5 Reasons Drivers Should Vote Yes In The Transit Plebiscite

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The Next 10 Years

Over the next 10 years Metro Vancouver’s population is expected to increase by 360,000.[1] This analysis examines the impacts and transportation costs associated with this growth. It will consider two different development patterns. The low density pattern has a residential density you would find in a moderate density suburb. The high density pattern has a density equivalent to that of the West End neighborhood in downtown Vancouver.

Table 1. Undeveloped area required to accommodate 10 years of population growth
LOW DENSITY HIGH DENSITY
Density (people/km2) 3,000 22,000
Undeveloped Area Required 120 km2 16 km2
10 Year Population Growth

The high density development pattern would occupy the smaller area on Sea Island, while the low density development pattern would occupy all of the highlighted area. We will treat these areas as currently unoccupied.

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The New West Ends

In the next 30 years Metro Vancouver is projected to grow by about 1.1 million people.[1] To understand the impact of this growth we will use the West End as an illustration. Pictured below, the West End is a residential area primarily consisting of mid-rise and high-rise apartment buildings. Before the 6-story building cap was lifted in 1957 the West End mostly consisted of detached housing.[2]

West End Outline

Note: Outline showing boundary of West End Neighborhood

Using the population growth projections for Metro Vancouver, we can determine the size of the neighborhoods that would need to transition from single family residential to West End equivalent densities in order to accommodate this growth.

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An Auto-Oriented Manhattan

During weekdays the population of Manhattan grows to 3,940,000 people[1]. This population consists of 1,460,000 local residents, 1,610,000 commuting workers, 374,000 local day-trip visitors, 70,000 commuting students, 404,000 out of town visitors, and 17,000 hospital patients[1]. If we add the workers and students with the local day-trip visitors we find that 2,060,000 people need to enter and exit Manhattan around the same times each day. Aerial Manhattan Currently the majority of these trips are provided by transit, with only 16% of people commuting by personal vehicle[2]. So how would things be different if Manhattan was not served by transit and everybody drove instead? Continue reading

Skyscrapers and Rapid Transit

Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, is the tallest building in the world. It reaches 830m high and has 310,000m2 (3,300,000 ft2) of floor area.[1] So why have I superimposed it 4 times on the Vancouver skyline? To help illustrate the performance of our rapid transit systems.

BurjKhalifaVancouver

Note: I exercised great care to keep Burj Khalifa proportionally accurate. The Living Shangri-La building was used for comparison measurements. (Original photo by Joyce Fan)

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Growth and Mobility In Metro Vancouver

*Post updated Feb 17, 2015 with responses to criticisms

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Surrey Parking Standards

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