Category Archives: 2010 Winter Olympics

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: Will Olympic Line leave a transit legacy?

09 February 2009 05:41

With the one-year countdown to the 2010 Winter Games just days away, it’s a bit depressing to see so many British Columbians dwelling strictly on bad news associated with the event.

While well-publicized financial troubles connected to the Olympic Village are indeed troubling, they won’t cancel out the benefits arising from the Games — including everything from new recreation facilities to the build-out of related infrastructure such as the Canada Line.

Another project timed with the Games goes by the name of, appropriately enough, The Olympic Line. It is Vancouver’s modern streetcar initiative, and it could usher in a new era for public transit in and around the city’s downtown peninsula. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, British Columbia, Commuting, Environment, Heritage, Neighbourhoods, Portland, Seattle, Tourism, Transportation

Metro column: Vancouver deserves better rail travel

January 26, 2009

Last week’s inauguration of Barack Obama has not only raised the hopes of those looking for a major shift in United States foreign policy, it has also changed expectations for that country’s urban and transportation policy.

The president-elect, the thinking goes, will be looking to stimulate the economy by investing in major infrastructure projects in cities — including those devoted to public transport such as railways. Canada’s politicians would be wise to follow that lead.

Rail travel — while long neglected in this country — is now being recognized as a smart alternative to worsening road congestion. Compared to automobile or even air traffic, it also makes good environmental sense, producing less carbon emissions. Which makes it hard to understand the sorry state of inter-city passenger rail in this region.
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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, British Columbia, Cascadia, Commuting, Environment, Japan, Osaka, Politics, Seattle, Tourism, Transportation

Metro column: Pinning hopes on Granville makeover

12 January 2009

Love it or loathe it, Granville Street is a Vancouver original.

The downtown district for public intoxication, peep shows and post-pub pushing matches is quite the spectacle on a Friday evening — or a Saturday morning, for that matter.

But while Granville is a magnet for the young, the restless and the seekers of cheap pizza slices — it has yet to be universally embraced. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Crime, Culture, Entertainment, Food and Dining, Gentrification, Law and Order, Neighbourhoods, Nightlife, Tourism, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver

It lives: Construction resumes on North Vancouver waterfront

Some positive news for those following the progress of the waterfront revitalization project at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.

The $100 million mixed-use development is back in business after coming to a troubling halt this past fall — in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown and ensuing economic uncertainty. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Architecture, Culture, Heritage, Neighbourhoods, Politics

Metro column: Time to address public transit

24 November 2008 03:23

Gregor Robertson, the newly minted mayor of Vancouver, has a clear mandate from voters to solve the problem of rising homelessness, and to be a steward of the city’s finances and reputation in the run-up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

But voters will expect follow-through from the organic juice entrepreneur and former MLA in another crucial area as well: Public transit.

During the thick of the mayoral race earlier this month, Robertson made public his support for the More Buses Now campaign, which called on the provincial government to add 500 more buses to Metro Vancouver.

Launched by the union representing local bus drivers, the lobbying effort didn’t get the attention it deserved in the wake of the headline-generating Olym­pic Village loan story. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Commuting, Transportation

Vancouver Province column: If meltdown hikes Olympic price taxpayers deserve a greater say

October 12, 2008

It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee.

Last week, at a Toronto forum on amateur sport, federal politicians scrapped over the long-simmering issue of including women’s ski jumping at the 2010 Games. This comes on top of Canadian ski jumper Zoya Lynch joining a lawsuit aimed at forcing VANOC to bring the women’s event into the Olympics mix.

But it doesn’t end there.

Many British Columbians were left shaking their heads in the wake of the recent decision to ban the charity Right To Play from the athletes village in 2010.

And now folks in Vancouver are coming to grips with the impact of the global financial crunch on the construction of that same athletes village — raising the grim spectre of taxpayers bailing out the project if funding dries up. Continue reading

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Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Architecture, British Columbia, Commuting, Culture, Gentrification, Neighbourhoods, Politics, Protest, Real Estate, Sports, Transportation, Vancouver, Vancouver Province Columns