25 May 2009 05:22
This Wednesday, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson will travel to Portland to speak at the Cascadia Rail Partnership Conference — a gathering of transport pundits, policy wonks and politicians focused on bringing high-speed rail to the corridor stretching between Vancouver and Eugene, Ore.
The group should be especially energized, thanks to last month’s funding announcement by U.S.
President Barack Obama — pledging $8 billion for high-speed rail along major population corridors, including the Pacific Northwest.
But frustrated Vancouverites stuck in airport queues or traffic jams en route to the U.S. West Coast would be wise not to envision themselves rocketing down the I-5 corridor in a Shinkansen bullet train just yet. Continue reading
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
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AWARDS VANCOUVER
EXPANSION TEAM FOR 2011
League’s 17th Team to Play in Newly-Renovated BC Place
NEW YORK (Wednesday, March 18, 2009) – Vancouver, British Columbia, will be the home of Major League Soccer’s 17th team, MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced today. The Vancouver MLS team will begin play in 2011 at the newly-renovated BC Place Stadium in the city’s downtown entertainment district. The venue will undergo approximately $365 million CDN in improvements before the new MLS team takes to the field, and will have a seamless 20,000-seat soccer-specific configuration. Continue reading
In an interview with the New York Times Goal Blog‘s Douglas B. McIntyre on Friday, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber makes the case for the (relatively) recently established franchises in Toronto and Seattle serving as templates for future expansion teams.
And where will these expansion franchises be? To date, Garber hasn’t been saying, at least not officially — though an announcement could be coming within days.
But in a question about MLS concerns about fan support (or lack thereof) in Miami, Garber doesn’t hesitate to indicate what cities do have his confidence. Continue reading
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
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.
Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, British Columbia, Cascadia, Commuting, Environment, Japan, Osaka, Politics, Seattle, Tourism, Transportation
September 29, 2008
Whether you agree with her political philosophy or not, you have to give Elizabeth May full marks for making plenty of noise during this fall’s federal election.
The leader of the federal Green Party has made history — and headlines — by elbowing her way into the upcoming televised leaders debates.
More recently, May kicked off an old-fashioned, cross-country whistle stop train tour in Vancouver that attracted lots of positive buzz.
Her eight-province journey was the first of its kind since former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker traversed the country by train in the 1960s.
While May’s campaign adventure has captured the imagination of nostalgic Canadians, and a handful of rail geeks, it also put the spotlight on a previously ignored mode of transport.
Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, British Columbia, Cascadia, Commuting, Environment, Politics, Portland, Seattle, Tourism, Trade, Transportation, Vancouver, Vancouver Province Columns