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Victoria Rapid Transit Project - CRD/BC Transit - Light Rail (LRT) has been recommended


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#1281 Mike K.

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 12:50 PM

The Pat Bay is pretty good. Get rid of the lights and you’ve got generations of population growth taken care of with the ultra slow growth rate the peninsula has.

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#1282 van-island

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:03 PM

As someone that works as a consultant I have some experience in this field.

The federal government has a really bad habit of seeking people to write reports that justify the decision they have already made. I try to avoid working for them.

My experience of the provincial government is that the reports are seriously considered. No situation is a blank slate and no consultant comes without some biases, but with those provisos, the provincial civil servants are very good at a neutral approach to issues.

The odds of study coming back and saying rail is not feasible is a realistic result because the business case for rail from Langford to Victoria remains very weak and the costs remain high.

I have been asking for several years now for a realistic business case for the construction and operation of a rail transit service. I have yet to have seen anything that convinces me that it makes any sense at all.

I would be very surprised if a serious study is done and it comes out with a recommendation that rail is financially feasible. If the study comes back and says it makes no sense, will this end the idea? Will discussion of it end?

 

The problem with the analyses that have been done is that they are based on the current status quo transportation situation. For example, how many transit users are there currently in the corridor?  Then, how many new users might rail attract at a certain price point?  But the underlying assumption is that the land use situation will be more or less static, or some moderate infill is anticipated.

 

Of course, based on this type of approach the numbers never work. This type of analysis is done because the people doing the analysis (a) have zero vision and (b) only factor in a "business as usual" approach to land use. The thing with rail is that it attracts investment, and if done right (and it may take a few decades) it is a "build it and they will come" situation. However what it requires is a fundamental reorganization of how we think about land development.

 

And the catch is this: most people (including many people who work on these studies) cannot conceptualize such a reorganization of the way things work and tend to do their analysis on a "status quo +1" basis. 

 

The studies also never take into account things like the endless hours people spend stuck in traffic every day, or the cost to continually upgrade the highway system over the same time frame with 100's of millions of improvements,



#1283 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:15 PM

what makes you think municipal politicians in Victoria Esquimalt view royal and colwood will ever embrace high density corridors? is there any hint of that now? today’s blockbuster story is about a guy cutting a space in a rock wall for an sfd driveway. and you want to add 50k people along the rail?
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#1284 Mike K.

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:17 PM

People love their cars so much that they don’t mind the time stuck in traffic. It’s also not hours, it’s minutes.

It takes me 40 minutes flat to drive into downtown Victoria in no traffic, ie at 8PM. On Friday mornings I leave at 7:15AM and arrive in downtown Victoria at 8:05-8:15, so 50 minutes to exactly an hour. On non-government flex days (Tues-Thurs) I don’t schedule meeting arrivals until 10AM by which point the big rush is over, and if I must drive in earlier I’ll budget an additional 10-20 minutes to those 50 minute and 1 hour travel times, so 1 hour to 1:20 but usually closer to one hour flat.

And I don’t mind the drive at all. 9/10 I’ll stop at a shop to pick something up, grab a coffee somewhere along the way, etc. It’s awesome.

Now for that train to be feasible we would need 30 years worth of our pace of housing density to materialize in 5-10, and solely along the line. It’s just not going to happen when our growth rate is as slow as it is and with so many people still pursuing suburban single family dwellings with zero desire to live in an apartment or a condo.

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#1285 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:27 PM

and at some point surely less and less people working in an office.

#1286 Intercontinental

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:44 PM

Corridors: https://www.saanich....idor-plans.html

#1287 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 02:59 PM

 

the shelbourne corridor plan gives zero indication of what the expected population increase will be.  but it does say this:

 

Multi-family Housing

 

Support apartment buildings on major and collector roads where designated on Map 5

 

For areas designated for townhouses on Map 5.1:

 

Support 3 storey townhouses along major and collector roads, including stacked townhouses (patio apartments on main floor with townhouses occupying the 2nd and 3rd floors);

 

Support 2 storey townhouses along residential streets; and,

 

Consider 3 storey townhouses (but not stacked townhouses) on residential streets only where their height and massing will not be out of character with or overshadow adjacent properties

 

Encourage family oriented multi-family housing around schools by encouraging three bedroom units with family oriented amenities.

 

 

 

that's hardly a plan for robust density.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 18 October 2019 - 03:00 PM.


#1288 kungfucious

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:02 PM

...

 

that's hardly a plan for robust density.

 

you right about that my friend.  until ppl embrace density to prevent sprawl and preserve NATURAL, UNDISTURBED greenspace, these arguments will always end in the selfish option being choosen (single family dwellings)



#1289 Mike K.

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:23 PM

You’re right. We need to preserve the fifth generation forests on our urban fringe (and many miles beyond) to harvest wood from which to build condos in the city centre.
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#1290 On the Level

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:46 PM

you right about that my friend.  until ppl embrace density to prevent sprawl and preserve NATURAL, UNDISTURBED greenspace, these arguments will always end in the selfish option being choosen (single family dwellings)

 

Does anyone know how much of the island is already made up of greenspace?  98%?

 

As far as choosing to live like ants in an ant hill, why would you?  I made sure my kids knew their way around a shop to make sure they didn't grow up being feebly dependent on others.  If something breaks or needs some maintenance, you fix it.  Good luck operating a table saw in your 600 sf condo.

 

There is more to life than Starbucks and riding a bike wearing spandex. 

 

EDIT - I just looked up how much land there is on the island.  Lets take Langford for example, and assume it was 100% full of single family dwellings without any greenspace left.  That would consume 40 sq km of the 31,285 available on the island or 0.00128% of the island.  That is also something not likely to happen in my lifetime.

 

What is the issue exactly?


Edited by On the Level, 03 June 2020 - 03:59 PM.

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#1291 Mike K.

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:14 PM

I think we crunched the numbers way back when. Wasn’t it something along the lines of 95% of the Island being totally uninhabited, as in no infrastructure for habitation whatsoever? That includes highways/blacktop. And 95% is used only because 95 is easier to remember that 97.6.

We’ve got a ways to go get before we start running out of green space.

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#1292 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 05:35 PM

screenshot-www.fastcompany.com-2020.06.03-21_34_43.png

 

https://www.fastcomp...-in-new-zealand



#1293 aastra

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 11:02 AM

Methinks the comparison between the CoV, Greater Victoria, and the CRD tells us all that we need to know.

 

CRD:

population: 383,360*

land area: 2,340 square km

 

Greater Victoria (CMA):
population: 367,770*
land area: 696 square km

 

In other words, Greater Victoria accounts for just 30% of the regional district's land area, but Greater Victoria accounts for 96% of the regional district's population... which means the regional district is effectively unpopulated beyond the limited confines of the metro area.

 

City of Victoria:

population: 85,792*

land area: 19.4 square km

 

In other words, the city proper accounts for a mere 2.8% of Greater Victoria's land area, but the city proper accounts for 23% of Greater Victoria's population.

 

Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood, and Langford combined account for just 31% of Greater Victoria's land area (212.83 square km), but they account for 81% of Greater Victoria's population (298,298*).

 

*this is 2016 census data, FYI



#1294 kungfucious

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 12:10 PM

Does anyone know how much of the island is already made up of greenspace?  98%?

 

As far as choosing to live like ants in an ant hill, why would you?  I made sure my kids knew their way around a shop to make sure they didn't grow up being feebly dependent on others.  If something breaks or needs some maintenance, you fix it.  Good luck operating a table saw in your 600 sf condo.

 

There is more to life than Starbucks and riding a bike wearing spandex. 

 

What is the issue exactly?

hay... i absolutely agree with you about the need to be self-reliant (fix things on your own instead of always buying the solution), but my issue is: sprawl.  in the bigger picture, you are again, absolutely correct, > 95% of the island is still undeveloped, but are you happy with the way land is being used right now? 

 

are cul-du-sac subdivisions the best way to design places?  is razing perfectly good farmland the best way to construct housing?  is it really that expensive to choose that option instead of redeveloping under-utilized spaces (already in the urban containment boundary)?  does the urban containment boundary mean anything to anybody anymore?  ...or the ALR for that matter?

 

until we achieve > 50% cementization, are we ok with and do we not need to worry about deer, wolves, cougars, bears in our backyards b/c we have already taken what we dont need?  is the limit reached when the entire island's waterfront has a 2M house with a private dock?  is following the american example (& canada isnt that much different really), the best way for each of us to achieve our american/cdn dreams?  im talking about to pave paradise to put up a parking lot.

 

oh... and as for doing woodwork, or fixing my car, or practicing my glass blowing hobby, or anything requiring big space in my condo, there are always ways around that.  think of books:  everybody (who could afford them) used to buy their own books before libraries.  when libraries came along, ppl could choose to continue as per, or free up a lot of space in their home.  im begging you to be imaginative, but extrapolate that to land use and thats exactly my issue.

 

sorry for the rant u guys, but this is why mass transit will usually struggle anywhere outside of highly dense urbanised mega cities


Edited by kungfucious, 04 June 2020 - 12:12 PM.


#1295 Mike K.

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 12:44 PM

No no, this is good, but I don't think we're razing perfectly good farmland, like you say, or impacting deer habitats. Deer are loving our urban areas, for the most part, and don't want to leave them because they're protected from predators and have a lot more vegetation to feed on thanks to our gardens. Cougars follow them in, and bears come around because they're also attracted to easy food sources.

 

Remember, over 95% of this island is for the bears and cougars and deer. But they choose to come in to urban areas in search of good stuff to eat.


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#1296 FogPub

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 03:26 PM

No no, this is good, but I don't think we're razing perfectly good farmland ...

Much of the Shelbourne valley, particularly north of Cedar Hill X Rd, was good farmland once; as was much of Gordon Head.  South Cordova Bay, ditto (as in, the area that's now Sunnymead).

 

The only - only - reason the Blenkinsop valley is still farmland is the ALR.


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#1297 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 03:49 PM

and what’s so great about blenkinsop being farmland though?

#1298 Mike K.

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:07 AM

Much of the Shelbourne valley, particularly north of Cedar Hill X Rd, was good farmland once; as was much of Gordon Head. South Cordova Bay, ditto (as in, the area that's now Sunnymead).

The only - only - reason the Blenkinsop valley is still farmland is the ALR.

But to make the farmland old growth forests were razed, creeks re routed and animal habitats pushed away.

Besides, that was 75 years ago (maybe even 100?). And today hobby farmers/niche farmers by name only are living on ALR land sitting on huge tracts of land, while people move to the West Shore because of the lack of housing on the peninsula. So ALR has, in a sense, become an agent of development control because believe me, we don’t depend on those daffodils at Long View for our survival, or the pumpkins at Mitchell, or the hay destined for posh horse stables grown on huge fields.

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#1299 Matt R.

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 02:29 PM

But to make the farmland old growth forests were razed, creeks re routed and animal habitats pushed away.
Besides, that was 75 years ago (maybe even 100?). And today hobby farmers/niche farmers by name only are living on ALR land sitting on huge tracts of land, while people move to the West Shore because of the lack of housing on the peninsula. So ALR has, in a sense, become an agent of development control because believe me, we don’t depend on those daffodils at Long View for our survival, or the pumpkins at Mitchell, or the hay destined for posh horse stables grown on huge fields.


Obviously these farms, particularly Mitchell’s and Long View, grow an awful lot of food as well. You buy much of their produce (long view especially) at the grocery store and don’t even realize it.

Matt.

#1300 Mike K.

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 03:10 PM

Yes of course, but it’s nice-haves, not must-haves. 99.9%* of what we consume comes from elsewhere.

*VHF stat.
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