Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vancouver To Seattle and Beyond - Canada Ignores The Rail


All this week, The Tyee has been doing an excellent series on high speed/higher speed passenger rail from Vancouver to Seattle. Last week I got a call from The Tyee's Investigative Editor Monte Paulsen and we chatted for some time about the rail corridor from Vancouver to Seattle and Oregon. We also talked about passenger rail in the south Fraser region and the connection potentials for both. I was very impressed with the amount of research and the depth of knowledge that Paulsen possessed on these topics.

During my conversation with Paulsen I was angered but not surprised, that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is choosing to spend their $700M in Obama economic stimulus money the Seattle-to-Portland section of the rail alignment. Paulsen told me that WSDOT did this because they felt that Canada was not serious about passenger rail. Some 10 years ago WSDOT issued a report that highlighted upgrades and infrastructure necessary (including a replacement of the old New Westminster rail bridge), for enhanced/higher-speed rail to be supported from Vancouver to Seattle.

You can read the three installments of Monte Paulsen's series:

The Myth of High-Speed Rail for BC - click here

Obama's Billions Bypass BC - click here

Ottawa Halts Vancouver Train - click here

Rail Fix: Two Tracks to Langley (June 1, 2009) - click here

You can also read more about this interesting editor here.


Also, South Fraser OnTrax member Herb Klein provided this link to an article on TransLinks plans moving forward. Both Nathan and I have attended a recent planning session in Langley City on the TransLink 2040 plan. You can find information here on Monday's TransLink Sustainability Forum. As Herb points out, as in New York City the car in greater Vancouver is still king and people guard it with their lives. Any efforts to toll roads and bridges meet very stiff opposition. No one seems to have a big with us subsidezing roads and driving.

By the way, Herb Klein and his wife are realtors - "Spouses With Houses" and you can view ther listings around Walnut Grove and elsewhere and get a free donut to boot! Look for their signs and donut offers around town.

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