, 159, 177, 179, 189, C24, C29, C30, C38)
Wed. Nov. 21, 4 – 7:30 pm Evergreen Cultural Centre – Studio Theatre – 1205 Pinetree Way
153: Reroute via Schoolhouse Street to expand network coverage and reduce duplication
159, 177: Combine routes and discontinue service on low-demand segments
179, 189: Discontinue existing service and replace with new 188 David Avenue / Coast Meridian
C24: Reroute via Robinson and Foster to improve coverage and reduce duplication
C29, C30, C38: Reroute services near Coquitlam Centre to improve legibility and reliability

NEW WESTMINSTER (routes 101, 154, C98, C99)
Thurs. Nov. 22, 4 – 7:30pm Royal City Centre – Community Room – 620 – 6th St.
101, 154: Realign services to simplify network and improve directness of routes
C98, C99: Discontinue C99 and reroute C98 to improve service to Queensborough Landing area

SURREY (routes 312, 314, 332, 335, 502)
Wed. Nov. 28, Surrey City Central Library – Meeting Room 120 – 10350 University Drive (next to Surrey Central Station
312: Remove Scottsdale Mall detour to improve travel times and simplify route
314: Remove River Road segment to reduce duplication and simplify route
332, 335: Combine services and reroute via 72nd Ave to Newton Exchange
502: Introduce new 503 express service to Langley / Aldergrove and truncate 502 at Langley Centre

NORTH VANCOUVER (routes 211, 229, N24)
Thurs., Nov. 29, 4 – 7:30pm – Mollie Nye House, 940 Lynn Valley Rd.
211: Remove low-ridership Fairway detour
229: Split service at Lynn Valley and convert lower-demand portion to 227 community shuttle
N24: Reroute northern end of service to connect to Lynn Valley Town Centre

Tues. Dec. 4, 5 – 7:30pm – Aldergrove Community High School (Small gym), 26850 – 29th Ave.
502: Introduce new 503 express service to Langley / Aldergrove and end 502 at Langley Centre

PITT MEADOWS (route C41)
Wed. Dec. 5, 4 – 7:30pm – Pitt Meadows Family Rec Centre, 12027 Harris Road
C41: Convert to two-way service with reduced frequency and reroute via civic centre

MAPLE RIDGE (routes C48 & C49)
Thurs. Dec. 6, 4 – 7:30pm, ACT Arts Centre & Theatre, 11944 Haney Place
C48, C49: Discontinue service on lowest-demand segments and reroute C48 to connect with West Coast Express

WEST VANCOUVER (routes 251, 252)
Tues. Dec. 11, 4 – 7:30pm, West Vancouver Memorial Library (Welsh Hall), 1950 Marine Dr.
251, 252: Reroute and convert to two-way service with connections to higher-frequency 250

BURNABY (routes C1, C2)
Wed. Dec. 12, 5 – 7:30pm. Gilmore Community School (Gym), 50 South Gilmore Ave.
C1, C2: Combine routes and extend to Kensington Square

Categories: Uncategorized

284 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan Cooper // Nov 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    In Greece: Economy stinks; government cuts everyone’s pay and benefits; people have less money to spend on food and shelter; economy stinks even worse; cycle repeats.

    In Vancouver Metro: Money/political support for transit lacking; services slashed; opportunity (and motivation) for people to ride transit decreases; money/political support for transit falls further; repeat.

    Moral: In a downturn you either have stimulus or, very likely, collapse.

    My hope is that the BC government stops jerking around and undermining Translink and its regional leadership by vetoing their plans and constantly pushing them to think of “cheapest option” as the only goal, and lets them actually make some (hopefully good) decisions about what the region needs and how to pay for it.

  • 2 boohoo // Nov 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Agreed Dan.

    I have never seen an organization do so much consultation and discussion for plans it has no way of implementing. This is all pointless until the Province changes the way this whole thing operates.

  • 3 Richard // Nov 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Leaving people waiting longer especially in the cold dark and rain is not “savings” or “efficiencies”. It is just plain cruel. As Dan says, it is way past time that provincial politicians from all parties stepped up and solved the funding challenges. Only they have the power to do that. It is also time that people who use transit started to really stand up for transit and demand that provincial politicians take action.

    Right now, it seems like they only hear from the very vocal anti-tax minority.

  • 4 Richard // Nov 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Get OnBoard BC is a great place to start. The is a petition there as well as more info on what people can do.

  • 5 brilliant // Nov 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @Richard 3-the same anti-tax “minority” that voted to repeal the HST?

  • 6 Richard // Nov 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm


    That was really not an anti-tax protest. It was more about the way it was introduced right after the election without any warning or consultation. The PST and the GST are coming back so there really won’t even be lower taxes.

  • 7 gman // Nov 9, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I don’t think funding is the cause of translinks woes,its has more to do with the technology that was chosen that is far too expensive per km.If they would have gone with light rail from the beginning we would have miles more track and should have revived the old interurban line all the way to Chillawack.Here is an interesting take on the difference between the two.

  • 8 Voony // Nov 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Richard says”Leaving people waiting longer especially in the cold dark and rain is not “savings” or “efficiencies”.”

    I guess you are talking about the bus 5, isn’it?

    Vancouver is good at asking someone else to foot the bill of its own turpitude…
    Similarly: the Broadway corridor is touted as the busiest in NA…
    …and still doesn’t have a bus lane of its own?

    In neither case, the province is responsible… Vancouver has power to improve the bus system: not only it doesn’t but it make matter worse in many instances…it is apparently much easier to beg money to the Province – that is a spoiled kid behavior.
    (other kids bear responsability, but it is in Vancouver that translink spend most of bus budget)

    Regarding, the consultation Translink is doing…it will be implemented, it is cost saving measure, going in the right direction, in the sense they give Translink the impetuous to rationalize the system (like elimination of redundant routes 2/22).

    gman, does someone already explained you the difference between operating and capital budget?

  • 9 gman // Nov 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    “gman, does someone already explained you the difference between operating and capital budget?”

    Im not sure what that statement is supposed to mean perhaps you could clarify what you mean.As far as I am concerned the choice of skytrain over LRT is a huge cost mistake and it has been proven over and over again,they shot their wad on skytrain and even if we could afford to carry the debt on a service that only serves an agenda leaning towards modules of mini cities and super concentrated density it has failed miserably to serve the rest of the lower mainland and the valley.Just look at the numbers,the exorbitant amount of money spent on a non neighborhood friendly system is a fail.

  • 10 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:11 am


    If you look at the numbers, SkyTrain has been very successful. The ridership is much greater than any LRT system in North America. Around 100,000 boardings a day greater than Calgary’s system, which is the second best. The Canada Line’s ridership alone is greater than the whole LRT system in Portland. The regional transit mode share for all trips has increased 3 percentage points in the last few years. In the Amercan cities with LRT, the transit mode share typically has not increased or increased by just 1 percentage point.

    The transit commuting mode share in Burnaby increased to 25% in Burnaby by 2006, the same as Vancouver’s.

    I’m not sure why people think it is surprising that fast frequent rapid transit attracts a lot more people than LRT.

  • 11 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:19 am


    Yes, all cities in the region could and should do more to speed up buses but that is still not going come anywhere close to providing the levels of transit needed. Bringing up the 5 is just a distraction from the bigger issues.

    This is a growing region and much more sevice is needed. The Broadway Line was supposed to be completed by now and better transit is badly needed South of the Fraser.

    For the last 12 years ever since they backed down on the vehicle levy, the Province had refused to give the region the funding sources needed for a great transit system.

  • 12 gman // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Richard those aren’t the numbers I am talking about,I’m talking about the cost per km to build it.If we would have gone with light rail we could have vastly improved coverage and accessibility. But that wouldn’t fit with the agenda of only servicing these multi story density zones that are being pushed on us by the social engineers that are so sure what is best for you and I. But of course you have your own agenda and I’m afraid that yours is not all inclusive.

  • 13 gman // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Richard,just curious was that you commenting on the link I provided?

  • 14 gman // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Richard,I should also say that I worked on Edmonton’s LRT and usedit daily and later on the skytrain,and all we could do was shake our heads at what an overpriced farce it is.

  • 15 gman // Nov 10, 2012 at 1:01 am

    You might want to look at this study that also shows the numbers on ridership.

  • 16 rico // Nov 10, 2012 at 7:41 am

    gman I will ignore the railforthevalley refernces so I don’t snort cornflakes out my nose. The real issue is this if you could go back in time and turn Skytrain into a cheaper LRT would the extra money have been spent on extra transit or gone to extra roads. In almost every N. american city the extra money went to roads instead so it is likely that investing in the higher upfront costs for better transit paid off. In otherwords we would still have about the same number/km of rapid transit it would just be LRT instead of Skytrain.

  • 17 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 9:29 am


    No doubt that it can be less expense per km to build surface LRT but often not as less expensive as some claim. The problem is that you get what you pay for. When running on city streets it is slower due to intersections and to try and avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles. Rail vehicles have longer stopping distances than buses and their lack of streeting means that it is harder for them to avoid collisions.

    Slower speeds means lower ridership and revenue and higher operating costs. Also, more trains are needed to carry an given level of ridership. More space is also needed to store these vehicles.

    It is also not apparent that if LRT was built, the money saved would go towards building more LRT. Chances are that the money saved would have gone to other projects such as highways or bridges. None of the cities in North America that have used LRT have systems that are significantly longer than the SkyTrain network. Many are much

    The “study” referred to in the link has several flaws. Note that it was written by a vocal opponent of SkyTrain. It ignores the fact that the capital cost per trip goes down as the number of riders increases over time. The study appears to have just taken figures from an arbrary year. The proper approach would be to use the total estimated ridership over a 30 or 40 year period. A better measure than ridership would be the riders that have switched from driving to transit especially when calculated GHG emissions reductions. Difficult to do but not impossible. For this, SkyTrain tends to perform really well.

    Anyway, such a study is of no use when evaluating transit in a particular corridor as each corridor will have different costs and levels of ridership. Options should be fairly compared against each other in terms of both costs and benefits.

  • 18 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 9:35 am


    Thanks for bringing up Edmonton’s LRT. It is an excellent example against the claim that we would have a larger network and more ridership if this region had used LRT instead of SkyTrain. Their ridership is only around 100,000 per day while ours is 400,000.

  • 19 gman // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Richard # 18
    We have about four times the population compared to Edmonton and we also have about 68 km of track compared to about 21 km in Edmonton,so I would say Edmonton’s LRT is more efficient.They also have to deal with snow and that shows LRT to be much more robust.I think we all know what happens to skytrain when we get one of our rare snowfalls.I may be off on my total length of track numbers,if so feel free to correct me.

  • 20 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:33 am


    We have only 3 times the. population of Edmonton. Anyway, a larger population is another arguement in favour of a higher capacity system like SkyTrain.

    The bottom line is that SkyTrain has proven to be cost effective wat to attract transit ridership as well as encourage denser communities where people can walk to many destinations. If you objectively look at the numbers, it is really hard to come up with a different conclusion.

  • 21 Piker // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Those that can’t do, plan. And TransLink has a vast overload of planners.

    Amazing that Coquitlam is going to take the brunt of these cuts, given that runs they are cutting (179/C29 serving Westwood Plateau and Silver Springs) are already overcrowded and have passups every single morning on the Johnson/Guildford/Pinetree sections). And when a passup in Coquitlam occurs, you are waiting 30 minutes, unlike a 5 minute wait in Vancouver.

    God forbid we even think about rationalizing service levels in Vancouver to 15 minute levels.

  • 22 mike0123 // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    These “service optimizations” are mostly minor changes to routes to remove detours and duplication. These minor route changes do not go nearly far enough.

    The bus networks in Burnaby, New Westminster, and Coquitlam were haphazardly pieced together over the last 50 years or so. They are not well-designed, and they never really were designed per se.

    There has never been a significant effort to make the routes make sense at the network level, even when SkyTrain lines have been built. There have only been occasional little tweaks like the ones now proposed, which are helpful but not in a way that really matters.

    Translink needs to redesign the network from the ground up following the principles it outlines on its Managing the Transit Network website if it wants to have a coherent and frequent transit network.

    Translink needs to ask itself:
    – why are there are four bus routes at Coquitlam Rec Centre?
    – why is the spacing between bus routes in New Westminster half that in Vancouver?
    – why do bus routes in Burnaby meander so much? (In Coquitlam it’s to get to the Rec Centre)
    – why are there nearly empty bus routes parallel to the SkyTrain in North Burnaby when the more useful routes run North-South?

    Once you start asking these kind of questions, it quickly becomes obvious that the entire network needs to be looked at.

  • 23 mike0123 // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    These changes are not really about choosing to serve existing demand or to shape growth.

    If you look at the actual changes proposed, they are mostly:
    – to remove a detour to make a route faster
    – to add a detour to increase coverage
    – to combine routes end-to-end into a longer route
    – to combine multiple routes operating on a street into a single route to make headways more consistent

  • 24 gman // Nov 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Richard its about cost otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation.If you have more miles of track at a lesser cost you service more people,so what if the commute might be 5,10 or 15 minutes more if the train is more accessible to more areas I think that’s a reasonable trade off.

  • 25 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm


    But if those extra miles of track are not attracting more people to transit, what is the point. Might as well just improve the bus service. Typical LRT is not any faster than a bus. Sometimes even slower. The numbers show that LRT is just not getting the results that SkyTrain does.

    As well, this conversation is mainly about operating costs and the operating costs for SkyTrain are less than that of LRT especially when ridership is high.

    Anyway, going forward, more funding is needed for transit expansion regardless of whether it is LRT, SkyTrain or bus. I’m not sure why LRT supporters fail to realize that and seem to endlessly debate decisions that have already been made.

    The Province needs to show leadership or there will be no transit expansion of any kind.

  • 26 Voony // Nov 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Richard said:

    Yes, all cities in the region could and should do more to speed up buses but that is still not going come anywhere close to providing the levels of transit needed. Bringing up the 5 is just a distraction from the bigger issues.”

    By this account turning off the light when you leave the room is a distraction: omitting to do it doesn’t prevent you to give lesson to others on how to save energy.

    Of course the route 5 is not a distraction : it shows how serious the city is about transit or not!

    CoV does a political statement by seizing 30% of the road for the bike path: I am fine with that. It not only refuses to do the same for buses, but do the opposite…That is also a political statement, not a distraction…

    Since People like to take Paris example, bike share, bike path and all the like…it is worth to mention that Paris is also very serious on bus lane, making them fully segregated…
    It looks like the one here , one of the latest addition continuing a 10 years policy (open to cyclist btw, and notice the raised pedestrian crossing): Well here you have example of what means serious about Transit/pedestrian/cyclist and not driven by an one issue ideological agenda. How you call the Vision’s transportation policy?

  • 27 mike0123 // Nov 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Slower trains and buses cost more to operate. This is one of the reasons for Translink’s service optimizations, specifically to remove detours.

    SkyTrain typically has a higher capital cost and a lower operating cost than LRT. The capital cost of LRT rises with the degree of grade separation, and the operating cost of LRT rises with frequency. SkyTrain is necessarily fully grade-separated and the operating costs don’t scale with frequency to the same degree due to automation. At some level of grade separation and frequency, the overall cost of LRT can exceed the cost of SkyTrain. For example, the cost of the West LRT in Calgary is about $1.5b for 8.2 km and the cost of the Orange Line in Portland is about $1.5b for 11 km, both more than the Evergreen line on a per km basis. Both these lines are likely to be slower, less frequent, less reliable, and more expensive to operate than SkyTrain.

  • 28 Voony // Nov 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm


    You refer too much to a pathetic website, and other commentators have given the reason why.

    Sticking to the topic:
    Translink has a operating budget problem, not a capital one (it has lot of money to spend on transit capital, thanks to the federal gas tax transfer).

    We could join the choir of those endlessly claiming more money but. I don’t do that because:

    (1) you need to lead by example – and as I demonstrated before it is not the case
    (2) A Transit network is like a tree, if you want it growth healthy, you need to have pruning seasons

    Translink fiscal constraint provides a good political opportunity to do this “pruning”, and I agree with Mike0123, Translink doesn’t do nearly enough of those “pruning”.

    here is an example of what I would like see Translink doing: (this is for Richmond, but the philosophy can be applied everywhere)

    The pathetic website you refer too will present Sacramento as a LRT success, google “sacramento-a-lrt-success” and you will get the picture if you happen to click on the right link happening to compare financial figure with the Evergreen line one

  • 29 mike0123 // Nov 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    LRT can be practical on existing streets where two lanes are dedicated to it or on rail rights-of-way as long as it stays on the surface at intersections. The cost of grade separation at intersections will make it cost as much as SkyTrain.

    For example, LRT can be practical in Surrey on King George and 104th as long as it stays on the surface. If the council starts demanding grade separation at key intersections, it will quickly become as expensive as SkyTrain.

  • 30 Voony // Nov 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    didn’t read Richard @25:

    “The Province needs to show leadership or there will be no transit expansion of any kind.”

    No, it should read “The cities needs to show leaderdship, and this is leading by example”

    As seen before, It doesn’t happen here…

  • 31 Roger Kemble // Nov 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    mike123 @ #29

    . . . grade separation at key intersections . . .“. No need to go overboard.

    Have a ride on the Toronto Dundas Street tram: it’s easy, safe and convenient and been on track for along time.

    Motorists know where it is by watching its rails and can keep out of the way. And knows it makes frequent stops for passengers without veering off those track.

    So long as every one goes moderate with the bottle, no prob!

  • 32 Roger Kemble // Nov 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    PS Why not just call it what it is . . . a tram car!

  • 33 A Dave // Nov 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Richard, as I pointed out to MB some months back, Translink’s own site states that the difference in travel time between LRT and Skytrain for the proposed Broadway line is a mere 9 minutes. You cannot justify the exorbitant cost, kneecapping the region’s whole system by building only one rapid transit line every decade or so, for NINE minutes.

    That’s the wait after one missed bus (due to it being too full) on every other major route, you know?

    Like the density issue — where Vancouver needs more products in between micro condos and monster homes — our transit system needs to start building more alternatives between rapid transit and buses. Developing an LRT system – one of the NPA’s few good ideas of late – should be the priority for the city now.

    Furthermore, no amount of data sets or reports will show the fact that Vancouver’s distinct neighbourhoods were SHAPED by LRT (streetcars), and this has left a legacy of livability and uniqueness that continues to this day (although it is now under siege by the blind, hyper-density advocates).

    Which leads to the other half of this equation: can anyone point to one single successful neighbourhood in this region outside a downtown that has been shaped by Skytrain? Just ONE that would be considered successful urban design?

  • 34 gman // Nov 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    “You refer too much to a pathetic website, and other commentators have given the reason why.”

    Thats pretty funny Voony I’m sure the feeling is……But if you don’t mind I think I will go with the guy that is trying to save money and actually get some track laid in order to service more area rather than the guy promoting something that is far to expensive and serves only to divide cities into a bunch of over density nodes.

  • 35 F.H.Leghorn // Nov 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Stuart Parker has some interesting things to say about “consultation”, and even includes a secret memo on the subject which may or may not have been written by Dr. Ballem.

  • 36 mike0123 // Nov 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Until now, large commercial/industrial sites have been spot-rezoned for towers while the zoning for the rest of the area has been left unchanged. When the zoning makes the change you want illegal, the transportation technology can hardly be blamed for the result. If small apartments and rowhouses are the desired form, advocate for zoning that allows them in a walkable radius around stations like Commercial, Nanaimo, 29th Avenue, and Joyce!

    Tramways are no remedy for restrictive zoning.

    Tramways are expensive to build compared to bus routes. Luckily, most of the changes made when converting a bus to a tram can also be applied to buses in the interim by doing things like:
    – increasing the typical distance between stops to about walking distance (and also combining local and B-Lines into a common mode)
    – straightening routes (You can see the discipline in Vancouver’s trolley network compared to Burnaby’s mess.)
    – separating bus routes consistently at about 800 m to 1000 m apart (Again, the Vancouver network conforms to this rule for north-south routes, which effectively maximizes the number of residences within walking distance per route-km, while suburban bus networks often put routes closer together)
    – putting the bus route in dedicated lanes

  • 37 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm


    The cities number one transportation priority is pedestrians, as it should be. Paris has many car free streets. I’m sure in some cases transit service could be improved there by running buses down these streets but they have chosen not to. Almost all streets that people want to be on downtown have a bus on them so it would be pretty much impossible to have successful pedestrian streets without impacting bus service somewhere.

    Also, ped streets are a huge mobility improve for pedestrians. The don’t have to walk to intersections or wait for signals to walk across the street. On a street like Robson with huge volumes of pedestrians, it would not surprise me if the total time saved by making it a ped street is greater than any extra time experienced by transit users on the 5. Ped streets also reduce the time to access transit stations and stops nearby thus likely increasing the catchment area of transit and reducing overall trip times for some.

  • 38 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm


    Please produce some examples back your claim that more track would get built if LRT was used as opposed to SkyTrain and that transit ridership would be higher. As I have said before, North American cities that have gone with LRT typically have fewer miles of track. Any savings has likely gone into roads instead. So, if we had gone for LRT, the result here would have likely been more road construction not more LRT.

    Many people support spending more money for SkyTrain as they see the benefit to them personally or at least they figure it is more likely to get other drivers off the streets. Some also support it because it is less likely to cause traffic delays.

    The benefits of better faster transit are huge. These include more affordable transportation choices, less congestion, fewer crashes, more physical activity, less pollution, etc. Instead of arguing about how to make it cheaper, we should be publicizing the benefits of better transit.

  • 39 rico // Nov 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Gman, I frequently read and sometimes even comment on railforthevalley and I have started to think it is an anti transit site, it HATES everything but LRT and the car and at the same time it discredits LRT with unrealistic and unachievable claims. I basically think it exists to try and limit transit spending by trashing Translink….did Translink do something to Zeisystem in a past life? I am guessing you should read a few more of the commentary from Zei and see just how twisted and hateful it is. There is a reason people consider the site as being way out there…You may also try and get references from him about most of his claims. His standard answer is always everyone knows that or some unnamed expert told him so. If that works for you I have some land for you in Florida, guaranteed not to be swamp.

  • 40 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm


    Or land in Florida where elections are run fair and competently :)

  • 41 Voony // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm


    “The cities number one transportation priority is pedestrians, as it should be. “

    yes, but
    pedestrian priority doesn’t equal to pedestrian only

    “Paris has many car free streets”. yeah, an handfull of their 6000 streets are pedestrians, like the 2m60 wide St rustique street…
    I’m sure in some cases transit service could be improved there by running buses down these streets but they have chosen not to.
    No, it is not the case in Paris. If you check the Paris bus map. you will see it is very efficiently ran considering the Paris street grid, and so far I know, no bus has been rerouted for the sake of making a space pedestrian only…
    In London, they could have choose to do so, but didn’t, they run the bus on the “pedestrian” priority” Exhibition road.

    In Vancouver
    Richard said Almost all streets that people want to be on downtown have a bus on them
    And why that?
    could it be that the bus has contributed to make the street attractive enough for people to want stay hang out there? If so, what happen if you remove the bus?

    it would be pretty much impossible to have successful pedestrian streets without impacting bus service somewhere.
    And why that ?

    Also, ped streets are a huge mobility improve for pedestrians. The don’t have to walk to intersections or wait for signals to walk across the street.
    That is why we have the shared space concept. Have a bus running there every 5 mn or so, is only an improvement on the top of that, not an impediment. (it is also what Erickson had find in 1974 as I mentioned in my blog).

    Richard, it looks you want pedestrian street for the sake to have pedestrian street …and seems to measure the success of this goal by the ability to bar other traffic of the street

    Me I want vibrant and lively street (without recourse to programming/disneylandisation of the space).

    exclusive pedestrianization is not a goal but a possible mean… among others. And it needs to be handled carefully…I will quote Jane Jacobs:
    The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually ( and economically) its people…

    Pretty often, what many mistake as pedestrian streets is just that. Paris has in fact many of street like it (de facto pedestrian, but not legally pedestrian). La Ramblas in Barcelona, which is open to traffic including buses, is among that too.

    To (pathetically) show to gman that I like trams, and to show how successful “pedestrian space” rhymes with transit:

  • 42 Ryan // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I think the most telling indictment of LRT is the comparison between Portland’s MAX and Vancouver’s system. Both cities have similar populations and densities.

    However, Portland’s entire 84 km LRT system has a lower ridership than the Canada line by 10,000 riders per year.

    “In three years of operation, a single SkyTrain line spanning 20 kilometres has attracted more riders per year than an entire LRT system operating over four times the service area, and for more than 26 years.”

    Read this:

  • 43 Richard // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm


    Seriously, with a grid with streets only 100 meters apart, there is no reason why just a few of them can’t be pedestrian streets. Thanks for bringing up Barcelona. There are many pedestrian streets there that are just fantastic. How about finding creative solutions rather than thinking up excuses why it can’t work here.

  • 44 Glissando Remmy // Nov 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Thought of The Night

    “Moskovskoe Metro, Chas Pick… Moscow’s Metro, Rush Hour.”

    Yes, I know Moscow Metro’s stations are a delight to look at, when they are empty of passengers, but during ‘rush hour’ it’s a rat trap, a terrorist’s ‘happy hour’, a perfect crime plotter’s dream…
    It’s that bad.

    I see some people in here are making the case for just that, a bright future awaits, there is three times the capacity left in the Skytrain’s miracle back-pocket. I’m all wet, I think I’m going to faint of excitement. The suspense of not knowing is killin’ me!

    If you paid attention to the video the train has 7 (seven) cars, the usual length of a Moscow Metro car’s average specifications are:
    Length: 19 to 28.15 m;
    Width: 2.7m
    Height: 3.57 m.
    Capacity: 344/382 passengers depending of the model (articulated car or not)
    Max. speed: 90 km/h
    Average length of stations are consistent at 162 m each, so they are able to accommodate 8 (19m) cars.

    Perehod s vorovitzkoy na biblioteku Lenina, Moskovskoe Metro … which is me telling you, that the video clip was shot inside the Lenin Library Station, Moscow Metro …

    Now my question to you all who want this kind of future transit to land in your neighborhood is… really?
    No but, seriously. Really?
    This is how you see yourselves, how you see your kids, in 20-30 years? Stampeding over each other… Really? Why… so some schmucks could make a bit of profit on his/ her 295 sqft Oakridge Murphy’s Condo? (hey, have you heard the good news from London, UK, Knightsbridge/ Harrods area? A 60.5 sqft for $280,000 !), efff, yeah!
    BTW, FYI a snooker table area is … 72 sqft.

    If this is what it is envisioned for this city of ours, then …
    “Dear Translink, Vancouver Leaders & City Builders… Comrades, up yours, for having such a remarkable Vision!”

    My jeeviem v Vankuvere, I eto pomogaiet nam signal zaniato… We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 45 Voony // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Richard, there is lot of street where there is no bus…why not choose those?

    Now, I think I have explained enough you can have successful pedestrian priority street with buses, and why you would like that.

    I return the question: why you think it can’t work here?

    PS: In Barcelona, you can rent bikes at BudgetBike, which is located on a pedestrian street according to GoogleMap…should be not possible, isn’it? Could it be that this street “too narrow for good vehicle movement” is “defacto pedestrian” for reasons I mention in comment41? Btw how many pedestrian street in the Eixample district, or to put it more bluntly: how many street wider than a Vancouver alley are pedestrians only in Barcelona – That revolves to what I say before

  • 46 Voony // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Richard, there is lot of streets where there is no bus…why not choose those?

    Now, I think I have explained enough you can have successful pedestrian priority street with buses, and why you would like that.

    I return the question: why you think it can’t be done here?

    PS: In Barcelona, you can rent bikes at BudgetBike, which is located on a pedestrian street according to GoogleMap…should be not possible, isn’it? Could it be that this street “too narrow for good vehicle movement” is “defacto pedestrian” for reasons I mention in comment41? Btw how many pedestrian street in the Eixample district, or to put it more bluntly: how many street wider than a Vancouver alley are pedestrians only in Barcelona – That revolves to what I say before

  • 47 Voony // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

    sorry for double posting…

    Your video link is curious GR, a bit too many people are filming the crowd to consider that as an usual day…and train looks surprisingly empty…
    Normally a rush hour look more like it:

    (this video doesn’t render the filthy smell of this station: the transit agency had commissioned an expert, perfumer Céline Ellena to describe it: a mixture of cat urine, rotten eggs, dirt socks and sulfur is what people are smelling in the video).

    But that was not the topic of the post, was it?

  • 48 Glissando Remmy // Nov 11, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Voony… #47,
    LOL! My video is what? Curious?
    You got me.
    I confess, it was shot during my last movie, Mission Impossible V – The Metro Carambole.
    As for the cameras… I ALWAYS carry my camera with me. Period.
    Every kid, with a cellphone, would have taken a picture of that crowd. I know I would have!
    “Surprisingly empty” LOL, are you kiddin’ me?
    You sure, you’ve been watching the same clip?
    As for perfumer Celine Ellena… I have news for you, every morning I took the Metro in Paris… the air was filled with a suave urine – citrus fragrance.
    Who knows, could have been Celine’s!
    To be or not to be… the question remains… this is what you want to see here?

  • 49 Frank Ducote // Nov 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

    If the question were simply whether people here would prefer what we have for rail transit here (4 radial spokes focused on a central Vancouver hub) or an extensive Parisian-type network, I think I know which one I’d vote for.

  • 50 Sean Nelson // Nov 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

    @gman #9: “I don’t think funding is the cause of translinks woes,its has more to do with the technology that was chosen that is far too expensive per km.”

    The reason Skytrain is more expensive per km isn’t because of the technology It’s go nothing to do with Bombardier or automation or linear induction motors – it’s because it’s GRADE SEPARATED. Any grade separated system, whether it’s heavy rail, light rail, or even buses, is going to be more expensive.

    But when your transit ridership becomes high enough, there are good reasons to do grade separation:

    – it has higher capacity than surface routes
    – it has faster transit times than surface routes
    – automation means it has higher frequencies and lower operating costs than surface routes

    Vancouver is benefiting highly from Skytrain compared to the alternative. All you have to do is to look at the Herculian efforts to transport the demand along the Broadway corridor to understand the limits of at-grade transit.

    If we had gone with surface transportation, there’d be a lot fewer people in Vancouver using transit today, even if we had built more routes.

  • 51 rico // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Right now I see the problem as being the operational budget. We don’t have enough money to run all the buses we want to run, that would still be true regardless if we build skytrain or LRT in Port Moody and Surrey. We need politicians of all levels to work together to bring stable funding to transit, unfortunately I don’t see anything happening till after the election because I don’t imagine municipal leaders will waste alot of time negotiating with Christy when she has pulled the rug out so many times and it is likely she will be gone next spring.

  • 52 Roger Kemble // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Sean @ #50

    All you have to do is to look at the Herculian efforts to transport the demand along the Broadway corridor to understand the limits of at-grade transit.

    I am not quite sure what you mean by “ Herculian efforts “. The corridor in question is essentially the function of UBC semester scheduling: SFU to a lesser extent. So far busses manage albeit inadequately.

    Do you remember the Olympic rush to get the Cambie Line running? Business rupture, law suites etc! Surely you do not expect the same massive disruption and expense to be replicated on Broadway: good heaven’s the town would close down.

    One significant outcome of the Cambie Line is that traffic on Cambie and Oak and associated thoroughfares have not abated, indeed is worse. YVR parking is as congested as ever.

    As we learned from building freeways, the more we accommodate one mode of TX sooner or later it fills to over capacity. Indeed no TX modal split can work because single minded obsessions, solves nothing!

    In Vancouver Metro’s case the problem is development still follows a 1950’s sprawl pro forma: one day we may twig and begin a pro forma of Work/live/amenity relationship.

    Until then, the TX gossips blog on with Skype and Goggle earth, giving us an up to date account of conditions world wide. I had no idea the Moscow subway stinks of moggies piss and thanqxz for the note: I will remember not to go there! On the other hand I am delighted the Paris Metro Is still unable to reach up to Monmartre.

    Interesting to follow sin embargo: that crazy spiral staircase would beat up on me now though!!

    Not long after Frances started her blog, three/four years ago the obsession was cycling and bike lanes. Fortunately cyclatistas had a sympathetic mayor: ergo bike friendly legislation and bike lanes appeared almost immediately. Judging by the quietitude now the biksters are quietly happy.

    Nevertheless bikes, which constitute some 3% of road traffic has done nothing to abate emissions and certainly nothing for road congestion. And a lot of merchants are very pissed off.

    What that has to do with Vancouver is well . . . given the current fiscal stand off we may never know.

    And maybe that’s a blessing!

  • 53 Chris Keam // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Bikes constitute 3% of trips, but certainly not 3% of traffic, if we look at the actual use of road space. The causes of road congestion are crystal clear if one listens to the regular traffic reports in the morning and evening, spotlighting where the actual congestion occurs and why. Bike lanes (at least for me) where barracked for as a reasonable and cost-effective amenity necessary to improve the mobility options available to all. Automobile users will have to find a solution to road congestion that suits them and is proven to be a good use of public funds. The lack of a well-publicized, safe, reliable online forum to arrange car pools is just one of a myriad of flaws with the present system, and should be a top priority for automobile advocacy organizations such as ICBC, BCAA, Translink, et al, ;-). Their failure(s) to take on this task will result in more congestion, lost economic opportunity, and most egregious, death and injury.

  • 54 Chris Keam // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    sorry… “were barracked for”

  • 55 rico // Nov 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Roger, I can’t speak to Oak and Cambie but parking at YVR is way emptier now. That said I would expect traffic on Oak, Cambie and Granville to be about the same as pre Canada line because of latent trip demand. All those people taking the Canada line free up space on the roads so people who would have stayed home before now make the trip and fill up the space freed by the transit users. There are several important things to note: road congestion stays about the same but total trips (economic activity) increases. The extra trips are lower pollution. The presence of reliable rapid transit allows people to invest in businesses along the corridor resulting in more services near the corridor and therefore more opportunities for pedestrian trips.

  • 56 Sean Nelson // Nov 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    @Roger Kemble #52: “I am not quite sure what you mean by “ Herculian efforts “. The corridor in question is essentially the function of UBC semester scheduling: SFU to a lesser extent. So far busses manage albeit inadequately.”

    The key word is “inadequately”. There are regular and consistent pass-ups on buses in the Broadway corridor, but the buses are maxed out in terms of capacity (i.e., we use articulated vehicles) and frequency. Adding more buses doesn’t solve the problem because in mixed traffic the buses end up bunching together, resulting in “convoys” with some half-empty vehicles and long gaps between bunches.

    Yes, UBC is a big contributor to the problem, and Translink has added many alternative routes specifically to try to redirect UBC passengers away from Broadway. Still hasn’t solved the problem. And when the Evergreen line starts dumping Coquitlam students into the mix it will get even worse.

    UBC needs a grade separated solution. It will cost more than an at-grade line, but it will be far better for transit users, attract far more ridership, and open up more vehicle capacity on the street itself. We’ll pay more, but we’ll get more benefits too. In fact over the long term we’ll probably save money by building a long term solution first rather than nickle-and-diming marginal improvements every few years.

  • 57 Sean Nelson // Nov 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    @Sean Nelson # 56: “UBC needs a grade separated solution. ”

    Actually, I don’t really mean all the way to UBC, I mean the Broadway corridor to at least Granville. I think there’s less justification for grade separation beyond that point.

  • 58 Richard // Nov 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    @A Dave

    While granted, SkyTrain (RRT) is more expensive to build, it performs much better than LRT. RRT by 2030 is expect to have 332,000 trips per day and 40,000 new trips per day as compared to
    160,000 trips per day and 9,000 new transit trips for LRT.

    Once the lower operating costs and much higher ridership revenue is taken into account, the total cost difference is much less than it first seems. As with the Canada Line, the incremental ridership revenue and decreased operating costs can be used to cover a portion of the capital costs (although nowhere near all of it). According to TransLink’s calculations a year ago (which likely have changed), the difference over 30 years is around $1 billion (the capital cost difference is $2 billion).

    In probably the key metric, cost per new trip, RRT is expected to cost $3.9 per new trip
    the least expensive LRT is estimated to cost $7 per trip.

    As far as travel time goes, 9 minutes is a significant time savings. That is 18 minutes per day. The LRT takes 50% longer. As well, for people using the Millennium Line, there is no transfer, which will likely save them an additional 3-4 minutes. The transfer to the Canada Line will likely be quicker as well since they would both be underground. Now, transfers to buses could be a bit quicker with LRT, maybe 30 seconds or so, but this would be negated by less frequent service especially at off-peak hours. With

    As well, I would really be surprised if the LRT can make it from Commercial to UBC in 28 minutes. LRT can be fast in separated corridors like old railway lines and freeway right of ways but it is rather slow on city streets with lots of crossings. In downtown Portland, for example, it takes their LRT 23 minutes to cover the 3.9 km distance from Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson to NE Holladay St. Sure, there are a couple of turns and closely spaced stops in Portland, but it is hard to believe that LRT on Broadway would be fast enough to make it the 10km to UBC in just 28 minutes. Calgary’s system is a bit faster, covering the 4km distance from Crowfoot Station to Sunnyside Station in 14 minutes.

    Broadway has a lot of pedestrian and bike crossings. It takes LRT vehicles significantly longer to stop than buses so it is really not a good idea to run them at over 30kph (or even 20kph) in areas where there is mixed traffic. In addition to causing fatalities and injuries, collisions also disrupt the schedule causing long waits for passengers so there is likely really no benefit at all in higher speeds. If they end up having to run LRT slower, that increases operating costs and reduces ridership revenue.

    Now they could close ped and bike crossings by putting a fence down the middle of the street but that really is counter productive as encouraging walking and cycling is important as well. The City would likely not approve of this.

    Without rapid transit at street level, the city could widen sidewalks or add curb bulges decreasing crossing times and improving pedestrian safety. They could also increase the length and frequency of walk signals further decreasing pedestrian and cyclist travel times. This would be very hard if not impossible with LRT.

    I suspect that the signal priority given to the LRT to improve travel times likely will slow down buses, pedestrians and cyclists crossing Broadway. I’m not sure so they should really look into this. For the buses, this would increase operating costs and perhaps decrease ridership.

    Given the much greater ridership and new riders attracted, SkyTrain sure seems like the way to go. As well, in the longer term (30 years+), LRT might not be able to handle the demand. Given the experience on Cambie of a rapid transit line that is likely under built, lets make the correct choice on Broadway both for now and long into the future.

    Here is the link with some of the info:

  • 59 Richard // Nov 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    @A Dave

    Here is the link for LRT:

  • 60 MB // Nov 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Excellent comments Richard, Rico, Sean and Voony.

    I am not surprised that g man considers cheap is better while ignoring operating costs and quality of service.

    There is a place for LRT, but never where it would displace perfectly good trolley bus service or where underground utilities would be a hindrance. Both kf these scenarios would have serious cost implications and make LRT advocatespecially look foolish.

  • 61 Adele Chow // Nov 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    The best thing that the new NDP government could do is to immediately fold Translink into Metro Vancouver and give the region the option of implementing a vehicle tax. (i.e., Translink would cease to exist with Metro taking responsibility for transportation planning and ownership of transit companies.) I think Metro politicians would be happy with this move as long as they are given new funding tools.

  • 62 rico // Nov 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I don’t have strong feelings about transit agency governance as long as there is enough funding and it is not fragmented(ie it stays as metro Vancouver not Vancouver, Surrey ect., and buses, skytrain ect. stay integrated).

  • 63 Voony // Nov 12, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Roger@52 said:

    “As we learned from building freeways, the more we accommodate one mode of TX sooner or later it fills to over capacity. Indeed no TX modal split can work because single minded obsessions, solves nothing!”

    To be sure, Roger, Louis Dausset didn’t have to wait the freeways to say the same thing as soon as 1909:

    “When we built the Metropolitan and encourage the development of trams, we gave our citizens and visitors a test for moving about…So underground transport does nothing to reduce surface movement in Paris; on the contrary, it multiply it”

    And it is a good thing, for the reason explained by Rico, which are also pregnant in my previous Jane Jacobs quote:
    The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually ( and economically) its people…

    …Reasons, why I guess I have different opinion from Richard on the pedestrian street.

    Sean@56 said:
    but the buses are maxed out in terms of capacity (i.e., we use articulated vehicles) …

    Well not so fast! In anycase, if a subway is chosen, it will not come inline before 2020…and then it will probably not go further tha Arbutus…so something need to be done with the bus: current bus could be maxed out…but there are bus more suitable for high volume route around, as well bus bunching (route reliability) can be avoided by management of the street putting better emphasis on the bus movements ( Half scramble at Cambie#Broadway could be part of the solution…):

  • 64 David // Nov 12, 2012 at 3:05 am

    >: can anyone point to one single successful neighbourhood in this region outside a downtown that has been shaped by Skytrain? Just ONE that would be considered successful urban design?

    Shaped by SkyTrain. Is it successful? It’s certainly expanded since the 2009 streetview.

    Broadway LRT only 9 minutes slower than Skytrain? At a 3 minute frequency? On a two way street?

  • 65 Roger Kemble // Nov 12, 2012 at 6:41 am

    A couple of weeks ago Frances wrote this . . .
    . . . in her G&M column.

    The project will include two floors of industrial space.” attracted my attention. This is a very promising, one small step for man!.

    The immediate implication is the distinct possibility of work close to home: i.e. the end of the long commute, reduce the need for shiny trinkets we cannot afford!

    We were, once, buoyed by false hope at the introduction of the digital age: the dream then was to work at home obviating the need to commute: that hope was soon lead ballooned.

    The new implication is work/living/amenity proximity: eliminating the need for grotesquely expensive technology, intrusion into established neighbourhoods and unsightly ugly shiny trinkets and the [poise they incur.

    Work/living/amenity proximity, extant during the industrial revolution, was abandoned for obvious reasons. But today we are a different people with a more sentient approach to life and work . . . floors of industrial space. . .

    If Wall can do it in DTES why not Ivanhoe Cambridge at Oak and 41st?

  • 66 Chris Keam // Nov 12, 2012 at 8:18 am

    “We were, once, buoyed by false hope at the introduction of the digital age”

    I’m always bemused by how many people have better, faster computers and Internet access (or at least the same quality of tech) at home, yet their employer expects them to get to their place of work so they can do things that they could do at home just as easily and efficiently. It does however explain the downcast workadaddy/mommy faces I see behind windshields and during the lunch hour when I’m downtown a few days a week. The cheerful, wisecracking panhandler at the corner of Robson/Hamilton makes for an interesting contrast.

  • 67 rico // Nov 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Roger I agree we need to maintain our industrial lands but I disagree that land zoned industrial should be mixed into our cities. If someone is using industrial land for offices or retail they are not using it as industrial. That means you can have a lot of jobs mixed into your cities (office, retail ect.) But industrial only mixes in special circumstances like the Wall project on the DTES (note the massive height difference from the nN side of the site to the S side due to the escarpment, that allows for much greater seperation of uses), also note it is in an industrial area unlike Oakridge. What i would like to see is a greater office and institutional presence at Oakridge.

  • 68 Roger Kemble // Nov 12, 2012 at 9:05 am

    . . . we need to maintain our industrial lands . . . ” You miss my point rico @ #66. I am talking about reducing unnecessary movement.

    And again “. . . jobs mixed into your cities (office, retail ect.) ” I am talking wealth creating useful work.

    Shop ’til ya drop” doesn’t work in a healthy city as you can see!

  • 69 Roger Kemble // Nov 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

    . . . yet their employer expects them to get to their place of work so they can do things that they could do at home just as easily and efficiently.

    Thanqxz Chris @ #66 That is my point!

    Plus we need creative wealth creating industry close at hand. There are eough paper shufflers . . .

  • 70 Frank Ducote // Nov 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Rico@76 – you are bang on with your analysis about the different conditions facing these two applications. The one on Hastings has always been industrial and is now proposed to retain that use and to include residential. Oakridge, in contrast, never has been industrial, so why try to force a poor fit where nobody is seeking it?

    Btw, for full disclosure, until the end of last month I was a member for about 10+ years of Miller Goodwood, the woodworking coop that is one of the tenants of the Wall property. Although no longer a member, I think this kind of use is vital and am happy to read that they be accommodated in the new redevelopment. (This is their third home in 15+- years and such spaces are getting harder and harder to find as well as afford.)

  • 71 Roger Kemble // Nov 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Oakridge, in contrast, never has been industrial, so why try to force a poor fit where nobody is seeking it?

    So what!

    You miss my point entirely Frank @ #70.

    Indeed, my point is to reverse conventional zoning, even the CD category.

    By all means agree with whom ever you want but you do not further the conversation which is . . . to reduce the need to travel distances from home to work in our daily lives.

    Supposedly this is an agreed upon goal whenever your planning dept talks GREEN!

    I would have thought such an effort would be attractive to those wishing to reduce CO² emissions.

  • 72 gman // Nov 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Oh my,I see the tribe has gathered with the usual arm waving and petty shots,but as always they totally miss the point. It must be hard to have any vision while constantly in a blind rage.
    Modern trams are very capable of speed of 80 to more than 100kph but they have the added flexibility to also run at slower speeds at grade levels where sky trains cant.A tram coming into broadway station,or any other place that is feasible would have the ability to seamlessly leave the elevated track and run at grade out broadway as fast as a bus goes and be able to carry 250 people,plus they can add or subtract cars as necessary without adding another driver. They can loop through a neighborhood and pick people up a stops along the way and return back to the mainline avoiding huge crowds.As it is now the train comes into broadway and hundreds land at the station and line up waiting for the bus.So what happens is they have to put more buses on and every bus needs a driver where a tram can simply add cars and still only have one driver.
    And people try to say trams have a higher operating cost than a driver-less skytrain believing the cost of the driver will save money.But what happens now is you get up and go wait for a bus driver to pick you up and take you to an over crowded station so you can take the train to say broadway and get off the train and wait with the masses for yet another bus driver to come and pick you up and drive you to UBC,it would seem then that a tram performing two functions with a single driver is 100% more efficient than a bus at either end.
    There is an argument about the percent of riders lost if they have make transfers but whatever that number is it is a loss of riders.The advantage a tram would have is if you ran track over port mann between the freeway on a inexpensive gravel rail bed it could loop through Langley ,Abbotsford or Walnut Grove avoiding at least some of the losses due to making less transfers.It would be the same with Canada line to Richmond,if the tram could exit the tunnel and carry on grade to UBC and back again .
    I think there is a lot to say for having a common rolling stock in order to have much more flexibility in the system.Now I will sit and wait for all the ya but ya but ya buts.
    And if you want to have an over the shoulder look at the translink planners at work watch this and maybe you to could be a planner after a couple hours of

  • 73 Bill // Nov 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    @Chris Keam #66

    “yet their employer expects them to get to their place of work so they can do things that they could do at home just as easily and efficiently”

    Apart from the fact that very few jobs involve just sitting in front of a computer, there are the issues of providing technical support and of ensuring adequate security. (I was going to add that working at the office may discourage employees from commenting on blogs at work but then I thought of MB and boohoo).

  • 74 mike0123 // Nov 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    In other words, you want to make transit slow, expensive, infrequent, unreliable, circuitous, and incomprehensible. Once you’ve made the network useless to nearly everyone, there will be plenty of room to lounge about while enjoying a ten-minute detour courtesy of the increased flexibility of useless transit.

  • 75 Chris Keam // Nov 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm


    When it suits companies they are perfectly happy to send jobs across oceans to call centres and what not. Pretty sure there’s a sizable contingent of workers that can be just as effective if their work is done at home, and that belief is borne out by even a cursory examination of current realities, which points to productivity gains when work-at-home is an option. Companies that don’t lead in this regard lose out on top talent, because the best and brightest don’t need a central scrutinizer to be motivated to do their best work and offer fair value for their wage. The tide has turned and those who don’t surf the wave will sink to the bottom (to mangle a metaphor in Brilliant fashion).

  • 76 Roger Kemble // Nov 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    . . . you want to make transit slow, expensive, infrequent, unreliable, circuitous, and incomprehensible.

    Not really mike123 @ #74 . . . quite the contrary . . . live/work/amenity/proximity . . . that’s planning!

  • 77 Terry M // Nov 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    roger @ 71
    “I would have thought such an effort would be attractive to those wishing to reduce CO² emissions.”
    guess you have no clue about what to do about CO2 like everybody else trying hard to sell us the cap and trade crapolla.
    But you can vent all you like about… Live, work, amenity, proximity… Planning LOL!
    The worst thing that ever happen to any city is the… Planners!
    Take Vancouver. they took a nice city, applied their “planning” and transformed it into an overcrowded not affordable city in less than a decade. thanks, but no thanks!
    Andthey still think it’s not dense enough. What would-we use them and scores of architects for if there was no growth, see my point?

  • 78 Bill // Nov 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    @Chris Keam #75

    “When it suits companies they are perfectly happy to send jobs across oceans to call centres”

    Doesn’t really speak to the point you made, Chris. Call centres are still a place of work and not at the employees home. If you are right, the Companies that take your advice will thrive and those that don’t, won’t. However, I still believe the very real obstacles of tech support and security will make home offices the exception and not the rule.

    Once again you have put forward a simplistic Progressive idea that sounds good but is not very practical.

  • 79 MB // Nov 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    @ Bill 73

    . . . . assuming the same applies to your office and your blogging . . . .

  • 80 Chris Keam // Nov 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    The call centre point speaks to your concerns over security Bill.

    Best not tell Putin he’s a Progressive.

    Not interested in dialogue with people who seem intent on ignoring reality, the point has been made, no need for a longer derail.



  • 81 MB // Nov 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    @ g man 72

    You’re very experienced at ridicule, this time about planners.

    So, smartypants, why don’t you draw up your plan of confusion and let the planners who read this have a go?

    I’d really appreciate some realistic numbers related to real sites WRT construction.

  • 82 Frank Ducote // Nov 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Roger@71 – I assure you, nobody could possibly miss your point about introducing industrial uses at Oakridge. Maybe others were either too gobsmacked by such an inane idea that they thought you were joking or, unlike Rico and me, chose to avoid rebutting the notion as a waste of time.

    I sure would have liked to be in the room when you proposed such an idea at a community meeting or, better yet, at the public hearing. Now that truly deserves a LOL!

  • 83 gman // Nov 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    MB #81
    Smartypants,wow MB thats pretty strong language,have you read any of the replies I get when I make a simple suggestion?And again you show no sense of humour to my link,too bad.
    I would be happy to show you my construction plan but Im afraid you will have to wait until they come out with the Vancouver edition of the game,too bad again.
    But until then you can read what Ottawa decided on this question and their reasons for them,if you go to page 20 they show what they wanted and say why they chose light rail over light metro,its not all about the speed of a train out of the hole its about having a flexible system that can be extended at a reasonable cost that doesn’t require transfers.

    This is the same conclusion arrived at by well over one hundred cities around the world.The cities that chose skytrain/light metro….well you could count them on one and a half hands.

  • 84 MB // Nov 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    @g man

    Is there a plan in the works or just a regurgitation of Malcolm nostrum?

  • 85 gman // Nov 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    MB on another note your a big co2 believer and you understand the carbon footprint of concrete.Well MB the footing for one stanchion can use 300 yds. of concrete and that doesnt include the stanchion,T head or the beam that the train runs on.To put this in context a high rise tower with a floor plate of 5ooo sq.ft. is less than 100 yrds. so for every ten footings you could pour 30 floors not including columns.

  • 86 mike0123 // Nov 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Ottawa is building a 12.5-km automated light rail line mostly on an existing grade-separated busway for $2.1b, which, like current light rail projects in Calgary and Portland, is more than the cost of the Evergreen Line on a per-km basis.

    The relatively high cost of the line should be expected because it will have both the features of automated light metro and light rail. In other words, the line has all the expensive things that come with light metro (e.g. grade separation) and all the expensive things that come with light rail (e.g. larger tunnels for the overhead catenary, longer stations for the longer trains). They’re doing this to avoid making a decision about technology until later, to keep their doors open.

    In any case, neither Ottawa nor Vancouver will have a transit network that consists of a single line and its branches. Ottawa’s line will be fed primarily by people transferring from buses. Any realistic transit network exists in two-dimensions, and that means there will be transfers on any real-world transit system.

  • 87 rico // Nov 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I think the Ottawa LRT will be very successful. That said a big part of its success will be grade seperation…no silly things like surface trams on Broadway. Anyways like Roger would say shiny trinkets (actually I maybe a little like a magpie because I believe in some of those trinkets) right now we need more operating budget lets put a fire under all the politicians to get stable transit funding.

  • 88 Richard // Nov 12, 2012 at 9:46 pm


    Here is the link again.

    As you can see, over 30 years, SkyTrain (RRT) on Broadway will lead to much larger total GHG emissions reductions than LRT even when construction is taken into account. This is because a lot more people will use it instead of driving.

  • 89 Chris Keam // Nov 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    “This is the same conclusion arrived at by well over one hundred cities around the world.The cities that chose skytrain/light metro….well you could count them on one and a half hands.”

    This strikes me as an oversimplification. Does the one and half hand total also include all so-called ‘metros’?

    This link to probably-accurate-but-usually-mocked-opedia shows those systems have pretty good penetration globally.

  • 90 Voony // Nov 12, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    People in Ottawa have decided to call their Rapid transit ” LRT “: good to them, and if that make J. Malcolm and his shadow gman, happy, that is great!…well here basically the same thing is called Skytrain at the great displeasure of gman.

    The Ottawa website has a page explaining public art is important; of course:, and illustrates it with a picture of what is called the “Stockholm’s LRT System”

    That allows gman to assert noone has metro except Vancouver.

    …except that in Stockholm the said LRT is called “metro” (Tunnelbahn to be accurate, the picture is at Kungsträdgården station).

    they have trams in Stockholm, the sort of running on the street and you walk accross the track to catch…but that is filling a different function that the so called “Stockholm’s LRT System”, and no the Stockolm tram doesn’t run at 80km in the middle of the city street. Stockholm subway does but it is fully grade separated

    gman, you play video game too much, and don’t read my blog enough!

  • 91 Roger Kemble // Nov 13, 2012 at 12:16 am

    such an inane idea that they thought you were joking or, unlike Rico and me, chose to avoid rebutting the notion as a waste of time.

    Well then why are you wasting your time rebutting. Frank @ # 82

    Look Frank I am sorry I have got you all worked up.

    I merely suggest Vancouver’s segregated zoning is inadequate. Not all industry is belching smoke stacks. Essentially Industry is making things.

    BTW if the Hastings development allows for residential in an industrial zone why not vice-versa?

    I understand that any variation from well worn, now discredited, Vancouver Planning habits scares the pants off you. Therefore may I respectfully suggest you augment your narrow parochial architectural education to see the broader urban picture.

    As for rico let him speak for himself. He seems to substitute his lack of understanding with condescending insults . . .

    So much for the level of this conversation . . . frozen in the lassitude of last century nostrums . . .

    And IMO making things makes for a far healthier economy than corraling people in gated elevated ghettos and flogging real estate to off-shore speculators.

  • 92 Roger Kemble // Nov 13, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Now what a coincidence . . .

  • 93 Roger Kemble // Nov 13, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Yes, I would expect nothing less from the echo chamber duo. Frank just one other thing since you are in an educational mode.

    Alex Gair & Sons Ltd refrigeration and commercial kitchen manufacturers occupied that site on Kingsway slated for the Wall development.

    I worked with them on a number of occasions: visited their plant. I’m talking ’50’s/’60’s. There was, of course noise, as with any workshop, but nothing like the mayhem coming off Kingsway: nor the mayhem coming off Cambie despite the shiny trinket we haven’t paid for yet (and probably never will)!

    I understand how you could come up with such specious ramblings as, “Maybe others were either too gobsmacked by such an inane idea that they thought you were joking or, unlike Rico and me, chose to avoid rebutting the notion as a waste of time.

    That I doubt: eleven years with the Vancouver planning office offers you pretty limited on site, practical experience. Time out on the phone no doubt: bowel movements don’t count. Does rico suffer the same predicament?

    Industrial comes in many shapes Frank y rico!

    You are not wasting your time. You have a lot to learn from me!

    Alex Gair has moved to North Vancouver now but it would be a great asset on the Oakridge site.

    Such a wealth of creative installations would work wonders on that sterile site.

  • 94 Roger Kemble // Nov 13, 2012 at 2:47 am

    CORRECTION . . . “<Alex Gair & Sons Ltd refrigeration occupied that site on HASTINGS slated for the Wall development.>“

  • 95 rico // Nov 13, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Roger, I think most people ignore you when they can. Going back to industrial for the DTES maybe you can try and listen why it works there. The N side of the site is at least 2 stories shorter than the Hastings side, that means there can be a very good seperation between uses with all the industrial access from the N away from Hastings. It also means the industrial is below grade in relation to Hastings

  • 96 rico // Nov 13, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Accidently posted before I finished, hopefully you understand why the same type of mixed use is not an option on most sites. As for zoning, if it can exist with residential under normal situations it can probably be used under other zonings.

  • 97 Bill // Nov 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

    @Chris Keam #80

    “Not interested in dialogue with people who seem intent on ignoring reality”

    Someone intent on writing the “Ode to a Bicycle” that will be read and cherished 500 years from now is perhaps not in the best position to judge other peoples grasp of reality.

  • 98 MB // Nov 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

    @ g man

    Richard provided a link to some great information relelvant to your assertions.

    Allow me to post another.

  • 99 MB // Nov 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

    And another:

  • 100 MB // Nov 13, 2012 at 9:54 am

    And g man, before you herd us in you own mind into a paddock for SkyTrain Lobbyists there is yet another idea thet Malcolm/Zwei & followers seldom address: Context.

    Whereas I support a subway in the Broadway corridor for many reasons, I give equal support to a high-capacity light rail line on King George.

    The difference between them is the urban context.

  • 101 Andrew Browne // Nov 13, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I like this “mashup” map which more readily shows the major transit lines on a google map background.

    Good base from which to imagine some additional lines.

    RE: Some of the tortured points above… at-grade LRT just can’t match the capacity of grade-separated ALRT (e.g. Skytrain). At-grade LRT, performance-wise, does not offer a large increment of additional capacity for the cost when compared to articulated electric trolley buses. All it would do is lower frequency and have fewer (but larger) vehicle movements on a line like Broadway, but on some of the larger arterials in Surrey and Langley it may have promise.

    I don’t know where we’re heading for with transit, but it doesn’t look good. The mayors seem unwilling to entertain an additional cent of property tax levy by Translink (which, to me, appears to be a pretty comprehensive method of funding, as it targets basically everyone, as opposed to say a vehicle levy, which could have diminishing returns just like the gas tax), and the province on the one hand dangles the possibility of other funding methods (e.g. parking tax, vehicle levy, etc) but when Translink and the mayor’s try to use them, the province vetoes.

    So we’re not in a good place right now. Mobility is a huge issue in Vancouver but it is not getting funding attention.

  • 102 Andrew Browne // Nov 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I do wonder what kind of efficiencies we could find in construction costs if we launched a program of dedicated capital funding for mass transit, with a reliable $X million per year (say, $300 million annually). That could result in a major new line (or major segment) every 4 years or so, and keep the staffing and equipment needs constant.

  • 103 Andrew Browne // Nov 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Best of all, the Patullo and Massey would probably total $3 billion between them, so that’s the first 10 years of the programme right there!

  • 104 D Schou // Nov 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I grew up in south Burnaby. I took a feeder bus to Skytrain when I got a job downtown. I had free parking, but the simplicity and speed of Skytrain made it the preferred option to and from work at rush hour.

    I now live downtown. My family continues to live in south Burnaby and New Westminster. I have the option of using a car to visit them, but, again, the simplicity, the dependability of the Skytrain system is my preferred transportation.

    I have made my living and work decisions based on Skytrain and I know others who have done the same.

    I cannot imagine what this city, or my life, would look like if Bill Bennett had not put in that first “cadillac” line 25 years ago. I feel sorry for all those who are unwilling or unable to live and work in proximity to Skytrain.

    I would like to add that the Korean built cars on the Canada Line are lacking the soothing accent lighting and other stylish features of the Canadian built Expo/Millenium line trains. Doesn’t anyone agree with me?

  • 105 MB // Nov 13, 2012 at 11:30 am

    @ gman 85, your deflection is noted . . . but it is relevant.

    Portland cement is the glue that binds together aggregates and sand in concrete. It is produced by calcining limestone, a process that produces CO2 from 2 different sources: The reduction of limestone into lime ( CaCO3 -> CaO + CO2 ) and the combustion of fuel (typically coal: C+O2 ->CO2) that heats the raw material to the high temperature required by the calcination process. As a result cement production is extremely carbon-intensive. Depending on the efficiency of the process, producing one tonne of cement emits between 0.8 and 1.2 t of CO2.

    Nobody produces cement for the sake of producing cement. Cement is manufactured in order to make concrete, a ubiquitous construction material. Likewise, nobody produces concrete for the sake of producing concrete. Concrete is used to create structures and infrastructures: houses, buildings, roads, bridges, etc,. Cement and concrete are only a means to a useful end.

    If cement is so GHG-intensive and the end-product so important to society, it is logical to try to produce concrete structures with the same quality and strength using less cement.

    One project I was involved in in 2004 not only utilized the above concrete specs to displace 35% of the Portland cement and therein decrease net emissions substantially, but also used the black glassy byproduct from the smelter at Trail to displace a portion of the fine aggregates.

    The project engineer calculated that the concrete was 64% harder than a product using the standard formulation, and the additional cost was marginal.

    It’s only a matter of time before carbon emissions are priced/taxed. There are some limited discussions on that I’ve read (don’t have the time to find the links at present) that suggest making stuff like Portland cement and steel with kilns using electric induction powered by clean stout sources is entirely possible. These will be more expensive than coal only in the current context of no price ion carbon.

    In BC that means hydro or geothermal (supplemented by wind and tidal) could feasibly power cleaner 21st Century heavy industry.

    Many countries prefer to remain in the 17th Century as long as the price of fuel remains artificially cheap by not accounting for its long term effects.

  • 106 MB // Nov 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

    And gman, while I thank you for taking GHG emissions seriously (a new tack for you), but as Richard pointed out, the net reduction in emissions by investing in public transit is far, far greater over time as it displaces cars.

  • 107 MB // Nov 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

    @ Andrew Browne 101:

    At-grade LRT, performance-wise, does not offer a large increment of additional capacity for the cost when compared to articulated electric trolley buses. All it would do is lower frequency and have fewer (but larger) vehicle movements on a line like Broadway, but on some of the larger arterials in Surrey and Langley it may have promise.

    Exactly true.

    Why devote over a billion (likely well over once underground services are accouted for) to trams on Broadway without any gain in ridership?

    I would add that the intense traffic on cross streets along Broadway would also be severely impacted (I’ve reitered this point many times before over the years, and Richard also notes it above), as well as the ability to merely cross the road with a dedicated transit median. Oh, Broadway businesses are really gonna love that.

    I’m not sure why this isn’t obvious with even a modicum of thought.

    Put LRT on King George where it will not only fit, but where there is a huge potential to build a sustainable city around it.

  • 108 Chris Keam // Nov 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Oops, Frances can you please delete previous post? An errant piece of copy from an unrelated project. Didn’t realize it was in the comment window. A preview option would be a great addition to the blog

  • 109 Frank Ducote // Nov 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Andrew@101- FWIW, at the time of its construction, the Millennium Line was meant to be extended from its present Glen Drive/VCC station south and then west along the Broadway Corridor, presumably below grade.

    For surface rail buffs, the map illustrates one of the many challenges LRT or tram technologies would face in this context: it/they would have to converge on or originate at the already heavily congested Broadway/Commercial node. (Despite not adding significant additional capacity and also requiring a transfer where one could be avoided for many riders, etc.)

  • 110 Chris Keam // Nov 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    “Someone intent on writing the “Ode to a Bicycle” that will be read and cherished 500 years from now is perhaps not in the best position to judge other peoples grasp of reality.”

    Sure thing Bill, but you repeatedly conflate your opinion with hard facts and real world data… such as the reality that you’re wrong about many things… such as the likelihood of call centre security being compromised if ‘at-home’ employment options are offered:

    “TELUS CallCentreAnywhere is one of a suite of multi-channel Managed Contact Centre solutions that provide secure, stable, low-cost and scalable infrastructures designed to help you work and collaborate more effectively within your company and externally with customers, suppliers and partners.

    Provide agents flexible working hours and the freedom to work at home”

  • 111 A Dave // Nov 13, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    (Wow, Keam, a new low for you @ 110.)

    I note that 80 comments after I posed the question, not a single person has stood up for Skytrain’s 35 year record of SHAPING nothing but desolate, gray, concrete massed “neighbourhoods” with high crime rates, big box retail, and homogeneous edifices.

    I am absolutely flummoxed that this is the type of city our “environmentalists” are advocating so forcefully for.

    This is the livable city you envision? This is the future you WANT?!

    Mike123 claims this sad TOD history is all the fault of “restrictive zoning”, which, of course, Spaxman, Beasley, Toderian et al were totally powerless to change? And every other municipality couldn’t work with Skytrain to get things right either?

    35 years!

    Yet you folks seem to have unshakable faith that the future will be better, just so long as we keep building with Skytrain?

    This despite the massive turd that’s about to be laid at Oakridge, or the Marine Gateway hyper-density blot on the edge of the river?

    Looks to me like things are just getting worse.


    “For the cost of a subway (about $200+ million/km), we can build 6 LRT lines. The maximum capacity of a subway is 40,000+ pphpd; the maximum capacity of 6 LRT lines would be 120,000+ pphpd.

    “Put another way, 3 East-West LRT Lines in Vancouver could carry over 60,000+ pphpd, at a far cheaper cost and more conveniently than 1 SkyTrain metro.

    “This is where TransLink’s nonsensical density issue comes to play — there isn’t enough ridership to sustain a SkyTrain metro line so they massively densify along the line to desperately increase ridership, while good transit in the region goes begging.”

  • 112 Voony // Nov 14, 2012 at 12:29 am

    A Dave: We all understand that you believe that the skytrain opponent and LRT supporter Dereck Korrigan is forced by a skytrain conspiracy to ban any gentle density there.

    We also all understand you vastly prefer the urbanism of P&R surrounding the Calgary LRT,
    or the Long Beach tower, surrounding the LA LRT, or even the abandoned neighborhood surrounding the Buffalo LRT (*), to what happen there, like in Richmond for example.

    It happens, that some could disagree with you:
    Is it too much to ask you to just accept their arguments?

    In the meantimes, bear with us, that when in one comment you explain, “there is no more room on the subway to allow new development,” and in another you come up that “there is not enough density to justify the subway”, it is hard to take seriously your inarticulate rants.

    (*) I am pretty sure someone gonna counter argument with the Portland example, which is eventually demystified there, so I guess with all the LRT around, you gonna find another example, isn’it?

  • 113 Richard // Nov 14, 2012 at 12:50 am

    @A Dave

    Hard to objectively blame SkyTrsin for poor urban design. The problem seems to be more Burnaby than anything else. The worst concrete mess in the region is around Lougheed Mall but the worst was built a couple of decades before SkyTrain. What has been built since SkyTrain is better.

    Regarding Oakridge, the new development will be much much better than what is there now. Same with Marine Gateway. Now if you don’t like towers you might not like them but it is hard to find any objective reasons why tall building are not good if they are designed well.

    The problem with shorter buildings (2-4 floors) is that a lot are needed to create walking oriented communities where businesses can thrive with mainly customers who walk. 4 story buildings only along arterials is just not enough. People just end up driving everywhere.

  • 114 Roger Kemble // Nov 14, 2012 at 4:04 am

    . . . it is hard to find any objective reasons why tall building(s) are not good if they are designed well.

    True Richard @ #113 but there is much much more to good urban design than building typology: i.e. usage.

    It is very hard to have a mature discussion on this blog when everyone is obsessing over transportation mode!

    In suggesting an industrial component on this site a few posts ago one rather hysterical ex-employee of the planning department, who should know better, threw a hissy-fit.

    Granville Island, everyone will agree, is a very successful urban place yet it has the cement plant, i.e. industrial, right in its middle.

    I would further suggest the Oakridge proposal is doomed to be a very sterile environment due to the isolation of the towers vis-vis the three storey high inaccessible-to-the-public green space.

    The Vancouver real estate experience tells us that, as this plan stands, we can expect the residential component to remain empty and the integrated shopping main street to quickly lose customers to the on-site cheaper, volume retail.

    Much, much more work is needed before this is a going concern!

  • 115 Roger Kemble // Nov 14, 2012 at 4:28 am

    I thank you for taking GHG emissions seriously . . .

    Maybe you should take your own advice MB @ #106.

  • 116 rico // Nov 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Roger, I thought we went over this. The family that runs this site does not believe CO2 is the cause of global warming. They are qualified in related fields, they also are a tiny minority of the qualified scientists in related fields. Not to mention they are arguing global warming is GOOD….hope they don’t live in the arctic, Venice or Bangladesh.

  • 117 Boohoo // Nov 14, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Talked to a friend last night who uses transit all the time. He said with increased fares and service cuts, buying a car couldn’t come soon enough. I can’t blame him.

  • 118 Roger Kemble // Nov 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Thanqu for diligently reading my posts rico @ #116.

    We cannot agree on all subjects, and neither should we, but you are obviously a devoted fan.

    Thanqu . . .

  • 119 Andrew Browne // Nov 14, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Blaming SkyTrain for poor urban design and architectural outcomes is beyond silly. Blame Burnaby. Blame Coquitlam. Blame Vancouver. Blame the taste of those buying housing as investment commodity. Blame the architects, especially. But SkyTrain?

    Someone above noted with some skepticism that Beasley, Toderian, et al surely would have had the power to change restrictive zoning if that had been the key (e.g. to permit rowhouses, or midrise, or whatever particular tonic was felt to be capable of fixing everything). So far as I can tell these positions have relatively little power in comparison to an electorate that doesn’t seem to want anything to change, ever, and an elected council that’s running scared (as almost all cllr’s are doomed to wonder: “is everyone mad at me, or am I only hearing from the truly angry? are most people happy/indifferent, and too content to let me know? or is this my own personal hell?” very existential, councilloring is).

  • 120 Andrew Browne // Nov 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Oh, we’ve all been italicized now.

  • 121 Bill // Nov 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

    @Chris Keam #110

    OK, I’ll concede that recruiters for call centres that use the Telus system allowing their employees to work at home will be able to scoop up the “best and brightest” of the UBC Arts Faculty graduates. How can Starbucks ever be expected to compete with that?

  • 122 Richard // Nov 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

    italics off?

  • 123 MB // Nov 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    @ Roger # 115:

    Your link issues some eye-popping absolutist statements about climate change without providing even one upfront reference. In fact, the authors’ modus operandi is to make the reader search the entire web site for a multitude of “previous studies” they claim supports their wildly inaccurate conclusions.

    This is a profoundly anti-science organization with a proven political agenda and funding from vested industrial interests. Their work is the farthest thing from independent science possible.

    From Source Watch:

    Idso family members … run the Phoenix, AZ-area global warming skeptic Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.

    SW references Josh Harkinson’s “The Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial: No. 8: Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (A.K.A. The Idso Family)”, Mother Jones, December 4, 2009. And Olive Heffernan’s “More for the annals of climate misinformation”, Nature Blogs, 19 Aug 2008

    Despite a major effort by the Idsos to hide their funding and donation sources in order to “protect their privacy,” Sourcewatch identified what funding sources they could find. They include Exxon Mobile, the right-wing Scaife Foundation that “funds Islamophobia in the US,” and the Western Fuels Association. There are likely a lot more Big Oil and GOP financiers they couldn’t find. Craig Idso also formed Cenosphere Inc. which serves the oil industry.

    So you have a family behind a web site that runs an oil company, and is paid by oil companies and sympathetic political interests to say that CO2 from burning carbon fuels is good for the planet, and who also claim that there have been no major warming event in the paleoclimate record.

    James Hanson, one of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists, wrote about several extreme warming events based on his and other’s research into the real paleoclimate record in his 2009 book, Storms of my Grandchildren. His references are provided willingly and cover 32 pages, the majority of them tested by other scientists and published only after extensive peer-review. His central conclusion is that the preconditions to these events are remarkably similar to today’s.

    Hanson probably wouldn’t laugh at the scientific amateurs in the Idso family, but he’d certainly weep.

    I am very disappointed that a man of your experience and intelligence, Roger, would fall for this kindergarten-level denialist shite.

  • 124 MB // Nov 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    @ A Dave 111

    I’d elucidate more of Voony’s, Richard’s and Andrew’s rebuttal of your comments, but my lunch hour is almost over.

    I will say, however, that LRT-friendly Calgary sure ain’t Paris, or Portland.

    Why is that?

  • 125 Roger Kemble // Nov 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I am very disappointed that a man of your experience and intelligence, Roger, would fall for this kindergarten-level denialist shite.

    Take care MB @ #123: you have far too many opinions, inchoate and straddling, to be plausible . . .

    Why you are no more enlightened than our little trinketeering friends who see the city only in terms of sitting in a dank tube waiting to get there, where ever the hell there is!

    Dissappointed? Don’t be. I’m doing fine.

    This blogger most certainly does not deny climate change or global warming or whatever the soup of the day is called. I check the ice cores regularly . . .

    I too recognize, the “Earth warms. Earth cools” but when government concocts perfidious taxes, carbon, cap and trade, or otherwise.

    NAFTA, off-shoring, has, perhaps inadvertently, dried up govt revenues that have to be made up: hence the alphabetical shills: GW, AGW HCCC etc.

    I follow the money.

    Are you inadvertently shilling MB for the wrong guys?

    There is a multitude of real scientist who differ on the subject: that is the nature of science.

    But if you wish to besmirch ideas contrary to your own then you are no better than the narrow band of those trinketeers who drown out mature discourse on the city.

    Both camps are obsessive. But then there is comfort in numbers if you do not have confidence in your own idea . . .

    I have posted dozens of links in addition to the Ipso people. If you choose a narrow self justifying source, so be it!

  • 126 boohoo // Nov 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    “If you choose a narrow self justifying source, so be it!”


  • 127 Glissando Remmy // Nov 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Thought of The Day

    “I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum… or at least that report is going to scare the wits out of everyone…” – Ivo De Boer, UN Climate Chief/ 2009 Copenhagen talks, quoted in The Brisbane Times.

    MB #123

    James Hanson, may be a scientist, but he’s also a bureaucrat, a douche bag and a prophet that predicted “ICE AGE” in the 1970s!

    Also, Royal Society of London Motto is “Nullius in verba” (Take nobody’s word for it).
    Despite that though… do they listen?

    Climate change, global warming… all this brouhaha is based on guesses, on computer models that use all sorts of variables pumped in erratically, and trying to predict patterns in the future…
    There is a certain pressure from interest groups, heavily indebted (hundreds of $ million) in promoting favorable results that would enhance the earning power of their business ventures. Their main object of activity?
    You guessed… cap and trade, carbon credits offsets… the whole shebang, and there is no bigger crook at the moment than the Oscar/ Nobel combo winner… Al Gore!
    Go figure.


    Rico and Roger cancel each other on the issue.
    I’ll cancel you, so… :-(

    CO2 is OK.
    Makes the plants grow. Your pizza dough and your beer needs it too!
    Leave it alone.
    Leave this planet be.
    Don’t fall into the arrogant group that claims to know how to solve ‘the Planet’s problems’, please.
    Unless you want one day to become a laughingstock!

    In other catastrophic news, I was told that the Sun will die in 5 Billion years! Now that’s something I’d rather concentrate on, and worry about!

    Till then though…

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 128 Richard // Nov 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm


    “Leave this planet be.”
    Exactly! Lets stop pumping gas and stripping coal out of it and everything will be fine.

  • 129 Terry M // Nov 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Richard @128
    And what is your naive self would propose to use instead? Hugs and kisses for heating and fasting for food?
    What about moving around? Walking? Then, Canada will stop being an immigration destination. Hollyhock will be overpopulated with gurus in trandescental meditation as replacement for mundane things like… Having a life!
    By then Robertson and company would be gone to better suited locations. You, Richard, will continue to bike on a road to nowhere. Pity. With so much potential!

  • 130 Chris Keam // Nov 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Hmm, the Royal Society’s slogan was largely a repudiation of rhetoric as a scientific tool, with experiments and hard data being considered a better source of scientific knowledge than personal experience or opinion(1). Moreover, while there can be no argument with the value of healthy skepticism, we must also concede that laypeople are ill-equipped to parse the huge amounts of data available, nor is it realistic that we all become climate scientists before deciding what’s believable or not regarding climate trends. At some point we trust the learned, esp. when they are willing to stake their name and reputation on their findings. By contrast, accepting the skepticism of an anonymous Internet commenter, who may well have his/her own vested interests in a particular belief, would be to ignore the Royal Society’s excellent advice. Further, to introduce nonsensical distractions such as the presence of CO2 in various foods and beverages is frankly, an insult to the readers of this blog. One doubts they are foolish enough to have their scientific doubt placated by the bubbles in beer, anymore than they are likely to down a pint of cyanide because you can find trace amounts in apple seeds. But, if GR would like to use them (the Royal Society) as his ‘call to authority’ in this regard, it would be enlightening to know at what point GR considers their expertise to have reached its apex. Because their official position on the topic deserves as least as much publicity as whatever youtube link is the distraction of the day (didn’t click, can’t comment on the substance). Here’s just one (key) paragraph from the concluding remarks found in the Royal Society’s climate change summary (linked below the quote).

    “There is strong evidence that changes in greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activity are the dominant cause of the global warming that has taken place over the last
    half century. This warming trend is expected to continue as are changes in precipitation over the long term in many regions. Further and more rapid increases in sea level are likely which will have profound implications for coastal communities and ecosystems.”

    “Strong evidence.” An unequivocal position? No. That’s rarely a place a scientist will go. Reason enough to plan for negative outcomes, attempt to reduce human impacts, and prepare for future challenges. Absolutely. These aren’t unverifiable remarks from a unconfirmed source. Failure to heed their advice and direction is the true hubris. Sowing doubt because certainty is impossible at this stage is irresponsible. I’d choose anonymity too if I were to engage in such a gross disavowal of sensible forward-planning.

    (1) Daniel Boorstin – The Discoverers, Chapter 51, pg 395

  • 131 Richard // Nov 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    @Terry M

    You know that gas and coal are limited natural resources, right. What do you proposal that people do once they run out?

    The bottom line is that using so much of these limited resources is quite selfish. It is time people started caring more about future generations.

  • 132 Chris Keam // Nov 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    “What do you propos(e) that people do once they run out?”

    From Seth Godin’s blog, good advice I’m trying to take more often:

    “The fascinating truth is this: the people in these forums aren’t doing their best work. They rarely identify useful feedback or pinpoint elements that can be changed productively either. In fact, if you solved whatever problem they’re whining about, they wouldn’t suddenly become enthusiastic contributors. No, they’re just wallowing in the negative ions, enjoying the support of a few others as they dish about what’s holding them back.

    It pays no dividends to go looking for useful insight from these folks. Go make something great instead.”

  • 133 MB // Nov 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    @Roger 125

    It’s simple act to check someone’s sources to determine their credibility.

  • 134 MB // Nov 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    @ Gliss

    You may be a good orator, but it seems you’re a poor listener.

    If you want to discuss Hansen then why not read Hansen? Your reliance on contrarian opinions on Hansen and climate science is like asking the Dairy Board to comment on architecture. No wonder you are so cavalier to dismiss the subject.

    BTW, Hansen prefers the actual record over models.

  • 135 Glissando Remmy // Nov 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Thought of The Night

    “He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.” – John McCarthy, Stanford University

    Chris Keam…
    In your case I am of the opinion that arithmetic deludes you.
    First of all I don’t need to explain myself. That’s my opinion, take it or leave it. Remember?
    “Nullius in verba” (Take nobody’s word for it)… including mine.
    I noticed you follow me on Twitter. That’s grand.
    What’s not grand is your willingness to take the information I provide and process it with an open mind.
    During the months of July, August, September of this year I’ve provided a list of 50 (fifty) titles & author from many walks of life, pro & con re. the Climate Change & Global Warming booboo.
    Initially I intended to publish 100 titles with the #Top100BooksOnGWA (Global Warming Alarmists) for now, as I’ve noticed that the most vocal ‘alarmists’ were not interested in facts based on scientific papers/ texts/ books…
    They read it in New York Times, it said “It’s the Global Warming, Stupid!” so that’s it!

    Have you read any of those titles, Chris?
    It took me 4 years of reading and interpreting…
    Me, thinks not!
    Till then, good day to you!

    We cannot walk away from Oil and/ or Coal, or Gas, or Nuclear Power.
    Simply, we can not!
    Talk all you want, the arithmetic is against you on this one too!
    And here’s for you something else, an epiphany of sorts, we are not selfish for using all the above, we are selfish if we want to impose others to not use it!
    IMHO, that’s criminal!
    I’m not talking about the industrialized, developed countries. I’m talking about the most impoverished people on the planet… you know… the other 6 Billion of them!

    You want to cut “carbon’ whatever that means to you, but here’s my questions (also raised by Terrry M @129):
    a) Where are the substitutes for hydrocarbons? 88 -90% of the world’s total energy need is provided by them. Eh? Give an equivalent of 200 million barrels of oil per day, and I’ll kiss your forehead.
    b) Increased energy consumption means higher living standards, do we agree? All over the Planet Earth. Do you expect that the world to use less energy and lose their standards of living? Dream on!

    Solar and wind power may be a good subject of discussion in Barcelona this week, during the “Smart City Expo” but that’s because, all those planners and “green” oriented guys would otherwise lose their travel allowances and professional development credits if they didn’t take them!
    What the world’s poor desperately need and quickly, are common, cheap, accessible fuels like gasoline, propane, kerosene, they also want reliable electricity.

    I know that Trevor Linden is giving rides for free in his fancy $40,000 electric car, and he may bike around the city, but he is a multimillionaire, living in a waterfront mansion, in a super uber-fancy city! No need for him to worry about current drinking water.

    Cheapest form of energy are hydrocarbons. We are a long way from any other form of reliable energy (however I see Natural Gas & Nuclear in the future) that could serve us, all 6.7 Billion of us.

    To this end, I have this to say to both of you.
    You may be well intentioned but your information is wrong. I have the math behind me to back me up. Apparently you don’t so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Remember this, any and all claims of global warming and climate change are based entirely on computer models.

    Freeman Dyson, Professor of Physics at Princeton University once said:

    “My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.”

    But the one quote I like the most is this one:

    “The greatest evils are poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, disease and hunger, all the conditions that deprive people of opportunities and limit their freedoms. The humanist ethic accepts an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a small price to pay, if world-wide industrial development can alleviate the miseries of the poorer half of humanity. The humanist ethic accepts our responsibility to guide the evolution of the planet.”

    Anything else I could help you with, Gentlemen?
    Mind you, I …

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 136 Glissando Remmy // Nov 15, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Thought of The Night

    “Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainly is absurd.” – Voltaire

    MB #134,
    Re. Hansen
    Well ahead of you MB!
    I actually read “him”. My opinion of him stands.
    For someone who called “coal” as the “single greatest threat to civilization and all life on the planet” and the coal-fired plants “factories of death” in a letter to Michelle and Barack Obama, cca. 2008.

    BTW, good friends with… Al Gore, who says we should transition to “carbon-free” electricity within a decade or so, LOL!
    Nuts! I rest my case.

    Oh, both men offer no viable alternative to our existing energy sources. None. Nada. Zero.
    If you find one… call me, maybe!

    As for the Hansen literature, you suggest I “didn’t” read, funny thing, they are already part of my recommended list for all alarmists to read #Top100BooksOnGWA

    1) Climate Forcings in the Industrial Era – Oct. 1998
    2) Trends of Measured Climate Forcing Agents – Dec. 2001
    Both co-authored with Makiko Sato

    You got me all wrong, MB. “Funny’ and “local politics” only relaxes me.

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 137 Chris Keam // Nov 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

    “Remember this, any and all claims of global warming and climate change are based entirely on computer models.”

    More false rhetoric.

    “The scientists compared the observed relative humidity in the dry zones to 16 different climate models used in the most recent study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Fasullo and Trenberth found that the three models that best matched the humidity observations were the same ones that predict the hottest future, with temperatures increasing 8 degrees F before century’s end. The least accurate models overpredicted relative humidity and projected lower increases in temperature.”

  • 138 Chris Keam // Nov 15, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Dyson is right that we need to let developing nations use fossil fuels to ‘catch up’. That’s hardly news, it’s been a central tenet of the various protocols and proposed agreements to deal with carbon emissions. I don’t have a problem with that personally. My point is that you say to ‘take nobody’s word for it.’ (misrepresenting the spirit of the slogan), yet here you are invoking Dyson, offering reading lists, and touting the time you spent accepting what others have written. You’re taking all kinds of people’s ‘word’, yet when faced with a conclusion by the very source you use for inspiration, suddenly things fall apart. There’s an inconsistency there and it’s clear you’re not happy that I’ve pointed it out.

    Have a nice sunny day,


  • 139 Chris Keam // Nov 15, 2012 at 8:20 am

    “In your case I am of the opinion that arithmetic deludes you.”

    It’s definitely not my strong suit. But I can smell a farmyard’s worth of crap from a fair distance.

    “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector.”

    You know who wrote that GR. I won’t insult your intelligence with an attribution.

  • 140 Bill // Nov 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Sorting out competing claims in the climate change debate is made more difficult by the huge financial interests involved so that advocacy trumps objectivity. The scientific community, to their discredit, has allowed individuals like Nobel Laureate Al “the science is settled” Gore and Nobel Certificate of Participation recipient Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann to overstate the AGW case without comment. So what can we say we know:

    1. Climate changes over time and has occurred before the industrial revolution so must be the result of natural processes. It would seem to be reasonable that these natural processes will continue to affect and alter climate.

    2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and will absorb energy of a certain wavelength giving rise to warming. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is less than .5% and on its own cannot account for global warming. This gives rise to a myriad of computer models to show that the increase in CO2 causes a chain reaction of activity that predicts a rise in global temperatures. These models have not demonstrated any reliable predictive ability.

    3. Reducing CO2 emissions on time scales suggested by proposals like Kyoto will increase energy costs and reduce GDP growth. While there is disagreement on whether the cost of mitigating climate change is greater than the cost of preventing climate change we do know that the developed economies are going to have to grow if they are going to be able to pay for the debts incurred to date, including social entitlements. Therefore, any drag on that growth increases the risk we fail.

    4. Global warming is preferable to global cooling since we can adapt/mitigate global warming but global cooling would mean mass starvation. If solar scientists are correct, current solar activity will result in lower global temperatures.

    Based on what we know we should develop strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change, however caused, and discontinue programs solely directed to or justified by reductions in CO2.

  • 141 Rico // Nov 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Bill, some good points and a few what I call misses.
    1. Climate change has occurred in the past but that does not mean the current climate change is natural (it could be though).
    2. Your 2nd point appears to be false according to the majority of scientist and scientific organizations.
    3. Your 3rd point seems true to me, but that does not mean we should do nothing.
    4. Global warming is as likely to cause famine as global cooling, things like increased drought or flooding are likely consequences of global warming and will affect food supplies.

    Developing strategies to mitigate climate change are good and somethings can be easily done (restrict development at areas likely to experience rising sea levels, assisted migration to extend the range of species to areas where the climate will be favourable in the future (with careful consideration of existing ecosystems etc.)). That does not mean we should not try and reduce CO2 as it is the most likely cause of global warming. Talk to a cigarette maker they will tell you it is not 100% sure that smoking causes cancer, but the evidence is pretty strong, same with CO2. No 100% guarantee that man made CO2 is causing global warming, but the evidence is pretty strong. Continuing my metaphor (like cigarettes) it seems to me Global Warming is bad, is there some excessive fear mongering? Probably, I would not want my children smoking but I wouldn’t expect them to drop dead right away if they did. In my opinion the same is true for Global Warming, people will still survive….but our odds of encountering difficulties will increase so we will get more floods/droughts/famine. It would just be better if we could stub out the cigarette (or at least limit ourselves to a couple of puffs a day).

  • 142 MB // Nov 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Gliss, like I said, I’m under the ever-increasing opinion that you are a poor listener / reader.

    Regarding Hansen, who you prefess to have read, his recipe to reduce emissions is very simple: replace coal with nuclear, and finance it though a simple carbon tax.

    Notably fourth generation fast nuclear that uses the troublesome waste stockpiles at existing second generation nuclear power plants as fuel. There is already a significant research breakthroughs in the UK with the Prism reactors modelled by GE.

    Google it if you want more info.

    And to repeat for both yours and Bill’s benefit, Hansen himself professes a deep mistrust for computer climate models, though he has dabbled in them on occasion.

    His most important conclusion that we’re in deep excrement if the collective emissions of all GHGs exceed 450 parts per million (CO2 is currently at 395ppm, methane and trace gases at about 30ppm, setting us at the precipice at ~ 425ppm) was based not on computer modelling, but on an examination of the actual record, be it instrumental, ice cores, isotopes of oxygen and carbon, and deposits in sedimentary rocks that accurately recorded the climate for several hundred million years.

    Not one refutation of this research has been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature by other scientists. In fact, his methods and results have been tested and confirmed.

    Yet the blogosphere abounds with the stereotypical reactionary language and data manipulation antics of deniers and contrarians who don’t have a scientific leg to stand on.

  • 143 Ms Jones // Nov 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Chris Keam, Rico, MB, Richard…
    You all sound like jack of all trades , master of none.
    Tackling a subject that’s so complex, hmmm, so unpredictable, and clearly non-manageable, most definitely not on a worldly scale… is already a lost cause.
    We as humans cannot influence the planet’s behavior, why are you so arrogant in assuming you can? We can barely manage garbage collection and street cleaning in Vancouver! Ha, ha!

  • 144 Bill // Nov 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    @Rico #141

    I am not suggesting that it is only natural causes that is affecting climate today, only that they have in the past (resulting is extremes like the ice ages) and it is reasonable they are affecting climate today. As well, I do not disagree that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has the potential to affect climate. I am saying that there is uncertainty as to the extent (and in what direction) natural causes are affecting climate compared to the impact of CO2.

    It is my understanding that part of the case against CO2 is the feedback it has on other systems such as water vapour, another greenhouse gas. (warmer the atmosphere, the more water vapour it can hold and the more heat it can trap). In any event, I am not aware of any climate model that has demonstrated predictive abilities.

    If the world economy was strong then it might tip the scale to sacrificing some future growth as insurance against global warming. However, it is a certainty that we have significant challenges and we have to weigh making the certain economic challenges more difficult to prevent something that is only a possibility.

    Global cooling is a greater threat than global warming because under the former, total growing area is diminished where if global warming occurs the area suitable for growing food may actually get bigger. You only have to contrast the living conditions during the Middle Age warm period with the Little Ice Age to see that this is true.

    Finally, your comparison of CO2 and smoking breaks down because one can choose to smoke or not smoke and affect their own risk of developing lung cancer whereas CO2 emissions would have to be tackled globally (which is why it makes no sense for Canada to adopt any climate change policy that is out of step with the rest of the world’s economies). This would be like saying if people in China stopped smoking I would reduce my risk of lung cancer whether I smoked or not.

  • 145 Chris Keam // Nov 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    “We as humans cannot influence the planet’s behavior, ”

    Acid Rain

    Ozone Layer

    The population of the Earth has grown from roughly a billion in 1800, to 7 billion (and rising fast). Such an increase will probably have an impact on the planet, esp. when about a billion of those people are burning fossil fuels at a rate never before seen at any time in history.

  • 146 Chris Keam // Nov 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    “global cooling would mean mass starvation”

    Or it might mean that the ‘breadbaskets’ of the world move a few degrees closer to the equator. On a global scale, it could just as easily make it easier to feed the billions of people who live in those regions and currently have a scarcity of food and lack the monetary resources to import food as we do.

  • 147 Chris Keam // Nov 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    “Global cooling is a greater threat than global warming because under the former, total growing area is diminished where if global warming occurs the area suitable for growing food may actually get bigger.”

    Another point to be made with regard to this erroneous assumption is that there is currently a huge surplus of food that gets wasted. Total growing area is important, but less important than having arable, productive land close to where people are. Fertile polar regions are an interesting thing to contemplate, but would do little to alleviate hunger where it exists in the largest proportion, as those who hunger don’t have the means to get where the food is (that’s already a problem), and the wholesale movement of billions of people to new parts of the world is an undertaking so massive that the countries who would have to foot the bill could never afford it. Given your stated antipathy to solutions and initiatives put forth by globally-focused organizations such as the U.N. Bill, I suspect you’d have grave reservations about mandating the ‘haves’ paying for the ‘have-nots’ to move to newly created regions of arable land. Do feel free to surprise me however.


  • 148 Chris Keam // Nov 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    As this graphic shows, global cooling is arguably a better outcome for the most people, if it increases food output in the thick band of population girdling the planet. Not hard to imagine how a fecund Outback might benefit the large population of Indonesia, or the way a more fertile and green Africa transforms the fortunes of the people who call that continent home.

  • 149 Rico // Nov 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Wow, I am just as guilty as everyone else…but to move it back to Translink. Put pressure on your politicians of all strips and levels to solve the funding issues. For the CO2 worriers it will reduce transportation related CO2 growth and for the naysayers it will still improve the urban fabric and make Metro Vancouver a better place to be.

  • 150 Rico // Nov 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Ms Jones, I may be a bit of a jack of all trades (actually I do have one so I guess that would make me a master of one). In my profession I often have to rely on the opinions of other professionals in areas I am not an expert in. That is why I am content to place my faith in the experts provided that what I see matches my expections (call it due dilligence or the sniff test). That is why when the overwhelming number of experts believe in man made global warming and that checks with the majority of credible sources I have seen I believe them.
    And we are part of the planets ecosystem, we influence the planet with every action we take or don’t take…..boy I just screwed up my own attempt to bring the thread back on topic….

  • 151 MB // Nov 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @ Bill 144

    Global cooling has not been a threat for the past half century because the particulates and aerosols injected into the atmosphere by volcanic eruptions (and no, Ian Plimer has not provided one shred of proof that “hundreds of undersea volcanoes are causing global warming”) have had only a moderate dimming effect on the overall record planetary warming of the last 50 years.

    Even Pinatubo’s effects lasted but two years before the aerosols dissapated and washed out into the sea. The phenomenon of urban smog is actually helping cool the planet a measurable amount, but compared to the gases that are 98% efficient in absorbing heat, this is like putting a damp postage stamp on the forehead of a feverish adult covered by a down duvet.

    You’ll find even Hansen acknowledges the relatively unknown role water vapour may have in moderating or increasing warming. But there have been periods in prehistory where the geological and chemical evidence points to GHGs at today’s level leading to rapid positive feedbacks (notably the melting of frozen methane in the arctic permafrost and in the ocean floor) and much greater warming over time, water vapour notwithstanding.

    The best agricultural soils are in southern Canada, especially the Chernozemic soils of the prairies. The biogeoclimatic zones have already marched 4 degrees northward, but the assumption that food can be grown in the Arctic falls apart when you look at a soils map. Up there there is bare rock, muskeg or very thin boreal forest floor duff.

    Temps are increasing and temp alone (let alone drought or floods) has already had a deleterious effect on plant growth. Heat shocks kill food crops, it’s that simple.

  • 152 Ned // Nov 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Rico, MB and others…
    Calling for more taxation (carbon tax) is completely nuts! Carbon tax? WTF is that? A vehicle or a tool for people like the former vice president to get rich beyond his dreams? On the backs of the North American people? Look at Europe. Austerity measures, half of Europe on the edge of collapse, soon United States will follow suit, probably enter, wait until next year, another recessionary period…
    Look at yourselves in the mirror people.
    But you guys playing the guitars and singing Kumbaya around the marshmallow fire, not a worry in the world but CO2… I can’t stop laughing!

  • 153 MB // Nov 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks Rico. Yes, this is about transit and how to fund it. That’s where carbon taxes come in, and the link to climate change.

    Contrary to Neds opinion some of us are concerned about debt too. Any effort to fund transit with a carbon tax should first prioritize other parts of the budget to keep the net tax increase minimal or neutral. But the tax needs to be transparent and dedicated to transit and other things related to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Putting it into general revenue is just plain dishonest.

    There are other related issues that require attention such as governance and political donations, but time and off issue tangents (and tired texting thumbs) are leading me to shut it down here.


  • 154 A Dave // Nov 16, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Welcome to Frances Bula’s Blind Faith Blog!

    Richard, ever the environmentalist (except when he’s advocating for freeway overpasses), says, “Lets stop pumping gas and stripping coal out of it (the earth) and everything will be fine.”

    Of course he completely ignores (as do the rest of the CO2-alarmed commentators) that in order to build the giant turds at Oakridge and Marine Gateway (and the Rize, for future Skytrain) that they love so dearly, there will have to be a massive dredging of sand from the Fraser River to create the millions of cubic feet of concrete needed, and a huge amount of CO2 will be released in the demo/construction of both these massive freeways into the sky.

    But accelerated, hyper growth is good, right? It doesn’t take huge amounts of energy to build and sustain mega-developments, right? This are all good for the environment, right? Blah, blah, blah.

    Then you say it is “Hard to objectively blame SkyTrsin for poor urban design.” And Andrew chimes in that, “Blaming SkyTrain for poor urban design and architectural outcomes is beyond silly.”

    Well, guys, if you’d actually read Frances’ first paragraph, you’d realize that “Transportation experts talk about the two functions of transit. It can primarily serve, which means putting most of your transit where existing demand is. Or it can be used to shape — so transit lines are built or routed into areas where demand isn’t strong yet, but the hope is that if transit goes there, development, density and demand will follow.”

    If Translink is going to SHAPE, then, of course, they can’t do it alone. The city planners need to get on board to ensure that those areas being shaped are shaped well.

    After 30+ years, surely we can judge the outcome? All we’ve got to show for it is masses of towers and big box retailers plunked down to beef up density around the stops. Most of the East Van stops are a wasteland. The Canada Line is more of the same. But this is not urban design, it’s lowest common denominator, quick-buck planning.

    It’s a sad joke on the livable city.

    That you “environmentalists” buy into this BS brand as somehow good for the planet is what is beyond silly. How can you possibly ignore the fact that hyper-growth and unsustainable development like this is exactly what caused the environmental crisis you are so terribly concerned about?

    And yes, you can all think for 5 seconds and dredge up a poorly designed sprawling city like Calgary, and make a tenuous connection to LRT in an attempt to refute my claim that Skytrain has failed as a shaper, but you know full well that Calgary was primarily shaped by the automobile and the abundance of land – their transit authority has always been a band-aid on a gaping wound.

    And voony, why are you confused? Are you honestly trying to tell me central Paris was built post Metro? But how do you explain all those bland, shitty 20th Century suburbs on the outskirts that are served by Metro? You know, the ones that no tourist or true Frenchman ever dares visit.

    And I realize with the italics you may have missed the quotation marks in the second half of my post @ 111. That “inarticulate rant” (complete with numbers that you always choose to ignore) isn’t mine. It’s by a very good friend of yours.

    So sure, be disingenuous and measure ALRT vs. LRT 1:1 and you know who wins (other than the bottom line). But measure it dollar for dollar against several LRT lines servicing a much larger area of the city (as the quote points out) and it’s really no contest, Skytrain comes up way, way short.

    It has failed as a shaper and it has failed as a service provider – Translink is a bankrupt mess with poor service for actual commuters like me. The single biggest reason it’s such a mess is the choice to continue building more Skytrain lines.

    But again, what do you pie-in-the-Skytrainers care? You clearly don’t commute on the system daily anyway.


  • 155 rico // Nov 16, 2012 at 7:52 am

    A Dave, as to transit shaping development I think the point others were making is that transit by itself does not make good urbanism(witness East Van) but if local councils want to it can contibute (witness the changes to no.3 road since the Canada Line or Port Moody in anticipation of the Evergreen line). Pretty sure Voony’s point was just because you build a LRT does not mean you will magically get good urbanism (with the long list of examples showing poor urbanism along LRT lines) it does not mean LRT causes poor urbanism it just means if Surrey keeps approving crap for developments it will have crappy urbanism with Skytrain or LRT. Despite your views skytrain as a mobility tool to me it is pretty clear to me that except for Calgary is more successful than other North American LRTs although I expect good things from Edmontons NAIT extension and Ottawa when they build it. You should note those will have lots of grade seperation and have comparable costs to skytrain.

  • 156 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 9:40 am

    For those that promote the CAGW dogma with a doubling of co2 have a look at the historical co2 levels that have in the past been as high as 7000 ppm.I guess if what you say is true than the scary tipping point happened millions of years ago already.Makes one wonder if we really even exist today or is our existence just a dream?

  • 157 Roger Kemble // Nov 16, 2012 at 9:40 am

    . . . this is about transit and how to fund it. That’s where carbon taxes come in, and the link to climate change.“.

    Ummmmm, I don’t thinq so MB @ #153.

    What an utterly twisted way of thinquing: use the cause to cure the cause . . .

    One thinq is clearly counter productive when it comes to the creation of communities and cities amenable, profitable and pleasurable to the human condition it is obsession, obsession, obsession.

    Get over it!

    You attempt to instill your bogus fear of imminent incineration then you casually expect the plunder there of to finance the City Beautiful.

    Are you out of your mind?

    That, sir, is the most warped of thinquing you have yet uttered but it is not the only one.

    And, unfortunately for you your pic-a-une yeah sayer give you head for yet more kicks at the cat.

    You are right to be “concerned about debt too.“> Wow, but your authoritative way of saying it is beyond Groucho!

    CO² makes the pretty flowers bloom, Mr. Know-it-all!

    Last night’s Sun warned, not for the first time, Vancouver, Canadian consumer debt is growing exponentially: Canadian institutional debt is growing exponentially. It is unsustainable, read it in the Sun.

    Every governing institution every individual is up to their yin yangs and you have the temerity to treat it as an after thought.

    In our civilization, if I can call it that, money greases the wheels.

    And all the obsessing over shiny trinkets wont save the day Mr. Frightened-to-say-who-he-is M silly B.

    You are not alone in your aggressive fantasies. boohoo, some posts ago called me for not using micrometers to gauge sea level rise: as he, and your cohort, say it is rising exponentially.

    I was merely pointing out after observing the Salish Sea I see no extra ordinary rise and if I need a micrometer to measure it after more than ten years I say whoopee, the polar bears have it made!

    When you come out with such outrageous statements, “. . . transit and how to fund it. That’s where carbon taxes come in . . .” that is just stupid!

    And if you have to be so stupid have the courage to say it under your own name . . . there are weak minds who believe you . . .

  • 158 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

    And if your curious as to what the temps have been over the last 10000 yrs. we are actually just coming out of a very cold time in history.

    So it should be expected that temps are rising now and we should be happy its not going the other way.

  • 159 boohoo // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:01 am


    2 things. Please stop using q’s everywhere. I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but it is ridiculous.

    Yes, you do need to use instruments to measure things. You sitting on a boat does not make you an authority on anything. Like I said earlier, I’ve been breathing my entire life–an expert on air quality that does not make.

    And I’m not claiming sea levels are rising. I don’t ‘feel’ like they are. They are. Mocking science doesn’t make it less true.

  • 160 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

    MB #106
    MB although you would like to spin everything I say ,dont get to excited.My comment at 84 was more to show the huge volumes of material involved in building elevated track and anybody that suggests it is cheaper to build skytrain than at grade LRT is delusional.
    And for those who think that moving towards a common rolling stock in order to add flexibility to our existing system and future system because there are no trains available,go ahead and pick one.Im sure Siemens would be more than happy to build anything that would be suitable for any system or use we require.Common rolling stock would also give us better purchasing power.

  • 161 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Here is the chart for historical sea levels in Vancouver……Yikes run for your lives!!!!!!

  • 162 Bill // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @MB 153

    “Any effort to fund transit with a carbon tax should first prioritize other parts of the budget to keep the net tax increase minimal or neutral. But the tax needs to be transparent and dedicated to transit and other things related to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Putting it into general revenue is just plain dishonest.”

    You are naive beyond belief if you really think any tax ostensibly to fund transit will not eventually be used for general revenue purposes to fund programs like health care that are growing faster than our economy. (“Do you want a new transit line or do you want a new hospital”) Already Adrian Dix has stated that the carbon tax will stay because the government needs the revenue. And he is going to increase corporate taxes which were reduced in order to keep the carbon tax revenue neutral. Once the carbon tax is decoupled from revenue neutrality, which it has been, it becomes just another source of revenue like any other tax. It doesn’t matter if the government is NDP or Liberal, this will happen.

  • 163 boohoo // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Hey look I can find a fun graph too! It’s not from someone’s home made blog mind you, but we use what we got I suppose…

  • 164 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

    It doesnt matter if its the IPCC or a city planning department,people tend to hire only like-minded employees and when there is hundreds of billions of dollars involved the dogma only tends to escalate.After all their job depends on it.

  • 165 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Gman’s cute little graph conveniently leaves out the most recent time frame, in which industrialization occurred (and with it increased fossil fuel use). A quick google search turns up more thorough examples that include more recent data. Thosse graphs show temperatures getting higher and staying there, unlike the normal cyclic fluctuations present in pre-Industrial eras. Further, the author cited in his graph is quick to point out that even small changes in temp. can have huge impacts on humanity. I suspect neither Gman or Roger (honestly Kemble, you should know better, you seem like a smart guy when you aren’t ranting) are willing to subject themselves to a microcosm experiment – let’s put you in a 20 degree celsius room for a decade, and raise the temperature by a quarter degree a week. Let me know how that works out for you. Yes, I know that’s a ridiculous example. Monkey see, Monkey do I guess. Ignorance must be contagious.

  • 166 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:54 am

    “You are naive beyond belief if you really think any tax ostensibly to fund transit will not eventually be used for general revenue purposes to fund programs like health care that are growing faster than our economy.”

    I thought we were all sly operatives of the Marxist-Leninist super-sabotage club? Now I don’t know whether to be evil, cuz it’s sexy, or ignorant cuz it’s bliss. What’s a Fool to do?

  • 167 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

    “people tend to hire only like-minded employees and when there is hundreds of billions of dollars involved the dogma only tends to escalate.After all their job depends on it.”

    Don’t bring the Koch brothers into this. Haven’t they suffered enough already? I hear their down to their last few billions.

  • 168 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:56 am

    ‘they’re’ argh

  • 169 Roger Kemble // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Yes, Chris @ #165 it is a “. . . ridiculous example” and until you have something useful to say, don’t say it

    We have yet to hear from the know-all, ubiquitousMB and when he is let out of his day trading job we can be sure his handlers have a script ready for him . . .

    Your chorus line is tedious . . .

  • 170 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:00 am

    @ A Dave 154

    Wow. SkyTrain causes cancer, and LRT cures it?

    Well, your SkyTrain = blight trope is pretty much in that vein.

    I’m sure you’ll agree the architecture, urban design and planning of neighbourhoods near rapid transit lines is too divorced from real neighbourhood consultation. THAT is where the trouble resides, A Dave.

    Transit technology has little to do with how a community evolves. That’s up to the architects, planners, developers and neighbourhoods. But the presence of high-quality transit is very efficient in stimulating development in whatever form.

    And I’m sure you’ll agree with us that human-scaled urbanism (i.e. pedestrians rule, low and mid-rise except at transit hubs, mixed use, …) is an admirable goal to work toward, even though we may disagree with the details on the final form.

    But until someone changes the constitution and makes it illegal fro citizens to have the choice or necessity to find work/schools/amenties in other neighbourhoods from the one in which they live, there will be the neccesity to commute.

    You missed entirely the support most of the “Skytrainers” above have for all forms of transit.

    Calling us “Skytrainers” or “Trinketeers” is just more irrelevant anti-mobility name-calling.

    And thanks for pointing out the obvious that Calgary was and still is shaped by the automobile. That observation and C-Train’s unfortunate poor safety record at crossings is usually ignored by LRT aficionados when remarking on their high ridership numbers.

    Transit ridership and technology alone do not make great urbanism.

  • 171 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

    @ gman 156 + 158

    Sources please.

  • 172 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Boo that is the chart for Vancouver,if thats not good enough for you maybe NOAA would be better.
    Click on the arrows and see for yourself.And of course the EPA has no agenda,
    CK you are obsessed with the last hundred years but fail to explain why the tipping point wasn’t reached when co2 was as high as 7000 ppm in the past,how did we ever survive?

  • 173 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Forgot the link.

  • 174 boohoo // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

    The point gman, is anyone can find a chart to prove anything. I can find a webpage dedicated to the belief the world is flat. Does that make it legitimate?

    Yes, the EPA has bias or an agenda. Everyone does. So what?

  • 175 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @ Roger

    All I did was take 7 minutes to check and discover your source is covered in oily fingerprints and has thus no credibility to promulgate on the don’t-worry-be-happy ‘advantages’ of global warming.

    And your response is purple accusations, blue ridicule and red anger.

    That is not an adequate rebuttal.

  • 176 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

    MB# 171
    Did you look at the chart MB,the authors are on them…

  • 177 Roger Kemble // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:24 am

    . . . more irrelevant anti-mobility name-calling.” Absolutely. absolutely.

    Los Angeles led its growth placing tram lines first: look at the sprawl! So did Chicago!

    Mexico City. Coyoacan, San Angel etc, nice little villages: El Metro came later.

    Buenos Aires. San Telmo, Palermo Viejo etc, nice little villages: El Subte came later.

    London. Tower Hamlets, Whapping, etc., nice little villages: the tube came much, much later . . .

    I’m all for a semi-self contained urban village first: let the talkers do the trinkets.

    Get off your high horse MB: you’re just another gossip!

  • 178 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Boo,here are some more and you can check the source for your self,the data is what it is,we are at a historical low right now and all the scary scenarios is nothing more than dogma.Temps have gone up and down at even faster rates than we are experiencing now and we had nothing to do with it.

  • 179 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:30 am


    “tipping point wasn’t reached when co2 was as high as 7000 ppm in the past,how did we ever survive?”

    Surely you’re not referring to the Carboniferous period? Since math isn’t my strong suit, hence I’m not much of a paleo-geologist either, please let me know which period where 7000ppm CO2 levels and humans were co-existant? I’m not up-to-speed on that front.

  • 180 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:33 am

    “Temps have gone up and down at even faster rates than we are experiencing now and we had nothing to do with it.”

    Geezus, the logic fail is so epic with that statement I shake my head.

  • 181 Roger Kemble // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

    And your response is purple accusations, blue ridicule and red anger.

    Absolutely right MB @ #175. What the hell do I care? You know squat . . .

    And like any normal human being I’m angry at your arrogant intrusion on every damn subject you know nothing about.

    Y&ou are driven by compulsion not reasonable contributions.

    Yours is the cool of the dead!

  • 182 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

    @ gman re: sea level rise

    Classic cherrypicking. Who cares about a few millimetres, right?

    “As the world warms and seas rise, some spots are expected to take the brunt of the higher ocean levels, while others may not see such a deluge, new research by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals.

    “The study homed in on one “hotspot,” where sea levels are rising more than three times faster than the global average: the 621-mile (1,000-kilometer) stretch along the eastern United States’ Atlantic coast.

    “From Cape Hatteras, N.C., to north of Boston, Mass., tide-gauge records reveal sea levels have increased on average about 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) per year from 1950 to 2009. Globally, meanwhile, sea levels have increased about 0.02 inches (0.6 millimeter) per year during that window. ”


    “The research team links rapid sea-level rise within this hotspot to a slowdown in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current, which transports warm water from the tropics into the higher latitudes. Fluctuations in this current have profound implications for climate, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

    Now consider that NYC was founded about 300 years ago. One news cast on hurricane Sandy (CBS?) mentioned that the sea has risen about 200 mm in the ~200 years since the Dutch expanded their settlement in what would become lower Manhattan. About 1/5th of that rise occurred in the last 60 years.

    The rate is speeding up. And it’s really going to speed up once methane starts to offgas from arctic regions as the Earth warms. Gen Xers may see sea level rise measured in centinmetres per decade instead of millimetres.

    Couple that with the already more intense (i.e. lower pressures drawing up seawater at the eye by several additional metres, causing record breaking storm surges) and frequent storms, and a sea temp 4 degrees warmer than average and you’ve got an insurance problem a quarter-continent in size.

    And gman if there’s nothing to worry about and therein no money should be spent on mitigation measures, then why have regional and municipal engineering departments already increased the diameters of storm sewer pipes just to accommodate the runoff from storms that are already much more frequent and intense than even the 80s?

    Sea level rise and greater runoff are existing, recorded facts, not the conspiratorial myths deniers say come from faulty computer models.

  • 183 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    “Geezus, the logic fail is so epic with that statement I shake my head.”
    Really Chris,and by your logic there is a secret cabal headed by the Koch brothers who know the world is on the edge of a catastrophic tipping point that will destroy mankind and the entire planet,but are only concerned about profits.
    I have no interest in having another circular conversation with someone who has so obviously not even looked at all the information that is available,but prefers to spout tribal dogma.

  • 184 boohoo // Nov 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    “I have no interest in having another circular conversation with someone who has so obviously not even looked at all the information that is available,but prefers to spout tribal dogma.”

    “And like any normal human being I’m angry at your arrogant intrusion on every damn subject you know nothing about.”

    You guys are funny.

  • 185 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm


    Surely sarcasm isn’t beyond you (Koch Brothers). If you don’t want to engage, don’t respond. Pretty simple really.

    “And like any normal human being I’m angry at your arrogant intrusion on every damn subject you know nothing about.”

    Free speech bee-yotch. Get your own blog and censor like Alice B. Tsunami if you don’t like it.

  • 186 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm


    “Classic cherrypicking. Who cares about a few millimetres, right?”

    Really MB,I link to NOAA for the west coast because that’s where we live and you call it cherry picking.Then you search for a scary article on the east coast to try and prove what?
    We are coming out of an ice age MB,the only question is whether or not less than four one hundredths of one percent of which man is responsible for a mere three percent of co2 is the cause. Try and get a grip on reality MB.

  • 187 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    CK are you getting frustrated.I would suggest its because you got nothing…..bee-yotch

  • 188 Roger Kemble // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Who’s feeding you all this drivel?

    Who the hell are you anyway MB @ #175?

    Who, or what, are you shilling for?

    What gives you the right to pump your potted bilge into this conversation.

    If you cannot support your brave talk, if you are afraid the say who you are, to back up your nonsense with credentials then get the hell out . . .

  • 189 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    @ gman 178

    Finally, a partial connection to the site’s homepage, and not just easy clips of several graphs.

    I suspect the C3 site to be rife with hundreds of data bits and clipped partial results manipulated to support an anti-climate change bias.

    Why do I suspect this? It’s not necessarily because the word “conservative” appears in the title (after all, the root meaning is ‘to conserve’), but there are several links to other posts with the following titles:

    > The elites’ consensus “climate change” science is confirmed to be the anti-science green fraud exposed in original Climategate

    >Extreme Weather & AGW: Is Sen. Lieberman Just Dumb? Senile? Or, Are All Liberals/Leftists Just Anti-Science?

    >Romney Embraces California’s Destructive Environmental Regulations To Conquer The Feared “Global Warming”

    > By Embracing The Castro/Chavez Global Warming Ideologues, Gov. Christie’s Candidacy Self-Destructs

    > Gingrich and a few others embraced the bogus, and non-scientific, UN IPCC approach to climate science…

    > Newt’s Presidential Bid Getting Trashed, And It’s Due To His Self-Inflicted Green Idiocy: How He Can Recover

    > Memo To Republicans: “Accelerating” Global Warming Is Unequivocally False, Per NOAA, HadCRUT & NASA Data
    The Big Lie: Global warming is accelerating and/or is “significantly” warming.

    And so on.

    So, gman, who is the hidden author of the C3 site and the highly biased articles? What are her/his funding sources?

    Has s/he ever published research in the peer-reviewed science press? You know, on the same playing field as real climate scientists?

    I’d say no, but then several of you would call me a liar, or even better, look up some choice words from Roger’s Thesaurus of Choice Names and Insults without offering any of your own proof, of course.

  • 190 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    @ Roger

    I’m not a shill for anyone. I only read interesting books.

    And I’m not going anywhere.

  • 191 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    MB you might want to address the data rather than the person who compiles it.Science doesn’t know if your left or right.If you have a problem with the data that is presented then try and show us why that is.

  • 192 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @ gman 161

    Ok, now a link to “Real” Climate, yet another anti-climate change site whose author is a well-known denier. No, not a skeptic. An outright denier.

    Stephen Goddard (not his real name) has been called on his disinformation before, most famously when he claimed that arctic sea ice was expanding when in fact it just underwent a record melting.

    More info here, including his retraction when real scientists corrected him:

    If a genuine scientist like James Hansen ever retracted a major conclusion of his … now that would be news.

  • 193 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    CK are you getting frustrated.”

    Nope. Amused by a person who appears to believe that the fact that there was a period in time 300 million years ago when CO2 was at 7000ppm when humans weren’t even a glint in the megafaunas’ eyes is relevant to the present. By somebody using a graph that omits the key data, as a means to bolster an argument that 99% of the scientific community considers nonsense. Let’s face it, you’re the one getting worked up Buddy. You don’t like your beliefs being exposed for foolishness on such a public forum do ya Pal?
    Well, Friend, that’s a darn shame.

  • 194 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    @ gman 191

    The data are meaningless if the context is biased.

  • 195 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    CK,so again you’ve got nothing but more personal attacks?

  • 196 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    @ Bill 162

    An excellent point.

    But you’ll note I actually said “…a carbon tax should prioritize … and needs to be transparent …”

    I know full well what politicians do with revenue sources and that puts me on the same level of cynicism as you on this matter.

    It doesn’t have to be so.

  • 197 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    MB there is no context,data is what it is.

  • 198 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    “so again you’ve got nothing but more personal attacks”
    You asked, I responded. Not frustrated. Laughing at the way you’re ignoring the questions? Are you referring to the Carboniferous?

    Why does your graph not include the time period when industrialization and fossil fuel use began in earnest?

    The way you’ve positioned the latter is like a man with 20 beers in him, pointing to the first 18 tee-totaling years of his life and claiming that therefore he can’t possibly be drunk now. Geez, think about it please.

  • 199 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    gman, data can be altered, manipulated, cherrypicked, stuffed, grilled, baked, spun, rolled, uncorrected, edited, punched, kicked, ground, rolled and smoked.

    The peer-reviewed scientific press publishes reports where all data is presented for testing, all assumptions are described, and research funding sources are identified.

    C3 and Unreal Climate (and a number of other links you’ve provided before, like Wattthef*ckisupwiththat?) do nothing of the kind.

  • 200 MB // Nov 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Ahh 200!

  • 201 boohoo // Nov 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    “MB there is no context,data is what it is.”

    oh gman come on…stop playing dumb.

  • 202 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm


    “if you are afraid the say who you are, to back up your nonsense with credentials then get the hell out”

    If you feel this is important (I tend to agree with you on this point btw), then you should issue the same challenge to Gman/Bill/Glissando Remmy et al. Otherwise your demand for bona fides is an attempt to bully others into silence, rather than establish credibility. Further, bold claims require a greater burden of proof. I don’t need to know the identity of somebody who tells me gravity makes apples fall out of trees. But if somebody is going to tell me I can levitate if only I buy their special anti-gravity salve, I’m gonna want some proof that they aren’t a snake-oil salesman.

  • 203 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    sorry, should say ‘looks like an attempt’ as it is my opinion/observation, rather than an outright accusation.

  • 204 Bill // Nov 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    @ Chris Keam #166

    “I thought we were all sly operatives of the Marxist-Leninist super-sabotage club?”

    I think the term you are looking for is “useful idiots”.

  • 205 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Hoary zingers are good fun and all, but wouldn’t your time be better spent figuring out the best shipping routes to get rice from the Inuvik paddies to the shops of Jakarta Bill?

  • 206 Bill // Nov 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    @boohoo #201

    “oh gman come on…stop playing dumb.”

    No one would ever accuse you of “playing” dumb now would they, boohoo.

  • 207 boohoo // Nov 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm


    You sure are a charmer eh? Have a great weekend, try not to personally insult random people who happen to disagree with you.

  • 208 brilliant // Nov 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I’m disappointed I missed Chris Keam’s Ode to a Bicycle : (

  • 209 Roger Kemble // Nov 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    . . . same challenge to Gman/Bill/Glissando Remmy et al.

    Not the same Chris @ # 202.

    MB has a militant agenda . . .

  • 210 boohoo // Nov 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    There’s always an excuse eh Roger?

    Anyway what I’m most impressed by–209 posts and barely a mention of bike lanes!

  • 211 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Boo I would speculate the reason Richard is against trams or streetcars is because the bike lobby has their eyes firmly focused on all the curb lanes in the city for bike

  • 212 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm


    Bike are good, bike are Grand
    If you don’t like it, go pound… The pavement

    Best I can do on short notice. :-)

    Roger – nonsense. I expect more from you. Stop letting me down.

  • 213 Chris Keam // Nov 16, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    @Gman, instead of speculating on Richard’s motives, I wonder why you aren’t willing to answer my specific enquiries regarding your contention that humans in the past survived in a world of 7000 ppm of CO2 and the lack of the Industrial Age in the graph you claim provides context w/r/t human impacts on climate? Do let us know when you intend to answer these reasonable questions.


  • 214 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Chris if your talking about the 600 million year chart that shows co2 then the extremely short period since the industrial revolution wouldn’t even be visible.

    Or if your talking about the 10 thousand year Greenland ice core temp chart…..well they are
    ice cores Chris,I would imagine anything less than up to 95 yrs ago is a little iffy.But even if you add the rise in temp over the last 95vrs. it would still be below the medieval warm period.

  • 215 gman // Nov 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Chris a good question would have been to point out the rather large estimate of uncertainty,but even at the very bottom of uncertainty it would still be 3000 ppm as opposed to the 395 ppm now.

  • 216 Voony // Nov 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    ..A Dave is quick to recognize that other factor define urbanism in LRT town, like calgary, or any other inconvenient example you could name (yes Rico, you read me right). He is much slower to admit the same for Skytrain in Vancouver, wonder why this dichotomy?

    Not sure why Dave you feel the need to mention Paris, but since we are there:

    “But how do you explain all those bland, shitty 20th Century suburbs on the outskirts that are served by Metro? You know, the ones that no tourist or true Frenchman ever dares visit.”

    First the suburb you think of, the one you have seen burning on your TV screen, are not served by metro …yep Paris metro wander not too much outside the historic city limits.

    Secondly they are plenty of the same model at any European cities outskirt, metro or not (check the Roma Corviale, one of the finest example of the time, tell me where is the clossest subway?) .
    In those day, french urbanists were openly regretting that the Nazi didn’t bomb Paris (check movie “is paris burning”), which could have been a great opportunity to implement the LeCorbusier Plan’s Voisin or its ersatz (check movie “mon oncle” from Tati)

    Thirdly like for Calgary, those has been built at a time a car centric future in mind: Yep, like for Vancouver, it was a freeway plan for Paris ( ).

    this period is what the historian Louis Chevalier, has called “The assassinate of Paris”.

    Nothing to do with the subway…

    Regarding the Dave fantasist quotes: he forgot to throw the Pemberton-chilliwack tram-train in the mix. I think Mike0123 has answered to that.

    But to be sure, Example of be Portland, Seattle, Calgary, Ottawa, without discounting Toronto…all point to say that the advanced numbers by Dave don’t pass a reality check.

  • 217 Roger Kemble // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Roger – nonsense. I expect more from you. Stop letting me down.” Huh thanqxz, I suppose misplaced pomposity is a permissible flaw.

    Now to get down to business I still feel very uncomfortable with self-appointed oracles anonymously laying their juggernauts of certitude on us. When I hear self appointed amateurs quote their favourite gurus implying “the science is conclusive” my innards rumble.

    Chris @ #212. I am not talking nonsense!

    As for our subject city, Vancouver, it is very difficult to have an objective discussion on its why’s and wherefores because we are far too close to home, and obviously we have skin in the game.

    The city is essentially a mid-sized, culturally isolated, community that has a place somewhere on the world roster. Recently, due to reality exposure of the www, it has fallen a few notches from a vaunted position of world-class grace. Indeed, for over sixty years I have watched the city diminish on every count: economic, cultural, environmentally and spiritually.

    The city has consistently relied on bull-shitting to placate the inner misgivings of its people. I cite, for instance, the sell-out to off shore speculation of our children’s heritage.

    A recent example of that is the mayor’s task force on housing affordability: the one solution that mercifully has quietly died on the vine is Thin Streets.

    The task force studiously avoided mention of the two rampant causes of unaffordability, ponzi banking and off shoring. I notice the former is studiously avoided on these conversations too. Obviously the protagonists in the affordability game are constricted, reality would disrupt their social life.

    The poppy cock obsession over moving hardware in relation to urban amenity has merit so long as subject origins and destinations matured before the gadgetry was installed. The talk of allowing density office zoning at TX stops has merits so long as it is augmented by a maturing diversity of usage around a figure ground heritage of place. Other wise it is just sprawl of a different kind.

    Of virtually no insignificance in Vancouver’s daily life is art and culture. Successful artists seem, always, to be faculty members of one academic institutions or another: their art isn’t enough to feed their needs, they need more money: but it sure constricts their message to the party line and art is supposed to confront the
    party line.

    And of course last but not least good old global warming. Oh boy this is when the wires steam up. Woe betides anyone who questions conventional wisdom: it is written!

    Yet there is oodles of peer reviewed articles describing the fallacious causes of current sea level rise and temperature differential.

    There is millennia evidence, ice cores etc., describing huge historic differential temperatures, humidity and environmental conditions, sans human interference, to disprove whatever the current conventional wisdom shoves in our face.

    In my eighty-three years I read about, some I have personally experiences, hurricanes, droughts, sand storms, Arctic warming, Antarctic cooling, the gamut of what turns the current global dialogue into non sequiturs of panic. None of that will dissuade the hysterically committed!

    Now dear blogging colleagues if you have read this far you have learned some thing. . .

  • 218 Chris Keam // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:02 am


    Chris if your talking about the 600 million year chart that shows co2 then the extremely short period since the industrial revolution wouldn’t even be visible.

    Exactly. And yet there are so many charts that are available that do show a precipitious rise.

    And talking about the Cambrian* period (7000 ppm) as relevant to the present… well connect the dots for me, I don’t see how that’s relevant to the present or our existence (post 157).

    *I erroneously said Carboniferous in earlier posts.

    It strikes me as disingenuous to make the claims you do, and omit the data that addresses the specific time frame in question.

  • 219 Chris Keam // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Chris @ #212. I am not talking nonsense!

    Well, Roger, you are if you demand MB put his/her name out there for all to judge bona fides, but not the people who agree with you. It’s a double standard.

  • 220 Roger Kemble // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

    . . . And I’m not going anywhere.

    Of course not MB @ #190 I love reading your trashy comments over an early morning brew . . .

  • 221 Chris Keam // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:37 am

    “Woe betides anyone who questions conventional wisdom: it is written!”

    That’s bullshit Roger. The issue is not whether people maintain scientific skepticism, nobody that I know is suggesting the science is complete. It’s the fact that so many of those who claim it’s all wrong, turn out to be shills for the fossil fuel industry, or cherry-picking data to fit their thesis, or accusing others of being in the pocket of other organizations, or trolling for grant money or what-have-you…and far too often we discover they are the best examples of the thing they criticize.

  • 222 Roger Kemble // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Be careful Chris @ #221 . . . turn out to be shills for the fossil fuel industry, or cherry-picking data to fit their thesis, or accusing others of being in the pocket of other organizations, or trolling for grant money or what-have-you…and far too often we discover they are the best examples of the thing they criticize.

    I am not a shill for anyone. neither do I obsesses, be it over trinkets or sea levels . . .

    I stick to my level of academic interest . . .

    My thesis is always the commodity firmness and delight of the local urban condition and I condemn the shills who try to introduce specious issues in which they have no expertise . . .

  • 223 rico // Nov 17, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Roger, just wondering in relation to the local urban condition which issues discussed here (for now I will ignore that it is you who usually starts discussion by railing about shiny trinkets or global warming) you feel are specious? Certainly not transit (shiny trinkets in your parlance) and if you are a farmer, fisherman or forest industry worker or someone who lives/works near sea level or associated with the local ski hills global warming global warming is not specious either. And of course except for those who are linking to their own peer reviewed papers everyone here has the same expertise as you and as much right to their opinions.

  • 224 gman // Nov 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Chris your the ones who are running around talking about tipping points and a doubling will be the end of the world as we know it with no hope for life on the planet to survive.You’re the ones who go to schools and try and scare the shite out of children as young as 6 yrs old with photo shopped pictures of polar bears you’re the ones who block the development of the third world and force them to live in a world without hope and very very short lives you’re the ones who burn children in their huts and chase them of their land so you can plant palm oil trees so you can collect carbon offsets you’re the ones who claim the world is coming to an end yet you still manage to holiday on a 747 twice a year but feel no guilt because you purchased these carbon offsets,it really is sickening.
    Now you ask me about the relevance of 7000ppm…really Chris,you mean even that isn’t obvious to you.Its simple Chris,it has been at 7000ppm and the planet is just fine,it goes up it comes down and the miniscule amount man is responsible for will be lost almost completely to natural forcings that are the real driver of our climate.Chris you probably don’t understand that the effect of co2 is logarithmic not linear so you can think about that too.You’re all hypocrites Chris and if you want to prove me wrong then go out and shut the gas off to your house,sell the car,take no more holidays on planes or trains,shut the power off to you’re home and turn off your computer and only eat what you grow yourself or can obtain by walking then and only then will you be living the same life you force on all those billions of starving people in the third world.
    You’ve already shown by you’re questions that you haven’t really got an understanding of what the question even is,you’re just another scary headline reader promoting something you don’t understand or refuse to understand because you like to think you own some kind of moral high ground but in reality its the exact opposite . You do nothing but try and cast doubt on whatever evidence is put in front of you without even realizing where it came from or what it means hoping the rest of the useful idiots wont look at it because it takes a little time and commitment.

  • 225 gman // Nov 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Chris I hope the UN is very proud of themselves in their war on carbon.

  • 226 Bill // Nov 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

    @ Chris Keam #212

    Christopher’s Dilemma

    I know with all my heart,
    That if I want to go Far,
    My Bicycle will never do,
    I will have to use my Car.

    Alas, it is equally true,
    That to be a Progressive Star,
    My Bicycle will have to do,
    I really should sell my Car.

  • 227 MB // Nov 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    @Chris K 221


    @Roger . . . MB has a militant agenda . . .

    Thanks for the hearty laugh! You made my day.

    Now off to find my tin anti B.S. hat and flaming rhetoric squirt gun.

  • 228 MB // Nov 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    @g man

    I don’t doubt that the atmosphere reached 7000 ppm CO2 millions of year ago. BTW neither does James Hansen ie he refers to these periods in his research and in his book “Storms …”.

    But also clearly elucidates the research results that the oceans rose by tens of metres, the temps were well over 10 degrees warmer on average, the sea ice disappeared, the ice caps all but melted, and life for what species existed then was almost impossible.

    Be also produced evidence that crossing the 450 ppm barrier starts a huge cascade that can lead to the above. His evidence was not in the form of computer models but in the analysis of the paleoclimatic record.

    It makes for very interesting reading.

  • 229 Higgins // Nov 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    As an observer…
    For the past 50 or so posts it felt like I was reading ‘intelligence’ from propaganda documents for… both sides.
    Conclusion? Nobody knows anything. Speculation.
    At least the global warming denires camp are admitting to that. The Alarmists… not a chance. Their leader Gore and their cheerleader Hansen know it best!
    Whatever happened 1000 years ago, or what will happen 1000 years from now is not of your concern…MB! Going back 1 million years… Chris? 100 million years ago? Give me a break!
    The arrogance in some!
    Humanity didn’t do a thing to change the state of the planet 1000 or 10000 years ago. They don’t do anything now either.
    This new ‘green’ movement is nothing but smoke and mirrors, a new racket, some are in, some are out. Lots of money to be made.
    Good scare for this millennium.
    It seems to me that you MB, Chris, rico… also people like Gregor & his Vision pals want in. Clear as daylight! :-)

  • 230 MB // Nov 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Higgins, by your definition even city engineers and UBC ocean science profs are “arrogant” for taking sea level rise seriously and actually planning for it. (today’s SUN p A 6).

    Denial is an easy refuge for those who have no adequate response than name calling.

  • 231 gman // Nov 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    MB,let us know if there is anything else you would like us to add to the list of horrors.

  • 232 Terry M // Nov 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    MB @230
    Fwiw Both ” City” engineers and Especially UBC profs and Academia cohorts are ALL in it together in taking advantage of taxpayers money and lots and lots of provincial/ federal grants and subsidies!
    most of their “research” and “studies” is directly linked to results that supports the “flavour of the day”in scare tactics … Global warming catastrophe!
    Keep the fearmongeeing, keep the CASH flowing, heyonecould retire from this single study in 30-40years! Look at Hansen. For the past 40 years he went from one scare to the other… From warm to cold to warm again.
    Luxury crooks!

  • 233 gman // Nov 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Yikes!!!! screw sea level rise…….the bloody planet is going to explode!!!!!!

  • 234 rico // Nov 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Maybe some people here should ask themselves…where is the money to be made? Is it in telling people bad news that they have to be making hard choices or is it supporting the ‘status quo’ and big oil? Who do you think will pay more to find research to support their position, BP, Shell or Al Gore? The answer seems pretty obvious to me. If I was an academic looking soley to make money I certainly would start looking for that research grant from big oil way before I hit up some environmental group.

  • 235 rico // Nov 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Just to be clear not ALL globalwarming denier research/websites etc. is funded by big oil/coal.

  • 236 Joe Just Joe // Nov 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Thought we were talking about Translink but instead I stumbled upon yet another topic overrun by climate change obsessors.
    How long till someone makes the link that the Dinosaurs died due to global warming because they refused to ride bicycles?

  • 237 A Dave // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:28 am

    “But to be sure, Example of be Portland, Seattle, Calgary, Ottawa, without discounting Toronto…all point to say that the advanced numbers by Dave don’t pass a reality check.”

    Well, I guess this lone comment from voony is all the defence that can be mustered by the pie-in-the-Skytrain lobby against some actual numbers.

    First of all, stop comparing these technologies 1:1. Until you do, you are just irresponsibly touting BS propaganda the same irresponsible way the Province has blown taxpayer’s money on Skytrain.

    Second, the real “reality check” might be to use the Millennium Line numbers as a comparison.

    As for the Global Warming theorists, well, maybe you should all take a trip to China and check out just how screwed the planet really is.

    Even if every single Canadian scrapped their cars, turned off all their gadgets, became vegans, and we shut down Tar Sands production, “the biggest city in China that you’ve never heard of” would render our whole country’s conservation efforts moot on a global scale.

    Look it up, since you are all so good at Googling with your electricity-sucking gadgets, which most of you NEVER seem to turn off….

  • 238 rico // Nov 18, 2012 at 8:09 am

    A Dave, so what kind of handicap should we apply? What metric should we measure to compare systems? Remember it is not just the technology but the corridor and how it is managed. That said I like cost pper rider or cost per new rider as metrics myself and….what do know Vancouvers Skytrain beats just about ever LRT system in N. america. The exception is Calgary that had the good forsite to reserve right of ways for future use when they still could. You should note the new Calgary line will end up just as expensive as Skytrain.. Ottawa and Edmonton will also likely have good numbers but they will end up just as expensive as Skytrain (more in Ottawa’s case).

  • 239 Bill // Nov 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    @rico #234

    “Maybe some people here should ask themselves…where is the money to be made?”

    This is a very good question but I think you are defining the financial interests on the warmist side too narrowly as it extends well beyond academics to include:

    • Promoters of alternative energy investment that are only viable with government subsidies.

    • The UN and developing nations as it is another avenue to transfer wealth from the developed economies

    • Governments that can tap into another revenue source in Carbon Taxes

    • Investment bankers that see Cap and Trade as a lucrative source of business (Enron was a strong supporter of Kyoto because of the opportunities to trade credits)

    • High profile shills like Al Gore and James Hansen that have made millions out of promoting the warmist position.

    • Carbon reduction programs that would profit from payments from purchasers of Carbon Credits (that is why 100 tons of iron sulfate was dumped into the ocean off Haida Gwaii)

    When you add it all up there is significant financial interest on both sides of the issue.

  • 240 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

    “Chris your the ones who are running around talking about tipping points and a doubling will be the end of the world as we know it with no hope for life on the planet to survive.”

    Except I haven’t made any of such claims. Citation needed as they say. As usual, it’s necessary for you to misrepresent what I say, to bolster your argument.

  • 241 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

    “it has been at 7000ppm and the planet is just fine”

    Please, if you can’t be a smart person, at least try to play one on the Internet.

    How many humans on the planet when the Earth was at 7000ppm?

  • 242 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:51 am


    Same goes for you. (and you too A Dave) Misrepresentation of other people’s views isn’t helping. Advocating for greater transportation options for all, isn’t equivalent to demanding the elimination of cars. I feel like you aren’t even reading the posts I contribute. Gosh, that’s a heart-breaker.

  • 243 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Joe Just Joe:

    Dinosaurs do ride bicycles. How do you think they get those big thighs?

  • 244 gman // Nov 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    The only way lrt and skytrain cost per kilometer to build is the same would be if you have to tunnel or build a bridge so that’s a push.Some sections will require tunnels and bridges but if you compare the cost to build skytrain elevated track compared to at grade lrt there is no way its even close.What the skytrain lobby fails to add to the mix is the hundreds of buses required to feed the system that causes people to transfer in turn causes the loss of ridership.

  • 245 gman // Nov 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    CK your whole meme is about catastrophic runaway global warming.The point of the 7000ppm is that it didn’t run away Chris there was even an ice age during that period and guess what Chris the world didn’t turn into a dusty brown marble.A little simple logic might be in order here Chris,but then of course we would lose the multi billion dollar carbon market and the CAGW industrial complex.

  • 246 gman // Nov 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    And for those that keep referencing Hansen he is nothing but a serial data adjuster and propagandist.He likes to adjust historic temps down to give the appearance the rise is greater than it really is.The same thing has been done in Australia and New Zealand.

  • 247 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    “CK your whole meme is about catastrophic runaway global warming”

    Ummm, No. But I understand how that props up your argument to misrepresent everything I say.

    Putting aside the science for a moment, the bottom line is that you’re quite willing to accuse those who’s opinion you don’t like, as being corrupt or having vested interests. The fact that you can’t see how idiotic that makes you look when you do so from behind a nom de Net is kind of frightening actually. Put your identity and professional associations up for inspection, and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a shred of credibility as an unbiased observer. Until then, you sound a lot like a guy with $$$ riding on the tide of public opinion, which would very much explain your position. When you’re ready to do that, then perhaps I’ll be willing to take you seriously. Until then bonne chance.

  • 248 Richard // Nov 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm


    LRT systems still required feeder buses but you are right, they require fewer buses. Of course, that is because fewer people use them.

    It should come as no surprise that more people use fast frequent transit. While transferring is not ideal, what really discourages transit use is waiting several minutes for a bus or train to arrive.

    At least during peak periods, often there is no waiting during peak periods. I went to SFU on Thursday morning. I made 3 transfers and did not have to wait at all for any of the trains or buses. I don’t mind these transfers as I get to stretch my legs and walk a bit. Hard to get much better service that that. The challenge is to extend this type of service to more parts of the region and get more buses and trains to handle the demand that good service generates.

  • 249 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Not only that, but the near-certainty that a Skytrain will be coming (at some stations, such as Patterson) you can even see the next one heading out from Metrotown station) in a few minutes makes the entire experience more relaxing. Contrast that with wondering just how long your bus will be delayed by single occupant vehicles, and it’s pretty obvious why people like metros and subways that aren’t subject to the vagaries of traffic delays.

  • 250 rico // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Gman, if you had bothered to actually read my last comment you would note I was advocating cost per rider or cost per new rider as my preferred metric to compare system (not cost per km). A cheap tram_train between Chilliwack and Scott road for a few thousand users will cost a lot more than a bored tunnel under Broadway per user. Skytrain is expensive (so is good LRT usually) but it has lots of riders so the cost per rider is low. Compare that with the majority of N. American LRT that tends to be cheaper but have way less ridership so except for Calgary the cost per rider is more…so what is the better deal?

  • 251 gman // Nov 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    CK,nice spin Chris but again you’ve got nothing so you revert to an attempt to attack my character.There is a reason I prefer to protect my identity Chris,its so zealots like you cant make my or my families life miserable interfering with my business or putting up fake facebook pages or anything else their twisted little minds come up with. And Chris if you now are saying it isn’t going to be catastrophic then what the hell are we talking about?

  • 252 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Nobody’s going to bother you, your business, or your family over a moronic Internet argument. Look at how many people do post with their real names here. How many have been harrassed? The only people who are threatening folks regarding their work life is your posse bro. Nice company you keep.

  • 253 Chris Keam // Nov 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    “And Chris if you now are saying it isn’t going to be catastrophic ”

    I have made no claims regarding the level of severity of climate change. I have said I trust the scientific community’s perspective, namely that steps should be taken to mitigate the impacts of climate change. This is what I’m talking about. You have put words in my mouth again and again, call me a zealot, suggest I will attempt to harm your well-being, and you do so behind a pseudonym. Your character doesn’t need to be attacked by me. You’re soiling your reputation just fine all by yourself.

  • 254 Voony // Nov 19, 2012 at 1:15 am

    A Dave@237

    My comment is not a defense, it is fact…I understand it is uncomfortable facts shaking your belief, but they are.
    (You have started to compare a fantasy LRT with Skytrain, and no in face of reality you say “stop” and don’t want face reality why?)

    As mentioned by Rico, cost/new rider is a nice metric to use, let’s see what happen with a relatively cheap LRT like the Sacramento one: it is here.

    To be sure, evaluating a transit system involve evaluating lot of parameters…

  • 255 Bill // Nov 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

    @ Chris Keam #253

    “ I have said I trust the scientific community’s perspective”

    Just another reason what it is called the Green Religion. Unquestioning faith.

  • 256 Chris Keam // Nov 19, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I question why you are anonymous Bill. I think you have a vested interest. But you would prefer I not question that and demand unquestioning faith that you aren’t paid for your commenting. Prove this is wrong. You may email me privately with your real world contact details if you prefer — so I can verify you are simply a concerned citizen. Until you can live by your own principles, there’s no point in taking you seriously.

  • 257 boohoo // Nov 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Chris, you don’t get it.

    When you disagree with the likes of Bill, gman, higgins etc, you are a paid operative of vision or leftist/socialist/communist/marxist hack or an eco-fascist bent on returning the world to a 12th century state all in a giant global green conspiracy.

    But if you question the likes of Bill, gman, higgins etc on their interests or reasons, well they are just concerned citizens.

    Maybe we should start the same? Bill, higgins, gman–all part of a right wing conspiracy to pollute the planet and lower taxes so they can cut all social programs and eliminate bike lanes and…oh never mind, it’s too stupid to actually try.

  • 258 Chris Keam // Nov 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm


    One of the five W’s is ‘who’. As noted, many people here post using their real names. Some do not, but they also don’t question other people’s integrity with quite the same enthusiasm as you and your pals. If it’s important to know where Al Gore gets his money, then the only real question is why you aren’t willing to submit yourself to the same scrutiny over the same issue. The bottom line is the longer you fail to apply the same standard to your own behaviour, the more suspect your motives appear. I’m trying to give you a chance to prove you can live by the same standard you would impose on others. You don’t want to take it and that raises lots of red flags for anyone who understands part of the due diligence in this regard is establishing who you are actually dealing with. That’s not crazy, that’s smart. Calling me unstable isn’t helping your cause at all. People can google me and see I’m actually pretty sane. But they can’t do that for you can they? So all you’re doing with these unwarranted attacks is ruining your own credibility.

  • 259 gman // Nov 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Subject appears to show signs of agitation and extreme paranoia believed to be caused by his inability to control conversation and set rules on commenting practices that he is unable to enforce. Subject also shows an inability to separate subject of post with commenters and thus obsesses over identities rather than subject matter.
    When approaching subject speak in soft low guttural tones and smile nodding head in agreement while slowly backing away.

  • 260 Chris Keam // Nov 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    It’s not going to work, so don’t bother. This is not about me.

    You’ve shown repeatedly on this blog that who is discussing the subject matter is important to you. Now you’re grasping at straws and it shows. You can’t live by your own rules, you’ve been exposed as such and you have to look in the mirror and confront your double standard. A little less time insulting me and a bit more spent on self-reflection regarding your position might benefit you in the long run, even though there’s some short term pain in admitting to the hypocrisy.

  • 261 Bill // Nov 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    @Chris Keam #256

    “I question why you are anonymous Bill. I think you have a vested interest.”

    Chris, every time you paint yourself into a corner you deflect attention by opening another line of attack. But I’ll play along and I’ll even overlook the “anonymous” issue since other than Roger for the skeptics and yourself for the Warmists, all the other comments on the climate issue have been anonymous so this is just another of your red herrings.

    Yes, I do have a vested interest but then again everyone has a vested interest in what happens with energy policy. My interest is not directly tied to any particular source of energy, I just want to see a healthy economy with the greatest opportunity for growth since that is the only way we will be able to meet the financial challenges we face. Large public debts and social entitlement programs can only mean a reduced standard of living unless we grow our economy.

    Oh, and I am not backed stopped by either an inheritance or trust fund – can you say the same thing?

  • 262 MB // Nov 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    @ Chris K, while I share your frustation with our little cadre of contrarians who misrepresent others statements, who are the first off the block to ridicule, name call and project false assumptions about what their opponents actually think, and who resort to these defence mechanisms when they either cannot produce adequate sources for their outrageous statements or produce laughably amateurish sources with exceedingly biased fusing and motives, I will defend their right to make fools of themselves anonymously.

    My reasons are similar to g man’s in that I don’twwant crank calls or additional junk mail from unwanted sources. I also risk offending my employer.

    However, if identification is important to you I will email you privately. The quality of your comments and your honesty persuade me that you are trustworthy.

  • 263 Frank Ducote // Nov 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    MB – please count me in on that disclosure as well. I am amazed at the flack you and CK are willing to endure from many on this blog. Congrats on your courage to do so.

  • 264 MB // Nov 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you Frank. I do have fun some of the time, otherwise I wouldnt bother.

    Need your contact info … I’m only using a smart phone today.

  • 265 Chris Keam // Nov 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    “Oh, and I am not backed stopped by either an inheritance or trust fund – can you say the same thing?”


    I’ve been a part of the working world since I was ten. I started contributing to the household expenses at age 16 IIRC. Suffice to say no trust fund or inheritance is in my past, present, or future. I hope that answers your question and you’ll accept it at face value. As for your own identity, I’m willing to believe you, but I encourage you to read my comment to MB below, as it explains why I think some people should be compelled to put up their identity or cease accusing others of ulterior motives.


    You can do as choose, but I’d prefer not to be entrusted with your information, in case someone does decide to hack my email, or similar. And I absolutely believe in the value of anonymity when it’s used to protect those who disclose information that’s in the public interest, or allow someone to express their point-of-view. The point is NOT that everyone should use their real name, but rather that those who point to associations and allegiances of un-anonymous posters or public figures and imply self-interest, should be willing to undergo the same scrutiny. Knowing the identity of your accuser is a central tenet of our society.

    Thanks Frank – kind words and I appreciate them.

  • 266 gman // Nov 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    You guys love to play the victim and now you’re going to start your own posse…..awesome!!!

  • 267 Bill // Nov 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @gman #266

    Not “victims” but “Martyrs for the Cause”. Just another reason why it’s called the Green Religion.

  • 268 boohoo // Nov 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Yeah, seeing you two come back with that, it really is stupid.

  • 269 MB // Nov 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    @g man, ‘C3′ is not a legitimate science forum and thus Hansen lives on.

    It is, however a Republican party forum and a gathering place for the coal lobby

  • 270 MB // Nov 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    @ Chris K, fair enough.

  • 271 Everyman // Nov 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    To paraphrase Forrest Gump, this thread is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. ; )

  • 272 IanS // Nov 20, 2012 at 10:14 am


    “And I absolutely believe in the value of anonymity when it’s used to protect those who disclose information that’s in the public interest, or allow someone to express their point-of-view. The point is NOT that everyone should use their real name, but rather that those who point to associations and allegiances of un-anonymous posters or public figures and imply self-interest, should be willing to undergo the same scrutiny. Knowing the identity of your accuser is a central tenet of our society.”

    Chris and I disagree on plenty in this blog, but I’m with him 100% on this.

  • 273 Bill // Nov 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    @Ian S #272

    I think you are off base on this one IanS. An individual’s affiliation is a matter of fact and it does not matter if the affiliation is noted by an anonymous poster. Affiliation is a relevant fact if the individual is expressing an opinion as an expert or is referenced as an expert which would tend to give some weight to their opinion. Now if someone, anonymous or not, discounts this opinion only because of this affiliation, it is really just an argument ad hominem and does nothing to discredit the opinion. It goes without saying that an opinion expressed anonymously without facts or reasoning is worth little.

    You can be either for or against anonymous comments but I don’t think you can really start making exceptions to either position.

  • 274 gman // Nov 21, 2012 at 12:37 am

    What a pathetic group you are to pretend you’re so hard done by is truly pathetic,CK really thinks someone would actually give a crap what he has in his email are you kidding me.You people need to get a grip on reality the hubris you puke out is unbelievable no one cares what you say anymore we’ve all moved on and want nothing more than you to get the hell out of the way so the grownups can straighten things out.What a bunch of sorry goofs you are.MB cant even read a simple chart,instead he does the usual ad hom attack and at the same time accuses people of picking on him,how sad and disgusting. And what hypocrites you are I’m sure every time I comment on this blog a twitter alert is sent out.You people have absolutely no grip on reality instead your scared to death by Al Gore and his BS. Maybe once in your life you might care about your children and your grand children and the sovereignty of your country. Everyone that spouted your rhetoric is backpedaling now and we all know its BS .

    MB that is Hansons data,go to the nasa site and plot it yourself if you’re able.Also on an even more ridicules note you throw out the label conservative as though its a bad word…well MB I don’t know if you got the memo we have a conservative government in this country and we the majority are getting pretty sick of your propaganda.

  • 275 gman // Nov 21, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Only an A-hole would post something like this,but you did “:@ Chris K, while I share your frustation with our little cadre of contrarians who misrepresent others statements, who are the first off the block to ridicule, name call and project false assumptions about what their opponents actually think, and who resort to these defence mechanisms when they either cannot produce adequate sources for their outrageous statements or produce laughably amateurish sources with exceedingly biased fusing and motives, I will defend their right to make fools of themselves anonymously.
    What drivel….

    Thank you for showing how full of yourself you are although your whole deal rests on scary headlines and someone told me so.You have no idea what science is or how it works so why not stop pretending you do. It almost looks like you’re trying to backpedal your selves.

  • 276 boohoo // Nov 21, 2012 at 7:23 am

    You stay classy gman.

  • 277 Chris Keam // Nov 21, 2012 at 8:47 am


    When a person is accusing others (esp. politicians) of various things such as using public policy for private gain, it’s a fairly serious accusation. I don’t think it’s unrealistic for both the reader and the person being targeted for criticism to know who is behind the comments. Esp. when the critic isn’t bringing forward specifics to back the allegations. As I say, it’s a fairly basic right in a free society to know the identity of your accuser. Our society hasn’t kept pace with our technology in this regard, just as once upon a time we printing presses before we had the rules in place to prevent unauthorized reproductions. So, I suppose we should police ourselves until a better solution comes along. Which, for me, means taking ownership of your comments if they impugn someone else’s character or motives. I don’t think it’s unreasonable (although it gets hard when cherished ideals are challenged). They say that a measure of a (wo)man is how they act when no one’s watching. An online pseudonym is the cyber-equivalent. What one says when they are unaccountable says much more about a person than the behaviors they exhibit when social mores are acting as a regulator of their actions. Gman’s screed above is a perfect example. I don’t think he would say that to anyone’s face for fear of consequences, so why should he get a free pass online?

  • 278 Chris Keam // Nov 21, 2012 at 8:48 am

    we ‘had’ printing presses….

  • 279 Bill // Nov 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @Chris Keam #277

    I know Progressives are expert at twisting logic into a pretzel to make a point but your argument here is so flawed it’s hard to know where to begin.

    • A person’s affiliation or financial interest in an issue is a question of fact and it doesn’t matter who calls attention to it. In #175 MB, your new BFF, says “and discover your source is covered in oily fingerprints and has thus no credibility”. This would seem to suggest that the referenced source is financially supported by the oil industry and cannot be trusted. Should MB be censured for anonymously making this claim? I don’t have any problem with it because it is relevant if the source is funded by the oil industry although I disagree that it alone would discredit the source.

    • You don’t believe the “right to know the identity of your accuser” is absolute because you give a pass to “those who disclose information that is in the public interest”. So it is ok to disclose information that may be private or even confidential if it is in the public interest and the accused has no moral right to know who accused them yet pointing out an affiliation or financial interest anonymously that is public knowledge is offside. This is reasonable?

    • Legal remedies are always available for any allegations of financial impropriety that are not true.

    Finally, you comment “So, I suppose we should police ourselves until a better solution comes along”. Are you suggesting that we need a “Progressive Police Force” to regulate discussion on the internet? We don’t need a better solution. Frances Bula determines how this site is governed and that is how it should be in a society that values free speech. If you don’t like the rules, you are free not to comment.

  • 280 boohoo // Nov 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Why must you insist on childish labels and stereotypical nonsense? Are you really that simple that you must devolve everyone into little boxes?

  • 281 Glissando Remmy // Nov 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Thought of The Day

    “After so many comments, the rhetorical question comes in easy… “Who’s on First?”

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • 282 Bill Lee // Nov 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    FRom the Globe and Mail’s twitter feed from its Toronto section
    “@marcusbgee Marcus Gee Great cities know that transit investment will yield a tenfold payback over time, says GO prez Gary McNeil. #unlockgridlock”

  • 283 Roger Kemble // Nov 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Wrong Marcus Gee whoever you are. really wrong!

    Great cities know that making things to pay for the shiny trinkets you like to play with will yield ten fold payback over much less time.

    As for gridlock? That’s a function of sprawl that has inflicted cities since speculators became the only game in town . . .

  • 284 Bill Lee // Nov 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Marcus Gee is the Toronto columnist for the Globe and Mail, as we may read a British Columbia section, Toronto has their own section.
    The twitter profile

    Marcus Gee
    Marcus Gee is Toronto columnist for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper.
    Toronto ·

    “He was born in Toronto and graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1979 with a degree in modern European history. He has worked as a reporter for the Vancouver morning newspaper, The Province; as an editor, writer and correspondent for Asiaweek magazine; as a reporter for United Press International in Manila and Sydney; as a foreign affairs writer at Maclean’s and as senior editor at The Financial Times of Canada.”

    And he is an ardent cyclist.

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