Monday, 1 August 2011

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Comparing Two Site Options for New Vic West Staton Location

This aerial map from the Natural Atlas on the CRD website, shows two possible sites for the relocatoin of the E&N Railway Victoria Station. I favour the Kimta Rd site, as it allows for a transit exchange to be built along side the station, its closert to downtown (walking and cycling distance), it utilizes the two tracks (Catherine St doesn't have this), whichs allows room for future expansion of service.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Why we should invest in LRT and the E&N.

Victoria is unique in that we are constrained by our geographical location. This is why LRT makes sense. We cant grow outward, but we have corridors where we can direct deveopment (dense) near stations and urban centres. Another thing to remember is that we have a very high transit use compared to other cities of our size, so we can build on this.

HOV lanes simply are using a mode that created the problem in the first place, auto dependent urban sprawl. It may help in the short term, but it does nothing in terms of promoting more dense development. I am not talking about skyscrapers, I mean liviable denser communities that are within everyones reach.

Developers wont build dense development along any corridor unless they see an effort to put in a more permanent transportation system (bus or rail), although rail is seen as more permanent than bus, has a longer shelf life both in terms of infrastructure and the vehicles. This results in lower long term costs, as you dont have to replace vehicles every 10 to 15 years. Railcars tend to last 15+ years.

Another thing to consider, is that urban planning and transportation planning have to work hand and hand. If you want to control sprawl you have give developers the incentive to build more dense residential and commerical projects and not the typical single family, spread out commerical zones that are so familar all over North America.

I must stress that the Douglas St corridor shouldnt be the only transit corridor. It is part of larger system of potential corridors that could serve this region. Remember its all about giving people choice. One line wont cut it, many lines will. Putting in LRT will allow buses that are currently used between Victoria and the Westshore to be better utilized elsewhere, thus improving frequency of service.

But LRT alone wont do the job. It has to be supported by good bus connections, cycling routes, walking paths, better more land efficient development. Because without these, it just wont work.

There is another form of transit, that has been overlooked it is the E&N, because its not just urban development in the CRD, its other communities up island where thousands of residents live and commute in to Victoria every day.

Dense development along this corridor could also be encouraged, especially around stations like; Esquimalt Naden Base, View Royal (at 6mile and a potential site near Hallowell Rd), Langford station Rd Transit exchange, etc.

The E&N (commuter rail) would complement LRT in the CRD in that it would link our region with other regions along the east coast of Vancouver Island with their transit systems. It would also put an end to that question of what to do with the Malahat.

The high costs of implementing LRT and fixing the E&N are worth it. Because in the long term, it will be cheaper. There are ways to deal with the funding aspects; gas revenues, help from the Provincial and Federal governments, partnering with developers, local businesses, etc. There is no such thing as "it cant be done".

When it comes down to it. All this talk of number crunching, ridership levels, funding, high costs is meaningless, because the true high costs will be associated with doing nothing and ignoring the high costs of our continual auto dependent urban sprawl which is having a profound effect on the social and environmental aspects of our urban environment.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

LRT Alignment

Now that LRT has been chosen as the mode to transport commuters between Downtown Victoria and Langford, the next step is to confirm how its going to run along Douglas St and along Goldstream Ave. Then funding has to be found. The map below shows the alignment.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

My website

For those of you who have been following my website, you will notice that I have changed it again. It is currently under construction, and should be up and running officially by the end of May.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

New cycling trail crossing of the E&N near the transit exchange in Langford

Looks like the E&N Rail Trail has been been somewhat completed in Langford. there is crossing near the intersection of Peatt and Phillps. Here are some pics I took yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Vic West Station

So I have included the following pictures to show the site I have chosen to relocate the Downtown Station. I am working on some drawings to show what it could look like. This site makes much more sense than moving it back to Catherine St.