Lots of Good Stuff in the Straight today
Well actually I picked up a hard copy last night and was going to blog about it earlier but got distracted.
To start with there is a very positive piece on young Paul Hillsdon. Dr Fred Bass, who devised the original trial of bike lanes on the Burrard Bridge is categorical about the one lane plan. “It won’t work.” As usual the key fact about junction capacity at each of the bridge determining traffic flow is missed.
There’s also a letter from Nancy Forham which initially made me cheer, but then I had a second thought. There actually has been an increase in the number of buses and hours of service – just not nearly enough. And the problem is that when Translink talks about this it tries to conceal what is really happening. Because absolute numbers (thousands of service hours) or even n% more than x years ago really do not tell you much. Because the region has been growing. There are more people and they are making more trips, more often and they are taking longer. And the key statistic – transit mode share – has hardly changed at all. Keep this in mind when you hear a Translink spokesperson telling you how much more service they will be adding at the next sheet change. The mode share for all trips ten years ago was 11%. It still is now. That is the problem. And in the meantime much more time and effort has gone into road and bridge projects than just buying more buses. And the biggest spend on transit has been on the Canada Line which will make transit service worse for some of the region’s longest distance and most loyal customers. Because instead of a one seat bus ride they will be forced to stand for the last section of their journey. And that cannot get any better, since the stations are too short (so trains cannot get longer) and the line has long sections of single track (so frequency cannot be increased) – and the initial order for trains was cut very early on to stay within the fixed price.
Oh and the new marketing gimmick for those much worse bus services from South of the Fraser? Rapid Bus BC. Yes, almost the same name the NDP were going to use for bus rapid transit in Richmond before it got cut back beyond all recognition and crawled out of the box as the catchily named 98 B Line. A short queue jumper lane is going in on Highway #99 between Westminster Highway and Bridgeport Road (it says here but stretches the truth as there is no space at the southern limit due to overpasses at the #91 interchange). So the yellow highway bus will be able to get in and out of the station quicker, which is what happens when you design service for the benefit of the operator and not the passenger.