Monthly Archives: April 2009

Metro column: SkyTrain right choice for Metro Vancouver

For a party that’s fighting for the hearts and minds of urban voters in British Columbia, one would think the provincial NDP would be trading off of its strong legacy of endorsing — and expanding — SkyTrain across the Lower Mainland.

After all, it was former NDP premier Glen Clark who brought Vancouver the Millennium Line, which has enjoyed steady increases in ridership since its completion in 2002.

Another former New Democrat premier, Mike Harcourt, is one of the most vocal advocates of building light-metro for our growing region. In his 2007 book, City Making in Paradise, Harcourt cites SkyTrain as one of the legacies from Expo 86 that saved Vancouver’s livability. Continue reading

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Filed under Commuting, Environment, Nimbies, Politics, Transportation, Urban Planning

Metro column: North Americans hungry for ‘Kei Jidosha’

With Earth Day just around the corner, it’s a good time for some serious reflection on the part of North America’s troubled automakers.

It’s no coincidence General Motors and Chrysler are facing potential financial Armageddon at the same time consumer tastes in cars have changed radically.

Let’s face it: Last year’s sky-high gas prices have ushered in an era of unprecedented demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Buyers aren’t just focused on their wallets, mind you. Continue reading

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Filed under Commuting, Industry, Japan, Transportation

Metro column: Deeply troubling issues behind Seattle-Vancouver train expansion

It is astonishing that a long-awaited second passenger train connecting Vancouver to Seattle is still in serious limbo.
Why the hold-up? The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) wants $1,500 per day from Amtrak to serve this train. Not surprisingly, the U.S. rail operator refuses to cave to their financial demands.
British Columbians should be furious. Afterall, $3 million of their tax dollars helped provide extra rail capacity for this initiative. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Cascadia, Commuting, Politics, Portland, Seattle, Tourism, Transportation

Metro column: Time for smokers with kids to butt out

After midnight tonight, British Columbians who smoke in their vehicles with children present will face more than just social disapproval. They will become outlaws.

That’s because, to mark World Health Day tomorrow, our provincial government is putting new anti-smoking legislation into effect, which takes direct aim at this behaviour.

All I can say is, it’s about time. Continue reading

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Filed under British Columbia, Environment, Health, Law and Order