Category Archives: Vancouver

Metro column: Burrard Bridge bike trial backlash brewing

29 June 2009 05:27

The Burrard Street Bridge cycling experiment that gets underway two weeks from today is raising hopes for a bike-friendlier future in Metro Vancouver. The expectation is that allocating more space for bikes on the busy crossing will encourage more commuters to swap their car keys for a two-wheeler.

But far from a breakthrough, this bold initiative is more likely to be a bust. Here’s why.

By taking over space previously reserved for automobiles and pedestrians, the summer trial runs the risk of alienating two traditional allies of the cycling community: Bus riders and walkers. Continue reading

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Filed under Commuting, Cycling, Environment, Green Space, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver

Metro column: Sad end for Japantown’s field of memories

15 June 2009 05:27

Later this week, the Vancouver Canadians baseball team will play its much-anticipated season opener at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Expect the scene to be an upbeat one — from the singing of Take Me Out To The Ball Game to Little Leaguers cheerfully chasing foul balls in the bleachers.

But not far away, in the Downtown Eastside, a far less happy baseball story is being played out.

At Oppenheimer Park, in Vancouver’s old Japantown neighbourhood, the historic playing field of the Asahi baseball team is being demolished. The City of Vancouver is removing the ball diamond as part of its renovation of the park. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Environment, Green Space, Heritage, Immigration, Japan, Neighbourhoods, Parks, Politics, Protest, Sports, Vancouver

Metro column: Politicians on slow train to nowhere

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

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Filed under British Columbia, Cascadia, Commuting, Japan, Portland, Seattle, Tourism, Transportation, Vancouver

Vancouver awarded MLS franchise: The official announcement

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

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Filed under Architecture, Seattle, Sports, Vancouver

MLS Commissioner Don Garber shows confidence in Vancouver in New York Times interview

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

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Filed under Media, Portland, Seattle, Sports, Vancouver

Metro column: SkyTrain service still considered a winner

19 January 2009 05:24

Last week, the first of 48 new light metro cars arrived at SkyTrain’s headquarters in Burnaby. Sporting a refreshing blue-and-grey design, the SkyTrain vehicles are visually impressive.

More importantly, they have increased passenger capacity. So, their addition should be a big plus for commuters, who have made SkyTrain a popular — and at times strained — transit system.

But even as Metro Vancouver’s transit authority un-shrinkwraps and test-drives the sleek cars, a vocal chorus of SkyTrain boobirds are quick to trash this region’s choice of rapid rail. Continue reading

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Filed under Commuting, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver

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