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Belleville Terminal Concept | Proposed


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#41 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:45 PM

I can see how a space like this one would be good for watching the symphony or fireworks, but it rubs me the wrong way all the same. Call me cynical but it smells like yet another move to undermine Victoria's old urban character in favour of an out-of-place suburban esthetic.



#42 G-Man

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:58 PM

^ WRT to that pic there Aastra that area below is supposed to be the "secure" passenger area. How much anyone want to bet that you don't end up with a four foot glass railing looking down on it? I mean if they are serious about this meeting homeland security objectives. I think we would end up with something signigicantly more barrier-ish.

I have emailed the Black Ball Transport company saying that I support them by the way and encourage all of those that don't want to see the Coho move to do the same blackball@pacificcoast.net also have emailed the cbc and am working on my letters to council.

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#43 zoomer

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 05:52 PM

^ Do you think, zoomer? Given that the current parking is significantly below grade/ street level, would it really be impossible to find (& fund) a plan that would keep the parking there, with walkway/ decking / hotel at grade?


I guess I wasn't being clear, as that was my point - it's not really financially possible to have ferry parking "hidden" as part of hotel parking, and I don't want to see surface parking lots.

Yes, the draft proposals (thankfully they are just that!) are very disappointing. Aastra put it best, when he asked "would anybody bother to take a picture of it?". As I previously mentioned, I would love to have the Coho remain a fixture in the inner harbour, but not at any cost. The current facility and more importantly the surface parking lot and the ineffective use of prime waterfront is a tragedy. Someone should go down there and take some pictures of what it looks like now, including that horrible chain fence and a narrow sidewalk on Belleville.

Can anyone think of other mid to large cities which have car ferry terminals right downtown? If so, please post pictures of their docking facilities to see what they done right/wrong, what we can copy or avoid at all costs. It would be cool if the Coho could drop off the foot passengers at the current location, then turn around and drop off the cars in Esquimalt or somewhere else, but this is unfortunately unfeasible.

#44 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 06:09 PM

A hotel of any significance is going to require a lot of parking and it's going to be in a sub-level one way or another. It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me to section off 110 spaces, put a wall up, and call it the Coho's loading area.

Imagine if the Coho could pull right up alongside the Coast Hotel and if there was an entrance into the parkade from the water side:



#45 Holden West

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 06:24 PM

1967 photo showing the old dock where Ship's Point is now:



1947:



A new Coho terminal could be built on the giant parking lots at the foot of Fort St. They could even share shore facilities with the float planes and whale watching etc. which are now housed in embarrassing shacks.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#46 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 06:43 PM

But if you're going to move the cars over there then why move them at all?

#47 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:18 PM

... it's not really financially possible to have ferry parking "hidden" as part of hotel parking, and I don't want to see surface parking lots.
(...)
The current facility and more importantly the surface parking lot and the ineffective use of prime waterfront is a tragedy. Someone should go down there and take some pictures of what it looks like now, including that horrible chain fence and a narrow sidewalk on Belleville.


Hmmm. I don't think that the Coho's surface parking lot is the worst offender down there, and given what the Coho brings in on the positive side of the ledger, I'm not quite sure what the point is in focusing on its negative balance.

In other words, I don't understand why we're picking on the Coho. It makes me think something else is up.

Maybe ferry parking shouldn't be "'hidden' as part of hotel parking" at all. I guess what I'm saying -- and maybe some others -- is "don't focus on the hotel -- that's small potatoes compared to the larger aspect -- i.e., it's a major transportation terminal -- and instead focus on building a major transportation terminal worthy of the name & location, with services (hotel &/or restaurants) as auxiliary, not as prime driver."

If ferry parking isn't "'hidden' as part of hotel parking" it can be addressed rationally and one can see how it could be hidden/ accomodated.

Re. the "tragedy" of what it looks like now: from the street, with trees in foliage, it's not nearly as bad as what it looks like for arrivals. For the latter, it is the shits, but for residents it's not in any way shape or form worse than what we see when we go to the foot of Fort Street.

I still think that moving the Coho is far too high a price to pay, and that in actual fact the ferry's presence does more to create vibrancy there than its parking lots do to take it away.

We should be focusing on the life that ship brings instead of crying over the parking lots it requires. Heck, that latter bit is a design issue -- one of the world's easier ones to fix (provided, that is, you have a good firm working on it, which I guess is something we still need to work on...).
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#48 Holden West

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:31 PM

But the dilemma is the Coho facility can't be fixed without Provincial money.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#49 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:36 PM

If only that site had value for hotel/condominium developers...

#50 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:57 PM

But the dilemma is the Coho facility can't be fixed without Provincial money.

Is there any compelling reason why the Provincial government shouldn't find the money to fix that site? They're plowing money into Vancouver, but Victoria is supposed to arrange some half-dick P3 arrangement with local hotel jockeys who in turn are also putting everything on the line in a typical Victoria gamble (the old "One Step, Two Step Victoria Boom and Bust") to fix what should be an international gateway?

If only that site had value for hotel/condominium developers...

Wouldn't that be part of the problem? I.e., that in Victoria, things only make sense if they can be monetized for a small group of resource exploiters (in this case tourism/ hotel operators, and in days of yore the seal and whale hunters and the logging industry), who are themselves working off a shaky footing?

If we're going to have this ridiculous paternalistic Provincial government that keeps us all in tutelage, can we at least spread the pain (and the pleasure) more evenly instead of consistently treating Victoria as though it doesn't rate?
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#51 zoomer

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:11 PM

/\ some interesting points Ms. B. As far as the vibrancy the Coho brings, perhaps we're over exaggerating the impact it really has, as the vehicle traffic it offloads is rather small. Is the vibrancy limited to the visual appeal? That still is a significant factor I'll agree, as it's part of what makes Victoria "unique", or "picture-worthy". However, are we being romantic for an idea whose time has past, and fearful of change like many James Bay Naysayers?

I'm not sure if I want a car ferry in the inner harbour, unless they can drastically improve the design and efficiently use the land. You mention "building a major transportation terminal", just how major? Would anyone want a Swartz Bay ferry terminal downtown, likely not. Just how big or small is acceptable then? Do we need a car ferry terminal for any practical reason? Perhaps we could have a similar size passenger only ferry that would still make us feel all cozy, without the guilt and complications the vehicle brings.

#52 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:25 PM

The car traffic from the Coho is not that significant. It in no sense even approaches the BC Ferries runs at Swartz Bay, and doesn't even come close to the rush on Saltspring Island at peak times. This probably has something to do with the reservations and the relatively small parking / waiting area. You know whether or not you're going ot get on, and if you're not going to make it, you don't park in some big long automobile queue. You drive off.

According to the [url=http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070814/NEWS/708140306:e07b5]Peninsula Daily News[/url:e07b5] (also linked to off the T-C page), the Coho brings in 60% of ferry travelers, and it seems the ratio of cars to people is just about 1:4. In other words, for the sake of getting rid of cars, we're willing to get rid of 3 people who will come to Victoria to sightsee, shop, mingle. It's the people bringing the vibrancy, not the cars, and there are 4 people for each car. From the article:

Black Ball Transport has taken to Victoria 131,000 vehicles and 511,000 passengers on average each year for the past 15 years, Burles said.

Since 1960, it has transported to Victoria more than 5 million vehicles and more than 21 million passengers, he said.

The capacity of the Coho is 1,000 people, he added.

"We have the ability to dump 1,000 people at a time."

The Coho also runs year-round, with four round trips in the summer, and it has a reputation for reliability, he said.

"The last time we didn't run was the snowstorm of '96," he said.


As for what kind of terminal: of course I don't want a Swartz Bay in d/t -- that's ridiculous. All we're talking about is a decent terminal, an upgrade -- including hiding the parking/ car aspect artfully (designers can do that, you know, if they're any good that is!). As aastra has pointed out, the Coho hasn't gotten any bigger, the Harbour hasn't gotten any smaller.

What's this all about anyway?
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#53 G-Man

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:25 PM

Things I am having trouble with:

1. Being financially realistic is there any way that you could build the project as proposed based on any return of money from that dinky hotel. No. Ok so financially the plan cannot work. So why propose it?

2. If they really want the Coho to move to Esquimalt or Ogden Point then will it not require just as secure a terminal as the one they are building here? I mean the majority of passengers still come on the Coho so if you move it you need a terminal which needs to meet the supposed demands of Homeland security. Why is that easier or cheaper anywhere else?

3. What are the plans for the Anacortes ferry? And as has been stated before if this is about security then what are the plans for the American side?

4. Why does the JBNEA get to speak for all Victorians as part of this group?

Now I would actually not be too upset if the plan was to move the Coho to Ogden point but to say they should move to Esquimalt I would love to know where? Basically this seems like they want to end the Coho run and I want to know why?

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#54 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:27 PM

Ha, G-Man! simulpost (again!). We're thinking along the same lines: What's this all about, anyway?
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#55 G-Man

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:32 PM

My only guess is that they have a plan to bring in a downtown to downtown Van - Vic Ferry and the ink is dry on the deal. Other than that this is like opening a BBQ rib joint on Gabriola Island.

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#56 zoomer

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:44 PM

If we're only planning on upgrading the terminal, and hiding the parking/car aspect (and not a major transportation terminal) and if it can be done properly (I'd still like to see some good examples from other cities) then I'm all for the Coho staying. Although being greedy (as I don't travel to Port Angeles), I'd love to see G-Man's rumour of a downtown Van to Vic ferry come true. :D

#57 G-Man

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:56 PM

Well I have heard that there is a ferry terminal in NYC ;) Obviously much bigger.

Whitehall Terminal - Staten Island Ferry







For project info
http://www.mta.info/capconstr/sft/description.htm



Seattle's plan?


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#58 G-Man

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:58 PM

As somone that uses the Coho about once a year I would truly hate to have to drive all the way through Seattle if I am going to Portland or the Oregon Coast let alone to the Olympic Peninsula.

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#59 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:05 PM

Brisbane, Australia has a nice one, too.

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That's the [url=http://www.carlngray.com.au/panorama/kangaroo/index.htm:dafab]Thornton Street Ferry[/url:dafab]. It's not exactly what we need, but note the almost circular building in the mid-ground, with its brightly lit ground floor. That could be the terminal, with customs/ office space / whatever above. The boardwalk is partially open to what could be a lower level (parking?). A real city twinkles in the background. I don't know, looks interesting, doesn't it?
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#60 Nparker

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:41 PM

The bottom line is that without a large chunk of provincial funding (much deserved I might add) we will more than likely still be having these same discussions in 2015 as I highly doubt the locals can pull off any sort of significant improvement to what is already there. One need only to look at SOFMC to see what happens when local P3 deals go horribly wrong.

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