Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Downtown Vancouver

This weekend I had the chance to stay in downtown Vancouver and celebrate a birthday (not mine.) I ended up staying at the Hotel Vancouver, and took the following picture from my room’s window. This is Burrard Street.

Only a few years ago Burrard Street was a 6-lane thru-fare. It has been reduced to a 4-lane thru-fare with two bus lanes and a bike lane. In fact all over downtown Vancouver, bike lanes and bus lanes are popping up reducing general travel lanes. It almost seems like reverse logical, but as downtown Vancouver has exploded in size over the last 20 years, the total number of single occupancy lanes has been reduced. Today walking is the number one way of getting around downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver was lucky compared to other areas like Surrey and Langley. Vancouver’s streets and buildings were setup for streetcars, and built up around transit and walking since day one. If Surrey or Langley is to become truly walkable and transit-friendly, we will need to invest in a transportation system that will attract people-friendly development. I’m sure you can see where this is all heading: restoring the Interurban and building modern streetcars.

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