Monthly Archives: August 2008

Vancouver Province column: Don’t let this traffic mess ruin the region’s appeal and drive us crazy

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

During a recent summer afternoon, I spent a painful 90 minutes trying to drive from Vancouver’s west side to a beer league hockey game at a Burnaby ice rink.

In ideal conditions, the trip takes about 30 minutes. But the usual weekday congestion had turned it into a marathon journey.

It’s a stressful voyage I won’t make again.

I’m quitting my hockey league in favour of recreation that’s closer to home and doesn’t involve being sucked into Metro Vancouver’s traffic purgatory.

Most Lower Mainland commuters, however, don’t have the luxury of avoiding the tie-ups. Continue reading

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Filed under Commuting, Cycling, Industry, Politics, Transportation, Urban Planning

Business in Vancouver column: Osaka air link cancellation will sever vital economic tie for B.C.

Osaka air link cancellation will sever vital economic tie for B.C.

Derek Moscato: Podium

Business in Vancouver July 29-August 4, 2008; issue 979

At first blush, this past spring’s announcement from Air Canada that it would be cancelling its direct flight between Vancouver and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport might have seemed like a minor setback for a handful of frequent flyers and would-be tourists on both sides of the Pacific.

High fuel costs have ushered in a tough new era for airlines globally. Volatile economic times mean that cutbacks at airlines across North America are the new norm.

As for Air Canada’s service between Vancouver International Airport and Osaka, while it’s true that the route did a brisk business, it didn’t exactly garner a reputation for attracting the kind of premium business that would fatten a carrier’s bottom line. Besides, Osaka has always played second-fiddle to Tokyo, Japan’s largest city. Continue reading

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Filed under British Columbia, Education, Industry, Japan, Media, Osaka, Politics, Tourism, Trade, Transportation, Vancouver

Vancouver Province column: Why plague people with trash talk when they’ve got worries enough?

Forget about manicured front lawns, white picket fences and the sound of children at play. According to a growing legion of pundits and “peak oil” theorists, the tidy suburbs of today are the forsaken slums of tomorrow.

A recent article in The Atlantic Monthly by Christopher Leinberger argued that once-idyllic cul-de-sacs are about to become the domain of poverty, social disorder and physical rot.

More recently, Smart Growth B.C., the Vancouver-based not-for-profit with a focus on creating “more livable communities in British Columbia,” made the link between sprawling, auto-friendly suburbs and the grim spectre of childhood obesity.

Given sky-high gas prices, the new carbon tax and a growing number of “for sale” signs popping up in family subdivisions, there’s no doubt that B.C. suburban dwellers are facing a financial and psychological squeeze these days. Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Commuting, Environment, Green Space, Health, Immigration, Law and Order, Media, Neighbourhoods, Politics, Real Estate