How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

GC 2020

How can we reach our 2020 Greenest City targets?

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  1. Cycling for Everyone: Develop a complete cycling network that feels safe and attractive to all

    Studies show that most people are open to the idea of cycling, but are discouraged by routes that don't feel safe enough. Vancouver should build a complete network of cycling routes that feel safe and attractive to all, including children, seniors, and novice cyclists. On arterials and other busy streets, bike routes should be physically separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or other barriers (the Carrall Street Greenway and new Dunsmuir bike lanes are good examples). Quieter neighbourhood routes can be made safer through improved traffic calming including reduced motor vehicle speed limits.

    Links: http://vancouver.ca/cycling (City of Vancouver), …

    1,058 votes
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      An ongoing process. Many of the City’s recent initiatives (e.g. downtown separated bike lane trial, additional traffic calming on existing routes) work towards this vision. The draft Greenest City action plan will support this idea, and include directions to help inform the upcoming transportation plan update and new active transportation plan.

    • 544 votes
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        Requires support from TransLink. The City will continue to support this idea, through measures including secured rights-of-way (e.g. the centre median on 1st Avenue near the Olympic Village). The recent Olympic Line streetcar demonstration was very successful and helps make the business case for this project.

      • Repeal mandatory bike helmet legislation

        Vancouver will never convince anyone of being the 'greenest' city without a huge modal shift towards cycling (walking, and transit).

        Such a shift will not happen until the average Vancouverite cycles on a daily basis. This will not happen without better infrastructure, progressive policy, AND repealing mandatory helmet legislation.

        Yes, this is a provincial law. However, I am sure that Vancouver has the ability to make this change happen.

        p.s., the safety and health benefits of more people cycling far outweigh the potential safety benefits of bicycle helmets.

        408 votes
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        • Create more affordable family housing within easy walking/biking/transit radius of downtown.

          We need more family housing (i.e. 3-bedroom units that real people with under-$100K incomes can afford) within easy walking/biking/transit radius of downtown. Studies have shown that 20 minutes is the maximum work commute that people can withstand before they start to accrue major daily stress. And coincidentally, letting people live ... See Moreclose to their jobs leads to massive reduction in auto emissions.

          How to create affordable housing?

          - Force developers to offer a mandatory number of units beyond the tiny 1-bedroom and 1+den units that currently dominate the market.
          - Take over apartment buildings and convert them to co-ops. …

          406 votes
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          • Reclaim road and/or parking space to create plazas and parklets.

            Over 30% of the city's land is street space, and about half of that area is paved for roads. Vancouver should follow in the steps of cities like New York, San Francisco, and Paris, redefining public space to put people first.

            Public plazas and parklets could be created by temporarily and inexpensively reclaiming paved areas using things like simple barriers, paint, potted plants, and movable furniture. If the new public spaces are successful, permanent reclaimation could be considered. San Francisco's Pavement to Parks program provides a great example for how this could be pursued.

            Links: http://sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org/ (San Francisco Pavement to…

            394 votes
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            • Provide abundant & secure bicycle parking at transit stations & other key locations.

              For many people who live too far from a transit station to walk, cycling could be a great option--if they only had a safe place to leave their bike. Unfortunately bicycle theft is a common occurance in major cities, and Vancouver is no exception.

              Abundant and secure bicycle parking (e.g. 'bike stations') should be provided at transit stations and other key locations throughout the city (e.g. downtown Granville Island). Security can be enhanced through smartcard access, security cameras, and/or an attendant. Depending on the location and demand, additional end-of-trip amenities such as lockers, showers, and repair shops could also be…

              360 votes
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                This is acknowledged as a key strategy to better integrate cycling and transit. In 07/2009 the City committed some funding for secure parking facilities at Broadway-City Hall and Olympic Village Canada Line stations. The City has also conducted a feasibility study for a downtown bike centre.

              • Add east-west rapid transit

                Transferring from Canada Line to Skytrain without going downtown creates a huge bottle-neck at the B-line stop. There need to be more efficient ways to move East-West

                290 votes
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                  TransLink is currently leading a study to determine the best approach to deliver high-capacity, fast, frequent, and reliable rapid transit for the Broadway Corridor from Commercial Drive to UBC. A number of technologies and alignment options are being considered, including rail rapid transit (e.g. SkyTrain), surface light rail transit, and bus rapid transit.

                  The City of Vancouver is directly involved as a partner agency in the study. In April 2010, City Council endorsed ten principles to guide City input into this process (http://vancouver/ubcline/principles).

                  Visit http://vancouver.ca/ubcline to learn more about this work, including upcoming public engagement events.

                • Create a Fare-Free Transit system for GVRD

                  Translink funding currently comes from a combination of local taxes and user fairs. The reason for this combination of funding sources is in part because Translink also manages bridges and other transportation services over and above public transit.

                  My suggestion is to make Translink completely funded by public taxes and abolish fares entirely.

                  There are a number of benefits that this would cause:

                  Firstly this would increase ridership in transit and therefore reduce traffic congestion.

                  Second, the Free-Fare system will be attractive to tourists and boost Vancouver's image as a friendly and sustainable city.

                  Thirdly, this will provide a more…

                  264 votes
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                    Transit (and transit fares!) are controlled by TransLink, not the city. Having said that, reducing or eliminating transit fares is an interesting idea.

                    Unfortunately it’s not very feasible, at least as TransLink is currently funded. Unlike most North American cities, Vancouver’s transit problems aren’t due to a lack of demand but rather a lack of capacity. Anyone who’s ever tried to squeeze onto one of our busy buses or trains knows this all too well — there isn’t enough space even when people have to pay, let alone accommodate the additional demand that would be created if transit were free. Compare this to cities with fare-free zones, which are typically struggling for increase demand, and which typically have (a) less frequent service and/or (b) plenty of extra capacity to accommodate more riders.

                    In Vancouver, we need to provide more transit capacity to meet existing demand — and a LOT more…

                  • Expand the use of electric trolley buses and electric vehicles

                    One third of Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicle use. Vancouver’s electricity is powered by relatively clean hydro-electric sources. Expanding the use of electric trolley buses and electric vehicles can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions related to vehicle use.

                    195 votes
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                    • Unbundle parking and housing costs

                      Many people assume parking is free or inexpensive since it is usually included in the cost of housing. In reality, it is a significant hidden cost -- by some estimates, the cost of a single residential parking space can be $40,000 to $50,000 or even greater. People are more likely to own a car and to drive if they've already paid for a parking space.

                      Vancouver should explore policies that separate (or 'unbundle') the cost of parking from the cost of housing. This gives home-owners or renters an opportunity to pay for housing without paying for attached parking, increasing both…

                      176 votes
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                        The City has supported projects that have voluntarily unbundled parking (e.g. Spectrum), and is actively working to gain authority to require unbundling in new development — this requires changes to Provincial legislation. In 2008, the City proposed the Unbundled Parking Resolution to give BC municipalities the authority to require unbundling in new development. This was passed by the Union of BC Municipalities. Provincial response to date: The Ministry of Community Development will review the proposal and refer the issue to the Development Finance Review Committee for discussion.

                      • Create a public bike sharing program (e.g. Montreal's Bixi, Paris' Velib)

                        Montreal has installed the Bixi bike system, similar to many European systems, of having publicly available bikes for a small cost downtown on major street corners. The bikes are incredibly robust, widely available, and highly convenient with bike stands every 2-3 blocks.

                        It encourages locals to bike (rather than take the bus or metro) and is great for short trips around town. It is very convenient as there is always a drop off location nearby, and there is no worry of getting your bike stolen. It is also a huge tourist attraction, making transport easier, cheaper and greener!

                        160 votes
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                        • Turn existing "bike streets" into proper separated bike routes

                          The network of bike streets is a great start, but drivers aggressively squeeze cyclists close to parked cars, increasing the risk of accident. Create physically separated bike lanes on these routes - perhaps by getting rid of one or both sides of street parking. (Or forbidding driving altogether on those routes!)

                          139 votes
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                            Thanks for sharing this idea!

                            The city’s new active transportation plan will soon be in development, and hopefully completed within the next year.

                            A big part of the work ahead is to identify the complete cycling network, and the type of facility that is most appropriate and/or feasible for different routes. In some cases (e.g. busy arterial routes), separated lanes might be the best approach; in other cases (e.g. lower car volume neighbourhood streets), enhanced traffic calming and/or further reducing car access might be more appropriate. Travis cited some great examples in the Netherlands where cars are ‘guests’ that are allowed in, but do not dominate.

                            In all cases, the goal should be to make routes that feel safe to all potential cyclists, including beginners, children, and seniors.

                            For more information, visit http://vancouver.ca/cycling .

                          • 136 votes
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                              You may be interested in learning more about the following programs:

                              UBC Line Rapid Transit Study – http://vancouver.ca/ubcline and http://www.translink.ca/ubcline

                              Central Broadway Planning Program – http://vancouver.ca/broadway

                              Cambie Corridor Planning Program – http://vancouver.ca/cambiecorridor
                              ____________________

                              Outside City of Vancouver boundaries:

                              Surrey Rapid Transit Planning Program – http://www.translink.ca/en/Be-Part-of-the-Plan/Public-Consultation/Current-Consultations/Surrey-Rapid-Transit-Study.aspx

                            • Car Free granville island

                              Hardly a new Idea, this would enhance the experience of the island. It is treacherous walking around there on a weekend....that is if the cars are moving at all, as often they are just sitting in a giant line idleing.

                              There may need to be a nearby structure with limited parking, but increased shuttle and transit service (olympic line) would go a long way to make it feasible.

                              Think about all that extra real estate available without parking lots and wide roads down there! Even the Growth mongers must smile at that prospect

                              133 votes
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                              • Work with the Province and Feds to create more light rapid and mass transit to outlying GVRD areas.

                                So much of our traffic comes from the outlying areas,even as far as Abbotsford. As housing in the downtown core continues to remain expensive many are seeing these areas as their best hope for a family scale living space. If we had high speed trains like in the city regions of the EU, Japan and other high density centres car dependency would be lessened and the region as a whole would be better serviced. Spend an afternoon in a traffic jam going east-west or west-east and I imagine you'll agree.

                                115 votes
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                                  Outside City jurisdiction. TransLink is continually looking at ways to improve transit throughout the region, but additional funding is needed to make progress. A number of regional projects and plans are under way, including the Evergreen Line, and South of Fraser Rapid Transit Study.

                                • Higher parking fees / cheaper transit tickets

                                  Unfortunately people are motivated by their wallets. When parking downtown is cheaper than the 4 bus tickets a couple needs to attend an event, they might choose to drive. (Ignoring of course purchase/operation costs of the car).

                                  Raise parking prices and lower transit fees to encourage more people to shift to transit.

                                  114 votes
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                                    Point taken that adjusting costs of different travel modes to support more sustainable choices is a good idea. The City will continue to review parking fees to better reflect street value and market demand, and the Greenest City Plan adds a more explicit environmental lense to this work. Transit fares fall outside City jurisdiction, and there are multiple factors to consider. Fares are an important revenue source for TransLink; at the same time, it is important that prices are affordable and equitable.

                                  • Close downtown to traffic like London, expand Park & Ride to compensate

                                    If Downtown were a car-free zone on weekdays, like London, and if Park&Ride were more available including parking getting a free transit daypass more people would use it, and there'd be less cars driving around downtown.

                                    92 votes
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                                      Some interesting ideas here.

                                      First, a bit of clarification: London doesn’t prohibit cars from entering the city centre; rather it imposes a fee to discourage their use. This is commonly called congestion charging and it can serve multiple purposes: first, it reduces motor vehicle congestion so that the people who really need to drive (e.g. goods movement, taxis, and essential service vehicles) can get around without getting stuck in gridlock; second, it provides a potential revenue source which can be directed to support improvements to more sustainable modes (public transit, active transportation).

                                      Congestion pricing is an interesting idea for Vancouver — both as a means to reduce congestion and to generate revenue to improve transit service. It might make more sense to think about it at the regional (rather than city centre or municipal) level, though, given that it would affect travel patterns across the metropolitan area. It would also…

                                    • Take the buses off Granville and turn it into a City square like europe with patios (and drinks)

                                      Granville street is a compromise that doesn't work. Having buses on the street won't allow a city square to develop (and connect to Robson Square to create an epicentre of community activity downtown - in much the same way it is in many european cities). The buses / dedicated cars need to stay off Granville and the restauranteurs and bars should be able to extend their patios onto the street. Street performance and parades should be encouraged within the area north of Smithe. Compromising creates a lose-lose situation, though delivery trucks, etc. could be allowed to pass between 4am-10am. At…

                                      92 votes
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                                      • Offer a more extensive and tailored range of transit passes, Berlin-style

                                        We spent a month in Berlin, Germany and purchased a month-long transit pass that allowed us to travel only AFTER 10 am.

                                        The pass cost significantly less than a normal transit pass (good for 24 hours) and because we were not commuting, we were not inconvenienced in the slightest.

                                        Also, in New York, we bought week-long passes.

                                        These sorts of discounted pass options make sense for locals and visitors alike and make it easier to convince people to get out of cars or cabs. I would like to see a greater range of transit passes available at several different price…

                                        76 votes
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                                          This is a great idea, but outside the city’s jurisdiction. This is something TransLink could consider, perhaps in conjunction with the SmartCard rollout expected in 2013, which will enable new and more equitable pricing schemes.

                                        • Pets on public transit.

                                          Toronto allows people to take their pets on transit, on leashes (instead of in carriers). This will enable owners of bigger pets to take their furry friends on hikes, without requiring the use of a car. Encouraging transit, healthy living, and access to nature at the same time!

                                          74 votes
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