Monday, February 28, 2011

Surrey Investing in Cycling

Last week, I gave an overview of what Surrey had planned for cycling infrastructure improvements for the next 10 years. I wanted to compare the spending in Surrey to Langley for 2010 and 2011, but was unable to find the numbers. I emailed the friendly Surrey staff and got this reply.
The City has increased our annual capital allocation towards cycling from $500,000 in 2010 up to $2,000,000 in 2011. Additionally, in 2010, the City also invested into signing the entire bike route network for a cost of approximately $250,000, with final touches being put into place within the next several weeks to complete the network. In 2010, the City added approximately 12 km of on-street bike lanes. Our plans for 2011 include new pavement markings and bike symbols, as well as intersection improvements for conflict areas.
This is really exciting news and shows that Surrey is starting to embrace a multimodal transportation strategy. In 2011, Surrey will be spending $4.33 per person on cycling infrastructure, the Township of Langley could be spending either $0 or $1.68, and the City of Langley will be spending nothing.

Friday, February 25, 2011

More on roads

Last Friday, I posted about how many people consider car insurance a user-fee like tolling and I pointed out that this was not the case. Anyway, I said that “provincial highways are a drop in the bucket when you consider that in Metro Vancouver you can count the provincial roads on one hand”. I found the 10 Year Servicing Plan from Surrey’s Engineering Department which really drives the point that while the province can build mega-road projects, it won’t help most people at the end of the day. In Surrey, 85km or 4% of roads are within provincial jurisdiction while 1972km of roads are under local jurisdiction.

On Wednesday, I talked about how cities need to embrace non-auto transportation simply because there is no more room for roads as population growth continues to explode. The following map shows the road expansion plans for Surrey out to 2019.

Select Map to Enlarge

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cycling in Surrey

I sent an email to the City of Surrey to see how much they spent in 2010 and how much they plan to spend on dedicated cycling infrastructure for 2011. Like in Langley, this will not include new roads which now come with cycling infrastructure. In the meantime, I found the 2010 Capital Construction Program for Roads, Drainage, Sewer and Water which outlines the following cycling projects with no cost attached for individual projects. Also Surrey installed cycling signage on all their major cycling routes. Surrey worked on the following cycling projects:

On-street Bicycle Network
148 St Bikeway: 096 Ave - 110 Ave

Off-Street Bicycle Core Network
Green Timbers Ph 4: 164 St - 168 St

Off-street Bicycle Path
Wildflower (Nordel): 122 St - 125 St
Semiahmoo Trail / Crescent Rd
Fraser Hts Bike Path (Barnston): 168 - 170A St
Quibble Greenway: 104 Ave - 106 Ave
Quibble Greenway: 106 Ave - 108 Ave

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cycling Budget in Langley

Since this is budget season, I though I'd take a look at how Langley is funding cycling.

In the City of Langley's capital budget, they will be spending $0 on exclusive cycling projects in 2011 and 2012. To be fair all major projects like the Fraser River Bridge, 208th Street Improvements, and new Roberts Bank project have cycling built into the project.

In the Township of Langley $176,000 (0.2% of the total transportation budget) was for exclusive cycling projects and it might be cut to $0 this year. Again all new road construction in the Township has cycling lanes built in and there will be cycling provisions at the new Park and Ride by Highway 1.

Not surprising, cycling in chronically underfunded. Langley is an interesting community with very rural and very urban areas. With the feedback I've received from working with the Greater Langley Cycling Coalition, there are two types of cycling improvements people would like to see on the road. The first would be cycling lanes and even separated bike lane on busy urban corridors. In the rural parts of Langley, the cycling community would like to see "share the road" signage, but are opposed to bike lanes. This makes sense.

I was having a chat with someone over breakfast this morning and he was telling me how he thought bike lanes were stupid. I agreed with him that installing bike lanes in rural areas may not be the best thing to do, but they are important for urban areas. The South of Fraser is one of the fast growing parts of the region and there is simply no space to expand the local roads in the urban parts (they aren't going to build a freeway through the centre of Surrey or Langley.) I've looked at the transportation plans and with the exception of expanding all the major roads to 4 lanes, what you see today is pretty much it. A planner from Surrey told me that he has embraced cycling because he doesn't see how he can keep people moving with an auto-only transportation system. When you look at the success of Downtown Vancouver it is not because the city installed a freeways or increased parking, it because the City embraced walking, cycling, transit, and place-making.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

War on Transit

I’ve been noticing that in the US there seems to be a war on transit in some states. For example in Florida, Governor Rick Scott recently rejected $2.4 billion in high speed passenger rail funding much to the shock of people at the local level considering the federal government was going to pick up 90% of the cost.
Officials across Central Florida are drafting proposals to privatize high-speed rail and hope to submit a plan to Gov. Rick Scott for approval within a day or two. The proposal is urgent because Scott, citing concerns over the impact on taxpayers, has rejected $2.4 billion in federal funding for the rail project from Tampa to Orlando, with an extension ultimately to Miami.
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin have also turned down essentially free money to build transit which is crazy. Walker is taking it one step further and is looking to slash funding from all transit agencies in his state.
Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and other mid-sized Wisconsin cities would have to restructure their transit systems or lose some $45 million in federal aid under a bill quickly moving through the state Legislature, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau warns.
Once that's done, he and his friends plan on killing even more commuter rail.
Once the Republicans can reconvene to pass Scott Walker’s budget repair bill — the subject of massive protests this week and a Democratic Senator walkout — they will move on to other matters, including killing the proposed Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee (KRM) commuter rail line.
Again this completely shocks most local and business leaders. Of course it’s not all doom and gloom, our neighbours in Washington State are benefiting from the short-shortsightedness of other states.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday reiterated that if other states don't want federal dollars for passenger rail, Washington would be glad to take them.

"I've said many times, if other states don't want this funding, Washington state is ready to put it to work. We've been committed to expanding and improving high-speed passenger rail not just to increase convenience for passengers, but to promote Washington state as a great place to visit and live. These rail lines take cars off our roads while moving workers and tourists between Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, B.C. These federal funds are an investment in our economy, and support hundreds of construction and operating jobs in our state."

This happened before. After Wisconsin and Ohio spurned high-speed rail grants worth $1.2 billion, Washington state's Amtrak Cascades corridor reaped a $162 million share of the unused funds, on top of $590 million in earlier stimulus aid.

Monday, February 21, 2011

the suburbs project

Our board member, Michael Thorne, found a great report from the School of Planning at Dalhousie University. It is titled Township of Langley, BC: An Overview of Development Trends. The report notes that the Township is a "community of communities" because of the agricultural land reserve which acts as a de facto urban growth boundary and without it Langley would not have its strong rural character.
The Brookswood/Fernridge community in the south of the Township developed in the 1970s with split-level bungalows and rancher homes on quarter acre lots. Murrayville and Walnut Grove both experienced residential development in the 1980s and 1990s with cul de sac layouts and garage-filled street fronts. Gated developments are common in both communities as a niche trend of the same era.
With the development of Willoughby, the report talks about how smart growth principles are embedded into the planning for the area, but "elements of a model town centre are yet to be demonstrated on the ground." And as we know there are people who recently moved to the Township from Vancouver that are trying to block the critical mixed-used centres around areas like 208th and 80th. There has also been pressure from some developers to build large format retail along 200th.

The report indirectly points to the Township being at a turning-point. It can either become a mixed-use community that can stand on its own feet or become the "Burnaby" of Surrey.

Friday, February 18, 2011

ICBC - Where Your Money Goes

As I was going over the 2011 Provincial Budget, I got thinking about how many people think that their ICBC insurance premiums are somehow paying for all the roads in BC. That is simply not the case.

ICBC spent $56 million in 2009 directly for road safety projects. When you think about all the roads in BC, that is a drop in the bucket of the total provincial capital spent on roads which was $928 million in 2009/10. ICBC's net income of $601 million also goes into general provincial revenue according to the Public Accounts for the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2010. Now when you thinks of the health costs, environmental costs, congestion costs, and policing costs it's still a drop in the bucket, but if you want to pretend that there are no external costs to driving than ICBC insurance premiums pay for 46% of all provincial highways when you add in the cost of operating highways which was $476 million. Of course provincial highway are a drop in the bucket when you consider that in Metro Vancouver you can count the provincial roads on one hand. All this to say that roads certainly aren't paying for themselves in BC.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BC Budget 2011

So, I had a look at the 2011 BC Budget to see what I could see with regards to transportation. But first, I think it's worth pointing out that in BC 61% of tax is now consumption based.

Looking at the Ministry of Transportation Service Plan there is still talk about climate change and the goal to raise public transit mode share in Metro Vancouver to 22% by 2030.
Climate Action Targets are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent by 2012, 18 per cent by 2016, and 33 per cent by 2020. Meeting these targets will require significant investment in transit and cycling infrastructure and services, new emission-reducing initiatives for all modes of transport, new emissions standards, and the use of new technologies to reduce fuel consumption.
Oddly there is still the goal to build more roads to help extract more fossil fuel. It seem like the Province has multiple personality disorder when it comes to environmental protection and resource extraction.

What is interesting to note is that operational spending on public transit and BC Ferries is going up by 21% while sending on highway operation will go down by 1%. Sadly, the province plans to keep cycling spending static at $3 million for the next few years. On the bright side, the province now spends around half of its transportation capital on transit with that number planned to increase to 69% in 2013. That is pretty impressive. Of course the next big project is the Evergreen Line.
In addition to these investments, the Province is leading transit planning initiatives that will identify future infrastructure requirements including: improved transit services for the Fraser Valley; future potential transit use of the E&N Rail Corridor on Vancouver Island; Regional Transit Studies for Greater Victoria and the Central Okanagan. Finally, the Province is working with TransLink in detailed planning work to evaluate options for future rapid transit services to UBC and Surrey.
Port Mann Highway 1 Project is a separate line item on the budget as more money will be spent on that project ($717m) than every other non-transit project in the province ($690m). Insane!

On a different note, the Agricultural Land Commission's budget is being cut by 6% or $2 million dollar. With the agency short-staffed as it is, I don't know how it will be able to protect our agricultural land. Thanks to Wilma from SFAN for pointing this out to me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BCER Interurbans & Streetcars

Sadly the poster of the following video disabled embedding on this YouTube video, but if you follow the link

You can watch a 9 min. excerpt from a colour film shot in 1948-50 of the interurbans and streetcars in Metro Vancouver.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Transit in the US

One of the good things about the Obama administration in the US is their commitment to transit and rail funding. In Obama's State of the Union address, he reaffirmed his commitment to rail infrastructure investments.
Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail. (Applause.) This could allow you to go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying –- without the pat-down. (Laughter and applause.) As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.
The 2012 budget provides for $8 billion in 2012 and $53 billion over six years to improve passenger rail service with the goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to passenger rail in the next 25 years. The budget also includes $22 billion for transit through the Federal Transit Administration in 2012 which is double the 2011 amount. I should note that they are spending $70 billion on roads which is still  where 75% of federal transportation infrastructure dollars go. It would be good to see this percentage more balanced.

It's too bad that in Canada we don't have this kind of predictable commitment to transit at a federal level.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Density in the City of Langley

I found the following map on the City of Langley's website called the Map of Multifamily Development Potential. The yellow represents areas that are currently single-family houses that could be built out to multifamily housing. The red is the downtown mixed-use area of the City of Langley. As the last remaining exclusively residential multifamily sites get built out, there will be pressure to develop the downtown area with exclusively residential building. Paddington Station, Serenade, and Langley Prairie School Site come to mind as new exclusively residential buildings in the mixed-use area of Langley. I know that many get concerned when retail units in new developments sit vacant, but there is normally a lag between resident development and commercial development.

Click Image to Enlarge

Friday, February 11, 2011

2008 Metro Vancouver Trip Survey Trends - Part Five

Today I want to conclude my investigation of TransLink’s 2008 Regional Trip Diary Survey by looking at some of the travel trends from 1994 to 2008. What is interesting to note is there has been a reduction of 1,107,250 trips since 2004 or a 14% reduction in the total number of trips. While this large drop can be partials attributed to the economy depression we are in, since 1994 the amount of trips we make per capita has gone done from 2.91 to 2.65. Congestion plays a role in limiting the amount of trips people make as people tend to combine trips, move closer to their place of work, or not make their intended trip at all. According to the report “travel during the midday and evening has decreased since 1994”.

Improvements to transit like increased bus service and SkyTrain expansion has certainly helped in raising mode share. Transit mode share has increased from 8.1% in 1994 to 11.5% in 2008 What is interesting to note is that active transportation modes (walking/cycling) peaked at 14% in 1999 before flat-lining at a 12% mode share. We have really only started to invest in active transportation as a region and until we get a connected system of bike lanes, separated bike lanes, and strong emphasis on building mixed-used, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods out in the South of Fraser; I don’t expect this number to change.

Another encouraging number is that as a region we’ve reduced vehicle usage from 80.1% to 75% since 1994. This is something to be proud of as many other regions in Canada and North America can only dream of doing this. With the Gateway Program’s highways coming online in the next few years, it will be interesting to see if we’ll undo the progress we’ve made in shift travel modes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Metro Vancouver Trip Survey - Part Four aka Regional Transit

Continuing my look at TransLink’s 2008 Regional Trip Diary Survey, I want to see were people in the South of the Fraser are heading on transit. 47% of all trips in the region take place during peak AM and PM travel periods and the vast majority of commuting trips take place during these times as well.

During the AM peak travel times in Surrey and White Rock 65% of all transit trips leave the South of the Fraser sub-region for other parts of Metro Vancouver. 5% off all transit trips from Surrey and White Rock end up in Langley. During the PM peak travel times 40% of all transit trips leave the South of the Fraser sub-region. This is interesting giving that this is the reverse commute.

As I talked about yesterday, the longest trips people take are on transit which points to the fact that transit very much plays a regional role. This is important to note because there has been some talk from Delta and others to “go it alone” and leave TransLink. This would be a big mistake as it would hurt the current base of transit riders in the South of Fraser and not save any money as there would be duplication of transit service. The fact is that overall funding is TransLink’s main issue and not Vancouver taking all the transit for itself.

About 82% of all trip in the South of Fraser stay in the South of Fraser and we know the average trip length is 6km. While beefing up transit in the South of Fraser is important, our built for is even more important. If we want to reduce our dependency on the auto, we need to be building neighbourhoods that give people transportation choice. We can’t build the same-old, same-old and expect sustainable transportation to magically appear. Tomorrow, I’ll wrap things up with some trends about transportation in the region.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Metro Vancouver Trip Survey - Part Three

Today, I’m looking at average trip length and transportation mode by age-group as I continue the review of the TransLink’s 2008 Regional Trip Diary Survey.

One of the more depressing stats about transportation in our region is how the older we become, the less we rely on sustainable transportation. This could be due to the fact that many of the older demographics grew up in the height of car culture and perceive that buses are for losers. I point this out because 50 to 64 year-olds are the least likely to take transit in our region. 31.5% of all trips by people aged 18 to 24 are by transit. That number drops down to 11.7% for people aged 24 to 49. Also depressing is that when people hit the age of 18, they stop walking (27.1% of all trips to 4%)

On to the average trip length: not surprising, but people travel the furthest for work and only travel half the length for all other trips on average.

To Work/Post Secondary: 14.1km
From Work/Post Secondary: 13.9km
During Work: 11.2km
To Grade School: 4.7km
From Grade School: 4.6km
Recreation/Dining/Shopping: 7.4km
Errands: 6.9km

Average Trip Length by Mode
Auto Driver: 10.7km
Auto Passenger: 7.6km
Transit: 12.0km
Bike: 5.3km
Walk: 2.0km
Other: 9.0km

Looking at sustainable transportation, transit should be the mode of choice for getting people to and from work in our region. If we can build more compact, mixed-used community in our region walking and cycling hit the sweet stop for our personal trips. Transit plays a regional transportation role and tomorrow, I’ll take a closer look.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Next Meeting

At South Fraser OnTrax, we are changing our meetings structure for 2011. This year we will be focusing on preparing a report that will be looking at land-use in the South of the Fraser and its effect on sustainability. We believe that our sub-region is at a cross-road and we are planning to release this important report in August. Our first brain storming season will be:

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Place: Township of Langley Civic Facility, 4th Floor
20338-65 Avenue, Langley
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Room: Yorkson Creek Meeting Room

Please bring your ideas, skills, and willingness to help; we’ll bring the post-it notes. We will also be having a few of our regular keynote speaker meetings as well through the year and will be sure to keep you in the loop. Please RSVP is you plan on attending our brainstorming season by Monday, February 14th to or if you have any questions.

Metro Vancouver Trip Survey - Part Two

Today, I want to look at the mode share per trip type in Metro Vancouver as part of my review of 2008 Metro Vancouver Trip Survey.

To Work/Post Secondary
Auto Driver 64.5%
Auto Passenger 5.4%
Transit 22.5%
Bike 2.4%
Walk 4.7%
Other 0.4%

From Work/Post Secondary
Auto Driver 65.2%
Auto Passenger 5.6%
Transit 21.6%
Bike 2.4%
Walk 4.9%
Other 0.4%

During Work
Auto Driver 83.0%
Auto Passenger 5.8%
Transit 6.9%
Bike 0.6%
Walk 3.1%
Other 0.7%

To Grade School
Auto Driver 2.6%
Auto Passenger 50.5%
Transit 7.0%
Bike 1.6%
Walk 33.1%
Other 5.1%

From Grade School
Auto Driver 2.7%
Auto Passenger 43.4%
Transit 9.0%
Bike 1.6%
Walking 38.0%
Other 5.3%

Auto Driver 56.1%
Auto Passenger 24.3%
Transit 8.4%
Biking 0.9%
Walking 9.6%
Other 0.8%

Personal Business
Auto Driver 67.4%
Auto Passenger 14.2%
Transit 6.1%
Biking 0.7%
Walking 10.5%
Other 1.1%

One of the first things that I noticed is that transit does best with getting people to/from work and post secondary school. Improvements to transit should focus on getting people to their workplaces. Of course this also ties into our build form as it is much easier to service higher-density business centres and transit corridor. If the South of Fraser wants to improve transit mode share, we need to move away from building business parks full stop. Also interesting is that HOV lanes are completely pointless. The original goal of the HOV lane was to encourage carpooling to work. When you look at the 5% mode share for carpooler, you have to wonder if it’s worth the cost of all the HOV lanes we are building.

Business relay almost exclusively on driving. Given the fact that commercial traffic is important to the economic lifeblood of the region and only represents 2% of all trips. Commercial traffic should be given priority.

When it comes to our personal trips, we could do more to improve walking. As I talked about yesterday, this is entirely dependent on our build form. People don’t want to travel great lengths to run errands and go shopping if at all possible. By building walkable neighbourhoods that are linked by high-quality transit, we would be able to increase both modes.

Cycling is almost completely missing from the picture in Metro Vancouver and that is no surprise given the lack of cycling infrastructure. It is good to see South of Fraser communities investing in cycling, but at the current rate of investment it is going to take at least a decade before cycling become a viable transportation choice for many.

Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at average trip length.

Monday, February 7, 2011

2008 Metro Vancouver Trip Survey

I’ve been waiting for the 2008 Regional Trip Diary Survey from TransLink for the last two years. I sent a few emails to municipality transportation people and TransLink, and was told it was unavailable. It doesn’t even show up on Google! Thanks to Paul Hillsdon who pointed me to the TransLink website where you can search for it in their document library. It’s great that the information is on TransLink’s website, but the fact that you have to know to search for it as the document library consists solely of a search bar could be improved. Anyway over the next few posts, I want to go over some of the numbers from the survey.

Trip surveys are an important planning tools as they give us a snapshot of a typical 24 hour period. Unlike the mode of transportation data from the census which only looks at journeys to work, the trip survey looks at all trip including work, school, errands, and recreational trips.

According to the last census information in Metro Vancouver:
74.4% of us drove to work,
16.5% took transit,
6.3% walked,
1.7% biked, and
1.1% “othered”.

In the latest trip survey during the:
AM peak
68.5% of all travel was by driving,
14.3% by transit,
1.9% by cycling,
13.5% by walking, and
1.7% by “others”.

During the midday
71.1% of all trip where by driving,
11.4% by transit,
1.1% by cycling,
14.8% by walking, and
1.6% by other.

In the PM peak 
76.9% of all trips were by driving,
14.1% by transit,
1.8% by cycling,
6.6% by walking, and
0.6% by “other”.

This information suggests that transit is doing a better job of getting people to/from work while walking is used more for other forms of travel. It also seems like many walker turn into automobile passengers during the PM peak. Getting people to walk for errand and recreational trips is the most cost-effective way of promoting sustainable transportation and is entirely based on a city’s built form. Increase cycling by improve cycling infrastructure is another easy-win as the cost of improving cycling in orders of magnitude cheaper than transit. I’ll have a look at the modal share based on trip type tomorrow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reading around the web

Our first stop takes us to GOOD, where there is a post on how the World Health Organization see the connection between better public transit and active transportation, and health.
Transport is important for public health because of a number of connections. Every year, 1.2 million people die in traffic crashes each year. And physical inactivity is responsible for 3.2 million deaths and 19 million healthy life years lost annually. Other health risks come from outdoor urban air pollution, traffic injuries, traffic noise, climate change and non-communicable diseases, like heart disease and diabetes.
According to the BC Government, the Everygreen SkyaTrain line is full steam ahead having received it environmental assessment certificate.
The EAO assessment report concluded the project is not likely to have significant adverse effects, based on the mitigation measures and commitments included as conditions of the environmental assessment certificate. The provincial certificate contains 157 commitments the proponent must implement throughout various stages of the project.
Finally if you are interested in learn more about climate change and what California is doing, I suggest you check out the California Air Resource Board's website. It contains a ton of information.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It all in the mission statement

California is a progressive place when it comes to airshed management and green house gas reduction. Last year the citizens of that state voted to keep its aggressive green house gas reduction legislation. Yet with all this progressive policy, I was surprised that the mission statement from the California Department of Transportation hasn’t changed.
Provide the safest transportation system in the nation for users and workers.
Maximize transportation system performance and accessibility.
Efficiently deliver quality transportation projects and services.
Preserve and enhance California's resources and assets.
Promote quality service through an excellent workforce.
While these seem like laudable goals, they are actually responsible for the mess that most parts of North America find themselves in today. For example let’s look at mobility and safety. The goal of the department is to move the most cars, the fastest way possible. To make this safe and practical, you need to build freeways with concrete barrier to reduce the amount of people that get killed each year and bypass the urban fabric of a city. There are health costs, police costs, environmental costs, and societal cost to this kind of mission statement. I think a better example of a mission statement comes from New York City’s Department of Transportation:
-Provide safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of pedestrians, goods, and vehicular traffic on the streets, highways, bridges, and waterways of the City's transportation network;
-Improve traffic mobility and reduce congestion throughout the City;
-Rehabilitate and maintain the City's infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, streets, sidewalks, and highways;
-Encourage the use of mass transit and sustainable modes of transportation; and
-Conduct traffic safety educational programs.
Though I would change “Improve traffic mobility and reduce congestion throughout the City” to “Provide an accessible transportation system that is inclusive to all network users that will reduce congestion throughout the City.”

I know mission statements seem silly at times, but they speak to what an organization believes in. If you look at what New York City is doing today with their pedestrian plazas and bike lanes, it seem like their mission statement is aligning with what they’re doing on the street. Likewise, they are still full-steam ahead with freeway building in California.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Advocating for Change

I was talking to a government leader the other day and was listening to his views on the various projects that he approved and the controversy surrounding them. He said that it was the same group of people that protested every single project and that he didn't put much stalk into what they had to say. That got me thinking about how we advocate for change in the province. The first way to advocate for change is to protest, and if you get enough people you can cause government to change their minds. Two protests that come to mind right away are the HST and proposed privatization of the Coquihalla Highway. If you protest and can only get a few hundred people out, you are not likely to see change. The second way you can advocate for change is by gaining credibility, so your opinion is respected. One of the group that comes to mind is the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and Greater Langley Cycling Coalition that work closely with local government to improve cycling in our region.

When we advocate for sustainability, I believe that advocating for change by gaining credibility is the only route to go right now in the South of Fraser. Until gas is $2.00/litre, while the majority of people want all the things that we talk about on this blog, I don’t think they are motivated enough to get on the street to protest for change. Maybe, I’m out to lunch. Let me know.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The following picture is from my friend Robert White's flickr photostream. The picture is of Surrey City Centre and really highlights the recent urbanity that in the South of Fraser sub-region.