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Belleville Terminal Concept | Proposed


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#61 Mike K.

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:48 PM

Although politicos claim that infrastructure and investment in municipal projects is a non-partisan issue, I can't shake the feeling that the Liberals are indifferent about our terminal because of Victoria's strong support for the opposition.

We just saw the Liberals shy away from a meaningful solution to the Malahat's issues and now they're less than enthusiastic about our terminal redevelopment. All the while in pro-Liberal Vancouver we have a grossly over-budget conference centre, a new Skytrain line, a new Fraser river crossing, upgrades to the Sea-to-Sky, transit expansion, etc.

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#62 Mike K.

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:34 PM

The TC published the following rendition of the current development concept on today's front page.


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#63 G-Man

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 05:57 AM

Downtown Vancouver has a huge amount of NDP MLAs and yet still gets tons o money so I don't think it is our couple of MLAs on the island.

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#64 Rorschach

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:33 AM

Isn't the proposed hotel upon where a pier is now? That's what it looks like to me looking south from the north side of the Inner Harbor. I don't see how another hotel will make things any better. And since the Coho has been fixture for nearly fifty years, I don't see how moving it or eliminating it makes things better either. The issue seems to be the shabbiness of the buildings on the water front. Maybe we should just put on some new siding or a fresh coat of paint and call it a day. Problem solved.

#65 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 08:28 AM

I think the collective mentality behind these recommendations is seriously flawed, which also accounts for why a solution such as a cosmetic upgrade wouldn't satisfy the people behind it.

Seriously, the recommendations strike me as part and parcel of Victoria's boom-and-bust death drive. Part of that death drive is a shrill insistence on monoculture. The boom-and-busters depend on resource exploitation, and it doesn't matter whether it's seals, whales, or tourists. Right now, in this part of this century, tourists are the flavour of the month. So let's create a downtown / Inner Harbour monoculture designed solely around tourists-as-resource exploitation.

Bzzzzt! Wrong strategy -- although the one that appeals most to the brainiacs that get appointed to blue ribbon task forces.

We have a ferry capable of carrying vehicles, including trucks that haul freight, arriving daily in the harbour. It's one of the last remaining vestiges of the harbour's economic diversity, yet it's supposed to be eliminated -- erased from the Harbour -- in favour of a completely misunderstood version of "new urbanism" that wants to eliminate cars in favour of endlessly milling-about pedestrians. Anyone who has read my previous posts knows that I hate cars. But be careful what you wish for with pedestrian zones: they can be vibrancy-killers, too. A pedestrian zone that basically just recreates outdoors what in the suburbs is an enclosed shopping mall is going to be as "vibrant" as that mall. The mall is vibrant at most around holidays and when big sales are on (and now that they're on year-round, even that aspect has fallen into sameness), and if you look at the Causeway, you can find parallels: in summer (holidays) when tourists are around, or if a festival, including street entertainment, (a "sale") is on.

Why we should move to eliminate the Coho, with its diversity of things it brings in -- not just tourists -- in favour of a monoculture is beyond me.

Why should we want to be a monoculture here? Just because that makes it easier to extract the resource? Maybe in the (very) short term, but not over the longer term. Short term: boom; long term: bust.

The fear of change and the complacency around how "we're the best" and "the greatest place on earth" and all that humbug factors into this as well. We act like children, letting the "parents" decide what the culture/ flavour/ resource of the day is, as we sit back to chow down our lotus leaves. We wake up a few years later with a hangover and wonder what went wrong.

We need economic diversity. We can't rely just on government & tourism, and even within tourism, we should be diversifying. Why, for example, do the more entrenched minds in the hotel sector think that people come here just for the golf and the spa treatments (they even break it down according to gender lines: hubby plays golf while wifey gets the treatment). Why don't we have a stronger cultural tourism sector? We could have historic sailing ships moored at the wharf where Red Fish Blue Fish is; we could have a de-commissioned naval ship as a tourist attraction (vs sinking them all in naval shooting exercises). We should have a proper Maritime Museum (their current locale is way too small); a downtown Art Gallery; walking tours galore (not just the valiant effort put on by the BC Architecture Institute).

So we get another "luxury" hotel (whatever that means -- does anyone stay at "trash" hotels if they can help it?) on Belleville. Big whoop: more monoculture. More resource exploitation thinking, instead of agile thinking that explores diversity and figures out how to make other things grow.

Many of us here adore Jane Jacobs's writings. Have any of you read her book 2001 book, [url=http://www.amazon.com/Nature-Economies-Jane-Jacobs/dp/0375702431/ref=pd_bbs_sr_6/102-5664527-5050531?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187195160&sr=8-6:bbc24]The Nature of Economies[/url:bbc24]? Brilliant stuff. Read it and you'll be even more convinced that monocultures don't work, whether in nature or in economic systems.

Boom and bust. That's what monoculture brings you.
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#66 victoriaguy

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 08:50 AM

I found one of the concept drawings featuring the Royal London Wax Museum interesting. The banners/flags on the building's main level showed the words "Tourism" and "Victoria". If they are proposing moving the Visitor Centre from its current location to the CP Terminal they might want to ask Tourism Victoria what it thinks before doing so.

As it stands now, the Visitor Centre is too small where it is located. I'm hoping that someone asks them what they'd like to do. Perhaps Milestones can take over the ENTIRE building. It's bad enough that they now have 1/3 of the top observation deck. That used to be a great place for visitors. Now it just smells like grease all day.

Aside from the proposed move of the Visitor Centre and the so-called high end hotel concept, I find it odd that this task force would ask the MV Coho to move. Black Ball Transport brings close to 45% of all US visitors to Victoria. Moving their location is an insult to a company that has spent so many years serving Victoria.

#67 Galvanized

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:10 AM

^^Great post Ms b!

I find it odd that this task force would ask the MV Coho to move. Black Ball Transport brings close to 45% of all US visitors to Victoria. Moving their location is an insult to a company that has spent so many years serving Victoria.


Thanks for joining up victoriaguy, I totally agree with you. The Coho is the longest lasting vehicle ferry and the only one we have left, why screw with that for a hotel which we have plenty of? Rob Fleming made what I thought as a good suggestion on CFAX (thank god he followed those idiots who were for this thing) to charge an "improvement fee" to the passengers using the facility like we do with airports.
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#68 Rob Randall

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:36 AM

Isn't the proposed hotel upon where a pier is now? That's what it looks like to me looking south from the north side of the Inner Harbor. I don't see how another hotel will make things any better. And since the Coho has been fixture for nearly fifty years, I don't see how moving it or eliminating it makes things better either. The issue seems to be the shabbiness of the buildings on the water front. Maybe we should just put on some new siding or a fresh coat of paint and call it a day. Problem solved.


According to the US Department of Homeland Security that option is out of the question. They say the car ferry terminal operation needs major upgrades or they will shut it down as an international car ferry terminal.

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#69 Rorschach

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:53 AM

According to the US Department of Homeland Security that option is out of the question. They say the car ferry terminal operation needs major upgrades or they will shut it down as an international car ferry terminal.


Yet it seems to be working every day as is. What major, non-cosmetic upgrades do they need? And why do we have the US Customs on the Canadian side anyway? US Customs is on both ends of this ferry ride. Move them exclusively to Port Angeles and we don't have to pay for their facility.

#70 Galvanized

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 10:03 AM

A Coho rep was on CFAX this am stating the two level car parking was a non-issue with US customs etc. and the Coho has 40 years of life left on her. They also weren't too impressed with the fact their competitors where on this panel and they weren't though they are willing to move forward from that and try and work with the panel.
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#71 Holden West

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 10:07 AM

The US is still pretty pissed we let the Millenium Bomber waltz on through there.
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#72 aastra

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 11:11 AM

According to the US Department of Homeland Security that option is out of the question. They say the car ferry terminal operation needs major upgrades or they will shut it down as an international car ferry terminal.


The US southern border needs major upgrades along almost its entire length. They're not worried about that but they're worried about crazy terrorism schemes involving Victoria's ferries and floatplanes?

#73 aastra

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 11:34 AM

What's the deal with the enormous public plaza in this vision? How come every time they come up with a scheme for making Victoria better, it always involves introducing yet another big awkward public space? Wouldn't an extended causeway be public space enough? There's already a ton of open space on the causeway and on the lawns of the Empress and legislature (and on the Songhees across the way).



By the way, here's a great aerial photo from [url=http://strickland.ca/flying/2003/victoria/20030224-132903.jpg:cc08c]www.strickland.ca[/url:cc08c]...

#74 Caramia

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:00 PM

Rob Flemming is pretty good eh?

As far as I can see the panel did pretty well with the mandate they were given, but shame on the provincial gov for failing to make the funds available to make it WORK. The Coho has to stay, and that is something I'd go to bat for, whatever it took.
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#75 G-Man

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:23 PM

If the parking lot here is such a problem, what miraculous idea have they come up with in Sidney, at the Anacortes Ferry that we have not considered here. Why does that work and this won't?

WHY?

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#76 Tom Harper

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 03:13 PM

"Monocultures don't work, whether in nature or in economic systems."

Very true. I used to live in Sonoma County, Calif. where the agriculture has turned into a monoculture -- all vineyards, all the time. There used to be hundreds of orchards and vegetable crops, but most of them have been plowed under to make way for vineyards. This vineyard monoculture is attracting insect pests like a magnet and is ruining the soil.

The above paragraph isn't off topic; the vineyard monoculture is a perfect metaphor for what happens when the Powers That Be try to create an economic monoculture. To be vibrant, a city needs diversity. Victoria is a vibrant, vital city, and I think these proposed "improvements" to the inner harbor could turn it into a sterile monoculture.

#77 Nparker

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 04:30 PM

There is no denying that the current parking lot is butt-ugly especially at such a prime location, but I can't believe there isn't SOME way to creatively accomodate the COHO at the Inner Harbour. Clearly this plan needs to go back to the drawing board. The province needs to find the $200,000,000+ needed to make this project come to fruition in a manner befitting Victoria's past, present and future, as well as its status as the capital of British Columbia (which the last time I checked included Vancouver AND Victoria). Why must we always play the ugly step-child to Vancouver's favoured sibling status? And they can't say the $$$ is not available, didn't Carole Taylor spout off about the government's large surplus not so long ago...

The audited financial statements show the Province of British Columbia ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $4.1 billion. The surplus, along with a drawdown of cash balances, allowed the Province to reduce debt by $1.0 billion and finance a record $3.4-billion investment in building and upgrading schools, universities, colleges, hospitals, roads and bridges to improve services and meet the needs of a growing economy.


I guess Victoria's economy doesn't need any investment.

#78 zoomer

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 05:23 PM

/\ and with the proposed redistribution of seats resulting in the lower mainland getter 4 more seats, and Victoria zero, it's only going to get worse...if that's possible. Heck, I'd be thrilled with absolutely no funding from the Province as long as they matched the cost overruns they are paying for in Vancouver.

#79 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 05:32 PM

The audited financial statements show the Province of British Columbia ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $4.1 billion. The surplus, along with a drawdown of cash balances, allowed the Province to reduce debt by $1.0 billion and finance a record $3.4-billion investment in building and upgrading schools, universities, colleges, hospitals, roads and bridges to improve services and meet the needs of a growing economy.


Two words: Tax cut time!
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#80 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:58 PM

What's the deal with the enormous public plaza in this vision? How come every time they come up with a scheme for making Victoria better, it always involves introducing yet another big awkward public space? Wouldn't an extended causeway be public space enough? There's already a ton of open space on the causeway and on the lawns of the Empress and legislature (and on the Songhees across the way).

By the way, here's a great aerial photo from [url=http://strickland.ca/flying/2003/victoria/20030224-132903.jpg:6cbf6]www.strickland.ca[/url:6cbf6]...


I just looked at that photo, and it underscores aastra's point re. "enormous public plaza": essentially, it's as though we're keeping the parking lot and just putting a different "carpet" (surface material) on it, gussying it up with some vegetation, and poof!, that's it. I mean, the new plaza looks even more agoraphobically humongous than the stupid parking lot it's replacing. Crikey, what a "vision"...
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