Crawl Across the Ocean

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Vancouver Notes

I was up at City Hall today, and it occurred to me that maybe the reason the municipal strike is still ongoing in the city while it has been settled in all the suburbs is because everyone involved is just so cranky due to the remarkable levels of noise, chaos and congestion surrounding city hall due to the Canada Line construction.

If everyone involved could just take a couple of weeks to go hang out in East Sooke and have a few barbecues, I'm sure the whole thing could be quickly resolved.

Meanwhile, I agree with Paul Wells that Canada could and should spend more on infrastructure, but this post was a pretty careless way to express that.

OK, yes, England finally finished building 109km of high speed track to link them to Paris, connecting two cities with a combined population of about 2/3 of Canada's. But I fail to see what that has to do with the roads being busy in Vancouver on the day after labour day. Trust me, the roads here are nothing compared to the roads in London or Paris. And Vancouver, the one place in Canada where commute times are dropping, with a multi-billion dollar transit expansion in progress, along with various hundreds of millions for a new bridge over the Fraser, twinning of an existing bridge (the Port Mann), new roads along the North and South of the river, and a widening / general improvement of the road North out of town, seems like a poor point of comparison for the argument. I mean, if the population of Vancouver was 8 million and it was one of the worlds financial capitals, and the population of Seattle was 8 million and it was one of the most famous, most visited cities in the world and the Americans had already built high speed track from Seattle to within 100 km of Vancouver, then maybe we could round up the cash to finish the route sometime in the next decade, but that's not quite the situation out here.

A high speed rail corridor from Toronto to Montreal certainly seems like a good plan, but beyond that I'm not sure I see too many places in Canada where it would be worth the cost.

As an aside, I had the football game on (Indy sure looks good early!) in the background and afterwards the local U.S. affiliate started up with their news before I bothered to change the channel, and their very first story was a report on the carnage in the local (Michigan) housing market. Things sure have changed down there in the last couple of years. Could never happen here, of course.


  • Watching the housing market is like that scene in Austin Powers where the guy is threatened by the Very Slow Steamroller.

    By Anonymous Arwen, at 11:20 PM  

  • Anyone who thinks VanCity congestion is bad is out to lunch. The GTA makes it look like a Sunday picnic. Traffic at 6:30am in VanCity is nonexistent. Traffic at 6:30am in the GTA is already gridlock. Granted, it isn't pretty heading to Surrey around 5 or 6, and the bottleneck from the Mary Hill Bypass to the TransCanada is no paradise, but getting from Brampton to Toronto, a 42km one-tripper, takes easily one hour and a half during the rush. And that's going against the traffic.

    As for the garbage strike, if they just took 1% of 1% of the money they're spending on new building projects and construction in the GVA and applied it to municipal workers, they'd probably all have cash left over to clean up the mess.

    By Blogger Raphael Alexander, at 8:35 PM  

  • Could it happen here?


    This is George Singum Quimby - In London!

    By Blogger Gazetteer, at 9:00 PM  

  • arwen - yeah, good analogy.

    r.a. - agreed on all counts.

    gaz - not sure I get the reference, even though I catch your meaning...

    By Blogger Declan, at 7:26 PM  

  • 'twas a pompass phoney-accented reporter from London (maybe Ontario?) on Arthur Black's Saturday Morning Radio show

    By Blogger Gazetteer, at 11:57 PM  

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