May 31, 2011

Annals of Transit – 2

An occasional update on items from the Transit City.




Okay, so I have this fetish about emphasizing the importance of the electric streetcar in creating Vancouver’s urban form.  But here’s a new high: getting it into an article on “What is wrong with the men in this town?” in the Tyee by Vanessa Richmond.  Another version in the Canadian edition of the HuffPost.

And even though people think of Vancouver as a dense, urban city (famous for Vancouverism and condos and what-not) it’s still “basically suburban,” (says Price).  It incorporated in 1886 and was one of the first cities on the continent to get a streetcar a year later. By 1890, they were building suburbs. We didn’t have row buildings (like Montreal or Toronto), we had houses and yards. “Young people come to the city to find DNA, and go back to the suburbs to make more of it,” says Price.




I picked this up off Stephen Rees’s blog:

It illustrates the obvious, I suppose – how transportation and urban form are connected.  And which followed which?  But the overlap of rail and light from urban settlements is nonetheless surprising.




Lisa Rochon pens a nice indictment in the Globe and Mail of TO’s lack of strategy for better use of the public spaces that lie between the buildings (known as roads) – and more generally:

Canada has enjoyed economic good times over the last decade, but still there’s been an astounding blindness to the need to invest urgently in public transit.


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