December 27, 2015

Bridging the Gap-The View from Delta

gov-bc-image-of-bridge-replacing-george-massey-tunnel-from-youtube
One of the more curious elements of 2015 was the December burst of information about the Province’s new crossing of the Fraser River between Richmond and Delta. This not yet named bridge is being referred to as the Massey Bridge, after the tunnel this link will be replacing.
Whatever the reason for the new bridge-linking the  Roberts Bank and B.C. ferry terminals, allowing more industrial/residential development on the sensitive river delta, or simply relieving the four lane tunnel congestion with a ten lane superbridge-there is a lot of diverse comment in terms of regional  growth, assessed need and local impact.
But what of the view on the south side of the Fraser River?
The Mayors of Richmond, Vancouver and Surrey have questioned the project, with the Mayor of Surrey hoping that any  funding could go towards more transit oriented initiatives.
Mayor of Delta Lois Jackson weighs in through the Delta Optimist that it is Delta’s turn for a new transportation link to Vancouver, noting that 64 per cent of trips through the tunnel are destined for Richmond, not Vancouver.
http://www.delta-optimist.com/jackson-defends-bridge-amid-criticisms-from-region-s-mayors-1.2135936
This viewpoint  is reinforced in this editorial from the Delta Optimist on the December 23rd:
http://www.delta-optimist.com/opinion/stone-sure-beats-coal-1.2138998
The December released provincial  Massey Tunnel Replacement Project Definition Report outlines the rationale for the bridge and and pinpoints opportunities for the public to  participate in their formalized process:

Click to access GMT-Project-Definition-Report-Dec-2015.pdf

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  1. There are larger issues at stake than if Delta residents (and more importantly land speculators) are getting their turn at the freeway boondoggle trough. Ignoring climate impacts of multi-billion dollar public expenditures is no longer on, because it’s 2015.
    Or maybe soft climate denial is OK if you have land below sea level to flip?
    My take in the Sun: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/opinion+will+trudeau+infrastructure+billions+worsen+climate+crisis/11607739/story.html?__lsa=60bd-4d71

    1. We have a climate crisis ? What hogwash ! We have an excessive government overreach crisis !
      What Canada does matters little, if any, on a global scale. We have to get people and goods moving as we are a growing and exporting nation , and that implies investment into transit AND roads/bridges. The individual vehicle, be it a horse 200 years ago, a one cylinder open carriage 100 years ago, a four cylinder car today or an e-car, h-car ( hybrid) or s-car (self driving) in the future, will be here to stay. Not everyone enjoys sharing space with ( sometimes smelly) strangers, tightly packed in inclement weather at inconvenient times !
      The individual vehicle that runs in every weather condition at any time to anyplace with any temperature one chooses and with every music one chooses at any noise level as such must be considered by planners and politicians alike for hundreds of years to come.
      Ditto with trucks or cargo vehicles that are not feasible even electrically due to weight and range constraints are without competition !
      Anyone that thinks that only more transit is an option is delusional !

      1. I assume your definition of “cargo vehicles” includes trains. In most European countries and many Asian countries and even poverty-stricken Russia, freight trains run on electricity. Canada has abundant electricity, most of it clean. It also has a vast potential to develop more renewables and lower demand and energy waste through conservation and efficiency.
        And you are right, transit is not the only option. The preferred option should always be, first and foremost, building walkable communities.
        You don’t have to reject climate arguments in favour of measures like the above to understand that there is a need to create a more efficient economy in part by tapping more renewables and building in more urban resiliency to alleviate our susceptibility to price instability and the problematic decline of cheap conventional fossil fuels.
        Your rejection of the substitutes for oil dependency and of climate change also indicates a quite painful lack of understanding of the laws of physics.

        1. The climate “consensus” is highly suspect and politically driven. Far too much money will be spent on far too nebolous forecasts, says Judith Curry, the premier climate scientist: http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/unnatural-consensus-on-climate-change
          Some excerpts:
          “To assess the credibility of this prediction in terms of the actual trajectory of the 21st century climate, it is important to point out that the global climate models cannot predict future major volcanic eruptions or solar cycles, and do not adequately predict the long-term oscillations in the ocean.

          Most significantly, the observed rate of warming in the early 21st century was slower than climate model predictions. The growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and the observations has raised serious questions about the climate models that are being used as the basis for national and international energy and climate policies.

          Scientists continue to debate these temperatures and investigate the reasons for discrepancies among the data sets.

          how much of the recent warming has been caused by humans? The significance of a reduced rate of warming since 1998 is that during this period, 25 per cent of human emissions of carbon dioxide have occurred.

          If the warming since 1950 was caused by humans, what caused the warming during the period 1910-1945? In fact, the period 1910-1945 comprises over 40 per cent of the warming since 1900, but is associated with only 10 per cent of the carbon dioxide increase since 1900. Clearly, human emissions of greenhouse gases played little role in causing this early warming.

          The climate models making dire predictions of warming in the 21st century are the same models that predicted too much warming in the early 21st century, and can’t explain the warming from 1910-1945 or the mid-century grand hiatus.
          The politically driven push to manufacture a premature consensus on human-caused climate change has resulted in the relative neglect of natural climate variability. Until we have a better understanding and predictive capability of natural climate variability, we don’t have a strong basis for predicting climate change in the decades or century to come.
          So, with regards to the evolution of the 21st century climate: Whether the climate models are correct or whether natural climate dominates, it appears that the Paris agreement will turn out to be phenomenally expensive but ultimately futile in altering the course of the 21st century climate.”

        2. Thomas, you put yourself at a significant disadvantage in understanding what is happening with our climate if you rely on people like Judith Curry. She used to be a scientist. Then she decided not to be one anymore. She makes more money with junk science, it seems.

          1. Judith Curry has published over 130 scientific peer reviewed papers. She has been a doctor of meteorology since 1982. She’s worked for and consulted to NASA, NOAA and advised Obamas administration, etc., etc.
            Yet, the the disciples of the Eviromagedon Church she’s a two-bit hustler because she has some doubts that man is entirely to blame for the changes in the weather. We are all GUILTY they believe. George Carlin would love it.

          2. Yes, Judith Curry used to be a scientist. She stopped publishing some years ago. She stopped teaching. And she started consulting for the petroleum industry, which seems to be connected to her current views.. Now she shills at Ted Cruz events, while decrying the politicization of science. Very sad.

            1. Hence: a cult. No doubt is allowed. That is NOT science. We base expensive far-reaching policies on unproven theories & beliefs ?

  2. Eric Doherty is just doing his usual job. Hey, let’s hope he gets back to us on the Autoroute 15 & Champlain Bridge project, once the feds include him in the loop.
    It’s a biggie, thanks to Justin and the Liberals, and it’s all coming from Canadian taxpayers.
    “In Montreal, Canada, Ramboll has been appointed as Independent Engineer for the new Champlain Bridge Corridor Project – one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America.”
    Eric, can you tell us why if the referendum had been successful there would be less urban sprawl?
    After reading this from you I’ve always wondered; “the 2015 Metro Vancouver Transit Referendum, but the concepts are applicable everywhere. Approving the referendum would be a significant step forward in terms of doing our part to reduce the local demand for oil and resulting carbon pollution. It would also mean less sprawl onto farmland and therefore more food security at a time when drought in California farming areas has become the new normal due to global warming.”
    You do realise that Surrey said it was proceeding with LRT no matter what? Do you see more buses in Vancouver as a way to stop people buying a home with a little garden?

    1. Your logic is pretty disjointed.
      More transit between cities means less per capita energy consumed. Better transit coupled with more efficient land use planning (no, Eric, that doesn’t mean towers to the horizon) means the pressure is taken off paving the highly productive ALR for plastic subdivisions, and the concept of walkable communities with services and employment closer to home will be promoted more.
      Its not just California that’s suffering through a record drought that will threaten its agricultural output (and a huge proportion of our imported food), but Mexico is too.
      Surrey’s LRT will do little to nothing to halt the psuedo-justifications for a 10-lane bridge and freeway, though it may help Surrey achieve less car dependency.

      1. MB, Sounds like you stole Derek Corrigan’s lines. You know, the mayor of Burnaby that did not support the disastrous and failed referendum.
        June 12, 2014
        “We should be looking at what we can do to make the bus system work very effectively and stop dreaming in Technicolor.”
        “I think that we need to form much more complete communities,” Corrigan said. “We can’t have everybody moving from Surrey and Langley and Abbotsford to Downtown Vancouver. It’s not realistic to keep pushing people to the end of a peninsula.”
        “I’ve long been a supporter of people being able to live and work within their own municipalities, creating effective town centres where jobs are created, so everybody isn’t dependent on moving down to Vancouver for entertainment, employment, for other uses,” he explains.
        “A complete community on the other side of the Fraser River would take a lot of those congestion problems away. Right now, the focus continues to be, how quickly can I get to Downtown Vancouver and I don’t think that’s workable, I don’t think it’s sustainable and I don’t think its our future.”
        I agree too. Towers, lots and lots of towers around Broadway & Commercial got Gregor & Gang a big slap in the face, from their core believers. Remember what Scott Hein said about that? Developers and Vision like towers although Arbutus Lands is much more manageable and people-friendly and can achieve similar density.

  3. What will eventually happen is, as I’ve said before, sections of transit will and should be privatized. Jitneys have existed in Vancouver before and they are all over the world. This is what is happening now everywhere with mobile devices. The tradition of big buses along main suburban roads is inefficient.
    San Francisco:
    https://www.ridechariot.com/
    New York and Chicago:
    http://ridewithvia.com/
    Boston:
    http://www.bridj.com/
    Toronto:
    https://newsroom.uber.com/toronto/meet-uberhop/
    Seattle:
    https://newsroom.uber.com/seattle/

  4. I hope they’re planning a better express bus option than what’s in place for the Port Mann. If you’re going to charge tolls, there should be a good public transit alternative available. An express bus to the nearest Canada Line station just doesn’t cut it.
    Using the Arbutus Corridor (buy it first of course), there is a pretty easy to build route from White Rock right into downtown Vancouver.

  5. Jeff Leigh; Yes, the tribe threw her out because she dared to question the panic claims.
    Those who honestly question the consensus or the scientific establishment are then castigated as deniers or heretics.
    For example, we have the story of Judith Curry, an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. After the 2009 Climategate scandal, Curry began more forcefully questioning the consensus on climate change. As Curry told the The Spectator:
    ‘I started saying that scientists should be more accountable, and I began to engage with sceptic bloggers. I thought that would calm the waters. Instead I was tossed out of the tribe. There’s no way I would have done this if I hadn’t been a tenured professor, fairly near the end of my career. If I were seeking a new job in the US academy, I’d be pretty much unemployable. I can still publish in the peer-reviewed journals. But there’s no way I could get a government research grant to do the research I want to do. Since then, I’ve stopped judging my career by these metrics. I’m doing what I do to stand up for science and to do the right thing.’
    Curry does not dispute the claim that man-made carbon emissions warm the planet. She merely questions the severity of the impending crisis and thinks climate change alarmists are overstating the doom on the horizon for the planet and humankind. Her claims focus on the proper measure of “climate sensitivity” which is the measure of how much global temperatures will increase if CO2 levels double.

    1. Eric: “Yes, the tribe threw her out because she dared to question the panic claims.”
      Except there is no tribe. “If you think there’s some kind of tribe to which you need to belong, then you’re doing it wrong.” Courtesy of And Then There’s Physics.
      https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/there-is-no-tribe/
      Tough time, in late 2015 or early 2016, to be a climate change denier, or contrarian if you prefer. The world is laughing at such deniers. See the comments above. A small band of deniers went to Paris to hold a counter event and the world ignored them. The Republicans recently held hearings, Dr. Curry attended, and her speech was about tribes. Apparently she didn’t have any science to present.

  6. Hey Jeff, you do realise that the oil is running out in a couple of years but before that there’s a good chance the bees will all die and there won’t be any more food crops. if we do survive just eating animals alone there’s that pesky asteroid Apophis that might whack us into oblivion. If we are lucky then now is the time to buy land up north, way up there, on top of a mountain because the seas are going to rise and the only place that isn’t roasting will be near the pole. Did I mention the planetary magnetic shift that will let in killer cosmic rays?

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