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Translink & 0.5% vote (merged)

July 6, 2015, 7:40 a.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: Sept. 12, 2011

Look at the vote breakdown. People who voted against the plan are overwhelmingly from the outer suburbs and not well-served served by transit and/or do not live, or work or go downtown very much. They see transit improvements as something that benefits people who already can already afford to live near downtown the most vis-a-vis the Broadway SkyTrain extension.

Exactly, the highways are getting busier because people can no longer afford to live in the metro Vancouver area and are being forced out to Surrey, Langley and further east. It's no coincidence that Surrey is the most rapidly growing community in Canada. It's comparatively cheap to live in a practical home to raise kids, it's still within driving distance (or transit distance) to your previous job somewhere in Vancouver and the developers and politicians are more than happy to increase density to accommodate all the people having to leave Vancouver.

The problem now is that there are only 4 Skytrain stations serving Surrey and all along the King George and Pattullo corridor. And Surrey is the BEST served outlying community as far as Metro Vancouver is concerned. People are pushing further out into the valley to Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack where townhouse development boomed over the past 10 years and you can feel good about raising your kids in a home instead of a condo.

The fact that people have had to leave Vancouver to maintain any form of acceptable lifestyle has been completely missed by the people calling the shots with transit improvements etc. If you want to come from Abbotsford into downtown Vancouver to work a 9-5 job you're looking at a 30 minute drive to Carvolth exchange, 20 minute bus to a Skytrain station in Coquitlam and then a 30 minute train ride into downtown Vancouver. You have to change modes of transportation twice each direction, pay $4 to park at the park and ride and then pay your way on transit.

Now you have people who are already upset about having to move further from 1/3 of their lives, their job, and have no accessible transit in these areas, then give them the opportunity to decide if more money needs to be given to the managing company who has been crucified by the media for the past year….. go figure the outlying areas voted no, they're pissed off and they haven't been presented with a plan that would benefit them for another 10 years or more.

I understand the argument that increasing transit service in the Metro Vancouver area will remove X number of cars from the road and reduce congestion for those people who still have to drive. However, with no scientific proof to back this statement, I'm convinced that at least 40% of the congestion in Vancouver is now people coming from Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford and further. If you get on Highway 1, 17, 91 or 99 after 6am on a weekday or try to cross a bridge other than the 10 lane Port Mann just try to argue that.

Actually if anyone has access to the number of people commuting into Vancouver now I'd love to see it. I am one of them and have watched the traffic congestion specifically on Highway 1 seemingly double in the last 5-6 years.

July 6, 2015, 8:36 a.m.
Posts: 1616
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

then it makes even less sense that people further away from vancouver were more likely to vote no. were those people even aware of what the transit plan is or did they simply think it was all about the broadway transit line?

re people in abbotsford would it not make more sense to drive into mission to take the west coast express to get downtown?

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Seneca

July 6, 2015, 9:25 a.m.
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan. 12, 2006

Exactly, the highways are getting busier because people can no longer afford to live in the metro Vancouver area and are being forced out to Surrey, Langley and further east. It's no coincidence that Surrey is the most rapidly growing community in Canada. It's comparatively cheap to live in a practical home to raise kids, it's still within driving distance (or transit distance) to your previous job somewhere in Vancouver and the developers and politicians are more than happy to increase density to accommodate all the people having to leave Vancouver.

The problem now is that there are only 4 Skytrain stations serving Surrey and all along the King George and Pattullo corridor. And Surrey is the BEST served outlying community as far as Metro Vancouver is concerned. People are pushing further out into the valley to Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack where townhouse development boomed over the past 10 years and you can feel good about raising your kids in a home instead of a condo.

The fact that people have had to leave Vancouver to maintain any form of acceptable lifestyle has been completely missed by the people calling the shots with transit improvements etc. If you want to come from Abbotsford into downtown Vancouver to work a 9-5 job you're looking at a 30 minute drive to Carvolth exchange, 20 minute bus to a Skytrain station in Coquitlam and then a 30 minute train ride into downtown Vancouver. You have to change modes of transportation twice each direction, pay $4 to park at the park and ride and then pay your way on transit.

Now you have people who are already upset about having to move further from 1/3 of their lives, their job, and have no accessible transit in these areas, then give them the opportunity to decide if more money needs to be given to the managing company who has been crucified by the media for the past year….. go figure the outlying areas voted no, they're pissed off and they haven't been presented with a plan that would benefit them for another 10 years or more.

I understand the argument that increasing transit service in the Metro Vancouver area will remove X number of cars from the road and reduce congestion for those people who still have to drive. However, with no scientific proof to back this statement, I'm convinced that at least 40% of the congestion in Vancouver is now people coming from Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford and further. If you get on Highway 1, 17, 91 or 99 after 6am on a weekday or try to cross a bridge other than the 10 lane Port Mann just try to argue that.

Actually if anyone has access to the number of people commuting into Vancouver now I'd love to see it. I am one of them and have watched the traffic congestion specifically on Highway 1 seemingly double in the last 5-6 years.

So, let me play devil's advocate here. And I should preface this by saying that I subscribe to the theory that foreign investment is driving up Vancouver real estate as much as the next guy. However, with all the comments above, how do you think people raise kids in a major city such as London? They sure as hell don't do it in detached property with a white picket fence…

For mass transit to serve a customer base effectively, there needs to be sufficient density. But people in Vancouver don't want to live in high density, because that isn't the American dream.

Edit: But it still blows my mind that there isn't a low-cost rail service between Vancouver and Whistler. Get up early, sleep on train. Ride/ski all day. Enjoy beers after riding/skiing. Take train home in safety. This needs to happen.

July 6, 2015, 10:18 a.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: Sept. 12, 2011

So, let me play devil's advocate here. And I should preface this by saying that I subscribe to the theory that foreign investment is driving up Vancouver real estate as much as the next guy. However, with all the comments above, how do you think people raise kids in a major city such as London? They sure as hell don't do it in detached property with a white picket fence…
QUOTE]

Agreed that people have to put aside the single family detached home if they want to live in a major city. However they are saying now that to be above the living poverty line in Vancouver takes a couple both making $20+, that's insane. People are spending 60% or more of their wage on housing alone to stay within Metro Vancouver.

I should mention that my comment "feel good about raising your kids in a home instead of a condo" was not meant as a jab or looking down at people who do the latter. As Big Ted mentioned it's a reality to most people around the world that raising your kids in a condo is typical and there's nothing wrong with that. I was just implying that people in Vancouver seem to desire the white picket fence and big backyard which is quickly becoming unrealistic for most even as far as the valley.

I didn't get a vote in this plebiscite because I live in Chilliwack however I do work in Burnaby and could benefit from most transit improvements so I am disappointed that the No side won but not shocked by any means. It seemed the Yes side just did not present a case to the non-downtown communities and the only improvement items that did seem to make the news were ground level trams in Surrey and the Broadway corridor. One of which is required and the other is a pipe dream full of unknowns.

As for taking Westcoast in from the valley, the Mission station is 30 minutes from most of Abbotsford and then an hour and a half to downtown Vancouver plus whatever Skytrain or Bus route required to get where you're going. This is why people drive, until transit from the valley is faster than driving in yourself, or at least comparable, people are going to continue to drive. Highway 1 to the Carvolth exchange to Braid Station and then into Vancouver is the closest route to the time it takes driving yourself, you get the benefit of not driving half of the commute however it's 3forms of transportation twice a day.

July 6, 2015, 10:25 a.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Edit: But it still blows my mind that there isn't a low-cost rail service between Vancouver and Whistler. Get up early, sleep on train. Ride/ski all day. Enjoy beers after riding/skiing. Take train home in safety. This needs to happen.

There used to be one in back in the mid-80s, that was when BC Rail had a passenger service.

It ran from the train station in North Van (towards the Lions Gate bridge) to the train station in Creekside.

July 6, 2015, 10:36 a.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

then it makes even less sense that people further away from vancouver were more likely to vote no. were those people even aware of what the transit plan is or did they simply think it was all about the broadway transit line?

re people in abbotsford would it not make more sense to drive into mission to take the west coast express to get downtown?

Its good for 9-to-5ers who work Monday-Friday and don't need to haul gear or tools with them to work.

If you live in Abbostsford and work downtown full-time 12 months a year, you are a masochist. OK, maybe the job pays well. If you have a well-paying full-time 9-5 job downtown, why are you living in Abbostsford?

July 6, 2015, 11:38 a.m.
Posts: 809
Joined: Dec. 22, 2002

A quarter of the revenue of the transit system comes from tax on gasoline. Fares only account for half of the cost of running the transit system.

How much more is driving subsidized? Is it a lot more?

Glad you asked switch. Here you go:

https://www.biv.com/article/2013/7/news-flash-for-drivers-cyclists-are-helping-subsid/

and here: http://www.vox.com/2014/6/27/5849280/why-free-parking-is-bad-for-everyone

Here's some more food for thought:

"The new report pulls back the veil on the “users pay” myth, finding that:

· Gas taxes and other fees paid by drivers now cover less than half of road construction and maintenance costs nationally – down from more than 70 percent in the 1960s – with the balance coming chiefly from income, sales and property taxes and other levies on general taxpayers.

· General taxpayers at all levels of government now subsidize highway construction and maintenance to the tune of $69 billion per year – an amount exceeding the expenditure of general tax funds to support transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail combined.

· Regardless of how much they drive, the average American household bears an annual financial burden of more than $1,100 in taxes and indirect costs from driving – over and above any gas taxes or other fees they pay that are connected with driving"

Link here: http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/who-pays-roads#.VUj0AFtROwM.twitter

NSMBA member.

July 6, 2015, 12:11 p.m.
Posts: 33648
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

The first link is an opinion article, and not a good one at that. The other two are American.

Got any data for Canada? We pay a lot more tax on fuel.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

July 6, 2015, 12:21 p.m.
Posts: 809
Joined: Dec. 22, 2002

The first link is an opinion article, and not a good one at that. The other two are American.

Got any data for Canada? We pay a lot more tax on fuel.

Who subsidizes the Port Mann deficits?

NSMBA member.

July 6, 2015, 12:28 p.m.
Posts: 809
Joined: Dec. 22, 2002

European cities (many of them dating back hundreds of years) were built for people, not cars.

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/02/9-reasons-us-ended-so-much-more-car-dependent-europe/8226/

Didn't used to be that way. Here's a pic from the '60s and recently from same street. European cities made a choice to move away being places that prioritize the car.

[ATTACH]10542[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH]10543[/ATTACH]

NSMBA member.

July 6, 2015, 2:29 p.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Barbara Yaffe: Messages from the transit plebiscite fiasco
We elect politicians to make decisions, not pass the buck back to voters

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Barbara+Yaffe+Messages+from+transit+plebiscite+fiasco/11192528/story.html

July 6, 2015, 2:47 p.m.
Posts: 33648
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Who subsidizes the Port Mann deficits?

Tolls from vehicles using it.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

July 6, 2015, 10:32 p.m.
Posts: 12807
Joined: Jan. 27, 2003

The first link is an opinion article, and not a good one at that. The other two are American.

Got any data for Canada? We pay a lot more tax on fuel.

Yeah our fuel tax is higher but our population is also a lot lower so I highly doubt driving infrastructure is covered by it.

www.natooke.com

July 6, 2015, 11:10 p.m.
Posts: 33648
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Travel the USA. Our road network pales in comparison.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

July 7, 2015, 2:48 a.m.
Posts: 12807
Joined: Jan. 27, 2003

Travel the USA. Our road network pales in comparison.

I have done many a US road trip.

The USA's rail network pales in comparison to China's. I think again that might have something to do with the number of people needing to move around.

www.natooke.com

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