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Thread: The Way We Move Forward

  1. #1
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    Default The Way We Move Forward

    Edmonton residents see public transit, and transportation generally, as real priorities for strong focus, future action and ongoing investment in this city. We’ve heard it in the results of our latest citizen satisfaction survey, and we couldn’t agree more.

    In 2010, the City’s Transportation department will complete three major projects: the South LRT extension to Southgate and Century Park stations, the widening of the Quesnell Bridge and construction of the 23 Avenue/Gateway Boulevard Interchange. These projects alone amount to over a $1billion commitment which will help us deliver on a number of strategic goals identified in our Transportation Master Plan – shifting transportation modes by increasing transit ridership, addressing high traffic volumes and improving Edmonton’s transportation infrastructure for decades to come.

    Planning for future LRT expansion continues to progress across Edmonton. The recent public hearing on recommended corridors for West and Southeast LRT, as well as planning studies for LRT routes elsewhere, have reinforced the need for informed decisions that provide Edmontonians with the clarity and direction they need to keep on building a more accessible, sustainable city. Without question, sound technical analysis and a thorough public process are crucial to ensuring that LRT expansion is done properly and with due diligence. However, I also believe that Edmonton must put its long-term LRT plans in place now in order to further define the overall network, co-ordinate public transit with future land use plans, secure financing, and identify construction priorities to connect people and places in a meaningful way. I think we’d all like to keep up the momentum and make LRT expansion, and well-integrated public transit, happen wisely and well.

    I’m encouraged that interest in more active transportation modes is increasing. The Transportation department has recommended an Active Transportation Policy and $22 million over three years for a Sidewalk Strategy and Bike Plan that will make Edmonton more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. This includes more multi-use trails and dedicated bike lanes on city roads, important steps towards realizing our goal of a completely integrated transportation system for our city. Not only is active transportation a healthy and sustainable way of getting around, it makes perfect sense from an environmental and economical point of view. The very fact that active transportation remains a priority for Edmontonians points to the progressive nature of our future vision for transportation.

    We took significant steps forward this year in terms of key pieces of transportation infrastructure as well. The work that continues on the Quesnell Bridge and the completion of the first phase of the 23 Ave/Gateway Blvd. Interchange will make moving people and goods around the city much more efficient. Having roads that are easy to navigate improves the quality of life for Edmontonians, and helps create a city that is friendly to businesses and residents alike.

    Transportation is more than just moving people and goods around Edmonton with a variety of modes; it is about building essential infrastructure that impacts our urban environment, making our city economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. We have to shift our thinking from having a city that primarily accommodates single passenger vehicles to a city that boasts an interconnected, multi-modal transportation system. The LRT, buses, bike lanes, pedestrian trails and the infrastructure necessary to support a system that brings all of these together will help shape the future of Edmonton and foster its growth as a world-class city in which to live, play and work.

    If we don’t act and plan immediately, I fear that we could lose the momentum from the tremendous progress the Transportation Department is making right now.

    -- Bob Boutilier

  2. #2

    Default LRT Swamp

    I have concerns that Edmonton has dove into the LRT swamp without adequate understanding of the operating budget and ongoing replacement cost implications.

    After all, a $10 billion dollar central hub network will serve travel to downtown Edmonton, primarily, and will attract huge operating costs, which seems unsustainable, to use one of the buzz words. I say unsustainable because the downtown core simply does not have sufficient employees and services to draw the type of loads that will pay for much more mass transit.

    I don't know if downtown Edmonton will grow. No one does for sure. I suspect that most jobs will tend to follow people in the great suburbanization trends started in the early 20th century. I note, for example, most retail left downtown Edmonton long ago and huge box stores and power centers emerge near the outskirts of almost every segment, with almost everyone who uses them traveling by the evil car.

    As we pay for more and more operating costs for the ETS, I see a dreadful picture of other services suffering, including, incidentally, our critical road system, which currently provides about 97% of our total travel (I use passenger-kilometers and exclude heavy goods transport that public transit cannot help with). Given the huge growth in bedroom communities in Edmonton's CMA area, one has to make several unrealistic assumptions to change this dynamic.

    Dreams of a massive LRT system with links between every two distinct points may produce visions of sugar plums for some; I hope not you. I see a huge drain as I strongly suspect, given a 100 years of experience in North America, that we will never come close to the utopian dream of public transit playing a key role in anything other transportation into the CBD.

    Our CBD employee work force has grown at a slow rate, from 48,000 in 1961 to nearly 60,000 now. That translates into 12,000 over five decades--hardly the type of growth to bet the farm. Though we have an important problem to solve, concerning our downtown, most travel, as no doubt you realize, does not go to downtown, but serves travel within segments. In other words, much travel for each person belongs to a circle of about 7.5 km, and declines rather sharply for each additional kilometer.

    Recently a friend asked me to look at Beaumont, as if that town would provide information that would change my mind about some matters. I found a population of 10,800 with 3,000 people of its labor force traveling to Edmonton. Of this number about 550 travel to downtown Edmonton, and nearly 2,000 travel to South Edmonton, primarily SE Edmonton. Many people work in Beaumont itself, work at Nisku, work at the airport, and work in Leduc. Of course, students likely go to school in Beaumont.

    I hate painting such a negative scenario, as I do agree that public transportation should play a larger role. In the context of serving suburbs, whether inside or outside our boundary, I would like to see more feeder buses, somewhat like Toronto's GO bus system, bringing people to existing LRT stations, to both ease the loads on our roads, and help pay for the ongoing operating costs, which exist whether we have riders or not.

  3. #3
    grish
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    Quote Originally Posted by WayneJ View Post
    After all, a $10 billion dollar central hub network will serve travel to downtown Edmonton, primarily, and will attract huge operating costs, which seems unsustainable, to use one of the buzz words. I say unsustainable because the downtown core simply does not have sufficient employees and services to draw the type of loads that will pay for much more mass transit.
    Downtown does have sufficient employees, services, and residential. Not only that, it will continue to grow and bring other high volume nodes such as the arena complex.

    Following this error, the whole premise of your post is invalid.

    To add, thinking that building roadways is sustainable is ridiculous. Roadways do not generate direct revenue, have huge operating costs, have an impact on the environment, require people to purchase more vehicles (which is also not very sustainable industry at the moment–google "bailout"), and gives access to employment only to those who are able and willing to drive.
    Last edited by grish; 03-12-2009 at 07:13 AM.

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    For the current Edmonton situation, I somewhat agree with WayneJ's assessment, and if we continue status quo of allowing continued significant sprawl then the LRT plans will most likely not be feasible. However, given the message I keep hearing from council, some citizens, and thankfully; from Mr. Boutilier, about making Edmonton a more livable and "sustainable" city, both the transportation and living model paradigms have to radically change. The question is whether Edmonton is ready/willing to do this. If the recent municpal plan of dedicating only 25% of the growth within the "inner city" is any indication of our so called paradigm shift, we have a long way to go I'm afraid.

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    I think there is merit in planning for the city we want, instead of presuming that we have no power to shape the future.
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  6. #6

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    ^I agree somewhat with both views being expressed here. I think the reality in Edmonton is that many pepple travel to and from work, or make other trips, without ever passing through downtown. I would feel though that many of these people will use their vehicles for travel anyhow, since the suburbs are ripe with infrastructure to accommodate this type of travel.

    I think it is generally accepted good urban planning principle that a vibrant, diverse, and healthy "core" (ie. downtown and surrounding communities) is vital to the health of any city, given demographic shifts (ie. creative class and aging baby-boomers) in the next 20-30 years, where many more people will need to live centrally and have access to mass transit if we want to achieve any sustainablility goals. Already 60,000 Edmontonias travel to and from downtown for work each day. It is also the home to civic government, post-secondary institutions, and our cultural facilities (possibly including a future arena complex). It certainly does make sense to make downtown/core our LRT hub. In the future there may be room for other "hubs", but right now there isn't.

    I would also add that other forms of mass transit would work well in a city like Edmonton, specifically "trams", which is basically what the low-floor LRT would be. We have the road infrastructure in place for this type of transit, and it would be easy and possibly cost-effective to run.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    I think there is merit in planning for the city we want, instead of presuming that we have no power to shape the future.
    agree.

  8. #8

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    Not sure what makes you think I have an invalid argument. You can check the statistics. In 50 years the downtown has grown by 12,000 employees. That translates into about 600 new employees per year. Edmonton for a variety of reasons lost its head offices to Calgary, lost air travel to Calgary, lost shopping to the suburbs, and even loses some provincial government to decentralization. In the meantime, Calgary's central business district has grown to more than twice that of Edmonton's and has a successful LRT system.

    I acknowledge your suggestion. Using some of the space downtown for condos, which might have gone toward business premises, etc. certainly will help a little. I suspect, however, if we use Oliver as a benchmark, many more people will commute from the central downtown than those that walk to work within the downtown. If someone lives downtown, then they can have a short commute only if a job exists downtown. I hope, as do planners (?), that providing accommodation downtown will encourage businesses to follow. Will Edmonton have that outcome, or will it follow the gentrification of San Francisco with the well-to-do commuting to high tech industries in San Jose. Or in Edmonton's case, senior citizens who often like busy downtown areas buying up prime property with the money their parents earned for them.

    People can banter about words such as "vibrant", "sustainable", "livable", etc. but those speaking them and more importantly those hearing them had better listen carefully and know the thoughts communicated. Nothing sustainable about spending $10 billion dollars for a system likely to provide less than 3% of the total travel needs (measured by total passenger-kilometers of Edmonton). Nothing sustainable by ever growing subsidies for public transit. Nothing vibrant about downtown cores of high rises. What makes something livable? Crowding into a central core does not make things livable. Getting rid of roads and cars does not make cities more livable. Likely my ideal of 3 acres near a city with a barbecue pit, and lawn toys does not match yours or the slippery tongue planner who uses such terms.

    Let us remember that 60,000 employees downtown represent about 1/6 of Edmonton's labor force. The very best systems in Canada, which have gone well beyond what some planners visualize for Edmonton (E.g. Toronto and Montreal), transport about 50% of the employees into the central business district by public transit. The rest arrive by car or on foot/bicycle. So the central hub LRT attempts to provide a small part of the transportation solution.

    Cities that become national and international financial centers and head office centers experience above average employment in the central business districts, but most cities experience progressively slower employment growth in the central business districts. Few cities in North America have more than 100,000 central business district employees; even some rather large cities do not exceed that number of central business district employees. Cities that have the most success with mass transit have high populations, clusters of high density, and large employment centers easily accessible by rail transit.

    In Edmonton and its surrounding area, the fastest growth occurs outside of Edmonton's boundaries (Spruce Grove, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Beaumont, Leduc, etc.), or just inside the boundaries on available undeveloped land (Lewis Estate and south). Transportation solutions must acknowledge this reality. By the time Edmonton doubles in population, the number of cars will have also doubled. No central hub rail system will change that, though a central hub rail system might help mitigate congestion in the central business district. I have concerns about spending billions of dollars on rail transit, going into debt to do so, and leaving other parts of our infrastructure to deteriorate in a grand experiment with little evidence that it works. If something major does not happen, by that time, our central business district might have another 10,000 employees, or so, not something that sustains mass transit, and makes sure that it can pay for itself.

    A not well understood phenomenon occurs when people choose living accommodation. Of course, commuting to work plays a role, but that role does not manifest just as dreamers visualize. For example, one of the latest cordon studies done by the city reveals the following about inter segment travel wrt to the westend:

    Sector Central Northwest Northeast Southeast Southwest West West 11.0% 12.2% 3.2% 5.8% 4.5% 63.4%
    These results illustrate a weak relationship. People generally work close to where they live, but more important, they seek services and entertainment close to their home location. For example, about 60% of travel of west end residents happens within the west end itself. LRT will not help with this, and may even hinder it. Note the small percentages to the southeast and northeast, and the rather modest percentages to downtown and the Northwest, two of the major activity centers for the city.

    These sort of percentages play out in most other cities, whether in the Americas, Europe, or the the far east. Planners and dreamers have tried to change things, but unless people live in a totalitarian state, central planners and dreamers usually fail. Most people will gravitate to jobs close by, but a significant portion will work in unpredictable places depending upon the types of industries and types of skills.

    The multi-billion dollar central hub rail system will not help to get people not living on one of its routes, to work, to shopping, to entertainment, or even to church on time. These systems, will, however, earn more Hayes points for its empire builders, and perhaps help to win some elections for politicians.

  9. #9

    Default Agree to what?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    I think there is merit in planning for the city we want, instead of presuming that we have no power to shape the future.
    agree.
    The question revolves about vision. Some people think Edmonton should have higher density. How high? Others, such as myself, prefer neighbourhoods with density on the order of 2,500 people per square kilometre with the distributed services, and with some mass transportation into central hubs. I think both groups agree that cities should not become riddled with tangled freeways cutting through the centre of town. Some people unfortunately think that replacing a freeway with a train track or two meets some sort of acceptability criterion.

    The poster child for urban sprawl, Los Angeles, has the highest urban density in North America! Believe it or not, even higher than New York City's urban area. So should we endeavour to become more like LA or New York? Both cities have reputations for huge congestion. Reason? Urban sprawl? High density? Or perhaps the sheer volume of people in the urban area trying to move back and forth? Manhattan, for example, has about 1.8 million residents, but during the day it has about 2.5 million employees. Talk about a pulsating borough that swells during the day and recedes at night.

    Many people proclaim that high density cures woes of the modern urban areas. Claims such as low taxes, easier transportation, vibrant down towns punctuate the rhetoric. A smaller group, usually of a libertarian bent, produces statistical evidence to refute such claims. Still others do no analysis and simply like the freedom of cars and don't think about the future.

    I know not, the best form. Sometimes I perform thought experiments. Suppose as if by magic, WEM did not exist. That would mean that 50,000 people per day would need to shop elsewhere, and 23,000 people would need to work elsewhere. Suppose elsewhere became central Edmonton, for after all, WEM helped to destroy the retail trade downtown. So now, a substantial portion of people living near WEM need to both work and shop downtown. Does that make things better or worse? In my mind not at all clear that moving the shopping downtown would lower the carbon footprint, collect more city taxes, and lower the City's transportation cost. Would it really make Edmonton more vibrant? What happens if systematically each and every suburban mall got removed and replaced by something downtown. Possible? Sensible? Economic? I think not.

    So it boils down not to rigidly keeping the status quo, but rather to asking the tough question whether this or that transformational vision makes any sense. From an accounting perspective I wonder out loud if even attempting to move in the direction of higher density has the property of sustainability, as the city simply cannot afford the billions of dollars to move forward on transportation visions. The need for money for LRT and electrical energy alone will likely create serious bottlenecks, especially as electrical energy supply dwindles (All energy supplies have limits and shortages of one create greater demands for others.)

    As I can cast my mind back to the 50's and remember streetcars out of the ying-yang queued up in traffic jams on Jasper Avenue. Toronto, BTW, has similar pictures. The ambitious can locate pictures in Edmonton's archives or on the internet. Does the peny-wise savings using surface rail compensate for the pound losses of LRT congestion? Visionaries should think about that. Maybe Edmonton has one of those premature problems. Perhaps Edmonton needs to grow some more, and develop a few of the dreaded problems before addressing problems that may or may not occur.

    As a second example, from my own experience, I use Thorncliffe Park, (one of Canada's first TOD developments), which accounts for five years of my life. I lived in Thorncliffe Park in Toronto , and some of my friends lived in St. James Town. At the time Thorncliffe Park had about 14,000 people in a ring of high rises sitting in 1/16th a square mile. St. James Town had about 16,000 people with similar size and density.. Thorncliffe Park had a reasonable shopping mall, at least for grocery shopping. It performed well as about have its residents used public transit for the work commute: I would say “Great for public transit, especially in the rush hour, and great for the singles or new families with no children, with spare change to get away in the evenings” Thorncliffe Park had a immodest density of about 250,000 people per square mile- about 25 times that of Oliver. It had more concrete to satisfy a lifetime of craving. But it did have a TOD park in the middle!

    In time the predictable happens. Tenants do not treat property as their own, landlords use their properties as a source of cash flow, and slowly the neighborhoods deteriorate with early renters moving to greener pastures, and the less fortunate taking up residence in the slowly deteriorating apartment buildings. (South Chicago in the 60's had miles upon miles of deteriorating 20 story apartment buildings--I wonder if they still exist.)

    So, even as I ignore the predictable force driving the price of accommodation up, I find myself highly sceptical about the claims of the higher density, made by smart growth advocates. I note that renters normally accompany higher density and home ownership accompanies single detached homes. For sure, single detached homes require more space, but does that create a problem? Often that additional space provides room for children to play, and adults to enjoy the out-doors. In addition, these neighbourhoods give rise to strip malls and the occasional suburban mall, that create a local living atmosphere in which most travel consists of short hops. Often doctors, dentists, lawyers choose business locations to help meet the service requirements of neighbourhoods. Some neighbourhoods even acquire sport bars, and other neighbourhoods meeting places.

    I do not presume we have no ability to shape the future. Instead I join the many people who think the people with their high density, smart growth, rhetoric and who use nebulous terms such as "liveability" and "vibrant" (whatever they mean by those terms) simply have the wrong vision. At least, I do not agree with that vision. In short the smart growth advocates IMO seem to have a nebulous goal with little justification other than making proclamations made by unknown individuals who have not done research that others accept, even after detailed investigations of the underlying data.

    Unfortunately both the pro and con tend to use averages, and too often neither group looks into the suitability of averages. (E.g. using a population average over Edmonton's metropolitan area to calculate density makes no sense. Similarly, and average over Vancouver's area using its legal boundaries does not make sense.) One has to look at details such as geography, placement of natural parks, obstacles to transportation, etc. and not simple averages, even after taking care to use urban averages and not some of the more readily available averages.

    Before accepting a goal of high density, I would like to hear a well articulated exposition of the functions performed by Edmonton, and how those functions contribute to the well being of its citizens. What strengths does Edmonton have, and what weaknesses? How much does this or that vision cost? How does function and form match up? Chalking up opposition to higher density and maintenance of the auto culture, does not necessarily present a Luddite mentality, but rather it tries to look at a future and how the City might negotiate a hundred years of growth (or even decline.)

    Accepting the smart growth rhetoric can amount to one of the most dumb things the citizens of a city can do, especially when smart growth addicts try to cripple air transportation, auto transportation, use prime retail space for housing instead of commerce, and create crippling transportation visions without caring for the interim care and feeding of existing infrastructure.

  10. #10

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    So all this post above was about keeping a small undersized airport open in the midst of a downtown? Good grief.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WayneJ View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Grovenor View Post
    I think there is merit in planning for the city we want, instead of presuming that we have no power to shape the future.
    agree.
    The question revolves about vision. Some people think Edmonton should have higher density. How high? Others, such as myself, prefer neighbourhoods with density on the order of 2,500 people per square kilometre with the distributed services, and with some mass transportation into central hubs. I think both groups agree that cities should not become riddled with tangled freeways cutting through the centre of town. Some people unfortunately think that replacing a freeway with a train track or two meets some sort of acceptability criterion.

    The poster child for urban sprawl, Los Angeles, has the highest urban density in North America! Believe it or not, even higher than New York City's urban area. So should we endeavour to become more like LA or New York? Both cities have reputations for huge congestion. Reason? Urban sprawl? High density? Or perhaps the sheer volume of people in the urban area trying to move back and forth? Manhattan, for example, has about 1.8 million residents, but during the day it has about 2.5 million employees. Talk about a pulsating borough that swells during the day and recedes at night.

    Many people proclaim that high density cures woes of the modern urban areas. Claims such as low taxes, easier transportation, vibrant down towns punctuate the rhetoric. A smaller group, usually of a libertarian bent, produces statistical evidence to refute such claims. Still others do no analysis and simply like the freedom of cars and don't think about the future.

    I know not, the best form. Sometimes I perform thought experiments. Suppose as if by magic, WEM did not exist. That would mean that 50,000 people per day would need to shop elsewhere, and 23,000 people would need to work elsewhere. Suppose elsewhere became central Edmonton, for after all, WEM helped to destroy the retail trade downtown. So now, a substantial portion of people living near WEM need to both work and shop downtown. Does that make things better or worse? In my mind not at all clear that moving the shopping downtown would lower the carbon footprint, collect more city taxes, and lower the City's transportation cost. Would it really make Edmonton more vibrant? What happens if systematically each and every suburban mall got removed and replaced by something downtown. Possible? Sensible? Economic? I think not.

    So it boils down not to rigidly keeping the status quo, but rather to asking the tough question whether this or that transformational vision makes any sense. From an accounting perspective I wonder out loud if even attempting to move in the direction of higher density has the property of sustainability, as the city simply cannot afford the billions of dollars to move forward on transportation visions. The need for money for LRT and electrical energy alone will likely create serious bottlenecks, especially as electrical energy supply dwindles (All energy supplies have limits and shortages of one create greater demands for others.)

    As I can cast my mind back to the 50's and remember streetcars out of the ying-yang queued up in traffic jams on Jasper Avenue. Toronto, BTW, has similar pictures. The ambitious can locate pictures in Edmonton's archives or on the internet. Does the peny-wise savings using surface rail compensate for the pound losses of LRT congestion? Visionaries should think about that. Maybe Edmonton has one of those premature problems. Perhaps Edmonton needs to grow some more, and develop a few of the dreaded problems before addressing problems that may or may not occur.

    As a second example, from my own experience, I use Thorncliffe Park, (one of Canada's first TOD developments), which accounts for five years of my life. I lived in Thorncliffe Park in Toronto , and some of my friends lived in St. James Town. At the time Thorncliffe Park had about 14,000 people in a ring of high rises sitting in 1/16th a square mile. St. James Town had about 16,000 people with similar size and density.. Thorncliffe Park had a reasonable shopping mall, at least for grocery shopping. It performed well as about have its residents used public transit for the work commute: I would say “Great for public transit, especially in the rush hour, and great for the singles or new families with no children, with spare change to get away in the evenings” Thorncliffe Park had a immodest density of about 250,000 people per square mile- about 25 times that of Oliver. It had more concrete to satisfy a lifetime of craving. But it did have a TOD park in the middle!

    In time the predictable happens. Tenants do not treat property as their own, landlords use their properties as a source of cash flow, and slowly the neighborhoods deteriorate with early renters moving to greener pastures, and the less fortunate taking up residence in the slowly deteriorating apartment buildings. (South Chicago in the 60's had miles upon miles of deteriorating 20 story apartment buildings--I wonder if they still exist.)

    So, even as I ignore the predictable force driving the price of accommodation up, I find myself highly sceptical about the claims of the higher density, made by smart growth advocates. I note that renters normally accompany higher density and home ownership accompanies single detached homes. For sure, single detached homes require more space, but does that create a problem? Often that additional space provides room for children to play, and adults to enjoy the out-doors. In addition, these neighbourhoods give rise to strip malls and the occasional suburban mall, that create a local living atmosphere in which most travel consists of short hops. Often doctors, dentists, lawyers choose business locations to help meet the service requirements of neighbourhoods. Some neighbourhoods even acquire sport bars, and other neighbourhoods meeting places.

    I do not presume we have no ability to shape the future. Instead I join the many people who think the people with their high density, smart growth, rhetoric and who use nebulous terms such as "liveability" and "vibrant" (whatever they mean by those terms) simply have the wrong vision. At least, I do not agree with that vision. In short the smart growth advocates IMO seem to have a nebulous goal with little justification other than making proclamations made by unknown individuals who have not done research that others accept, even after detailed investigations of the underlying data.

    Unfortunately both the pro and con tend to use averages, and too often neither group looks into the suitability of averages. (E.g. using a population average over Edmonton's metropolitan area to calculate density makes no sense. Similarly, and average over Vancouver's area using its legal boundaries does not make sense.) One has to look at details such as geography, placement of natural parks, obstacles to transportation, etc. and not simple averages, even after taking care to use urban averages and not some of the more readily available averages.

    Before accepting a goal of high density, I would like to hear a well articulated exposition of the functions performed by Edmonton, and how those functions contribute to the well being of its citizens. What strengths does Edmonton have, and what weaknesses? How much does this or that vision cost? How does function and form match up? Chalking up opposition to higher density and maintenance of the auto culture, does not necessarily present a Luddite mentality, but rather it tries to look at a future and how the City might negotiate a hundred years of growth (or even decline.)

    Accepting the smart growth rhetoric can amount to one of the most dumb things the citizens of a city can do, especially when smart growth addicts try to cripple air transportation, auto transportation, use prime retail space for housing instead of commerce, and create crippling transportation visions without caring for the interim care and feeding of existing infrastructure.
    an awful lot of text - again - to try and get around the fact that you are asking others to to accept your positions despite providing absolutley nothing but "a nebulous goal with little justification" based on "proclamations made by unknown individuals who have not done research that others accept, even after detailed investigations of the underlying data" yourself... WayneJ meet pot, pot meet kettle, kettle meet prerunr, prerunr meet John H?

    one would think that someone with such a fertile imagination would have no problem envisioning an edmonton without a city centre airport (something imminently achievable without "crippling air transportation" in the least) instead of imagining wem magically going "poof" like puff the magic dragon...
    Last edited by kcantor; 08-08-2010 at 04:31 PM. Reason: typo
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  12. #12
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    The reaction has set in. Outside the world of C2E, I hear a LOT of grumbling about the direction the city has taken. My own suspicion is that the Koziaks will take over.

  13. #13
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    ^ Must depend on your circles. In mine, I get the feeling of exactly the opposite.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  14. #14

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    Wayne makes good points, and I agree with many of them. Not all density is good. Of course, the airport needs to go and his message was quickly lost as soon as his pro-airport lines came out.

    One area I disagree with is the need to let a problem develop before we fix it. Well, as much as I love my autos (as do a few hundred thousand E-towners), as we grow in population, we won't be able to magically widen every road from two to four, and from four to six, and so on lanes. We have laid excellent groundwork for roadways in Edmonton. Finish the inner ring road and erect another couple bridges over the river, and we're looking pretty good, and can maintain and refit where necessary. But we need to to develop mass-transit alternatives to keep our good roads, well, good. If we fail to think about the future, we'll eventually have gridlock out of sheer growth. Nobody wants that.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  15. #15
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    Hi Wayne, it's a pleasure to meet someone else who also questions the rhetoric.

    There are a lot of people out there who think that Edmonton needs to be more like other cities in order to grow. Personally, I think they are still living in the 70's. They still believe the suburbs exist to feed workers into the downtown core. They do not take into account the last 30 years of deregulation and globalization. Edmonton's future as a business center is limited, given its relative location. But its future as a transportation hub is bright.

    If we could stop looking at Calgary for 10 minutes, and look north, east, and west, and see ourselves in the center of that region, we'd be much better off.

    But no, according to the rhetoric, we need 50 story office towers, an LRT to all corners, and one big airport, because that's what Calgary has. However, unless we can move Jasper and the Rocky Mountains 200 km east, we will never have everything Calgary has. So why are we even trying to compete on their terms?

    Edmonton is located at a crossroads, always has been. We need to concentrate more on moving people and goods north, west, and east and less about moving them between the suburbs and downtown. We need to focus on developing transportation technology and not "pie in the sky" nanotech.

    I am a "white collar" worker, but I accept that Edmonton is a "blue collar" town. My dream home is warehouse conversion downtown, but I can relate to those who want the 3 bedroom with a back yard and a school down the street. And I can relate to those whose Monday morning (or Sunday night) is a trip to Fort Mac. Driving an hour south to fly north makes no sense to me. Never has.

    Consolidation of air service at YEG did not make sense to me in 92 nor in 95. My thought was simple; if you force people to head south on Highway 2 to get air service, you can't count on them stopping before Leduc. So I always supported the Namao option; embrace the north and the polar routes and create separation between YYC and Edmonton's airport. But that didn't happen, and I really, really hate to say "told you so".

    I don't want to be saying "told you so" in 2025. YEG is a lame duck, LRT to the northwest and southeast is not much better. Neither will ever fly far. So fix the potholes in the existing roads, embrace and expand all the airports in the area, and finish the ring roads. Then we'll have the transportation infrastructure. Allow the "infill" of the space between Stony Plain, St. Albert, Fort Sask., Sherwood Park, Beaumont, Leduc, and Devon with single family homes and we might achieve the "critical mass" to make the Edmonton region something to behold.

    Fixating on the downtown core is a short-sighted goal. We need to look at what makes Edmonton different, and play to that. I don't need cheap flights to Europe, the Lower 48, or Hawaii (subsidized by the Edmonton to Calgary and Vancouver traffic) to make Edmonton attractive. I want more Boston Pizzas, more Booster Juices, more Wardairs. I will not settle for trying to keep pace with Calgary. Been there, done that, I want more.
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  16. #16

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    Interesting reading here - some good points & some sheep-grazing. By sheep-grazing I mean that which has been said by some urban planner somewhere, which has been now been adopted by everybody in this city without actually checking its merits because it sounds cool. The arena situation is a prime example of this, but this discussion is about transit & its future in the capital region, so let's focus on that, shall we?
    Having lived here all of my life, I agree 100% that Edmonton is a car city; some may not like it, but it'll be like that for the immediate & far-out future. The reason? The place is so spread out, & a small % of its workers actually commute downtown. I hate comparing us to Calgary (in fact, it's our biggest crutch), but their dynamics are different: they have no industrial base, nor a bunch of rapidly-growing suburbs, so an extensive LRT makes better sense there, although it really doesn't. If you live in Boston, which is the size of Millwoods, have at 'er. In a city this size, however, the usage & ridership just ain't there, & never will be to justify the cost of getting it to a point where >5% of the population would actually use it. Sure, it sounds sexy, but we need to start being realistic here. As I mentioned earlier, I've been here for all of my 40 years, & I'm still waiting for the Yellowhead to be properly done, for the Whitemud to be done, for the Henday to be completed without lights. A mid-major city like Edmonton (let's be realistic, remember) cannot function well without a decent network of roads above all else; if you want to do something about the LRT after the roads are fixed, then fine. You can whine all you want about urban sprawl & lament the fact that nobody lives in the core, but it doesn't change reality.

  17. #17

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    I'm still waiting for LRT to be done... I don't know some people think its all roads or all LRT. We can have both, you know.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Having lived here all of my life, I agree 100% that Edmonton is a car city; some may not like it, but it'll be like that for the immediate & far-out future. The reason? The place is so spread out, & a small % of its workers actually commute downtown.
    I grew up in Ft Sask, drove to high school in Sherwood Park, then drove to NAIT, and all the while worked outside of the Fort, before moving right into Edmonton 5 years ago. I love my car. Can't live without it. But I fully disagree with your statement.

    Every day I live here is another day that I consider taking transit somewhere. I use a company vehicle for work, so I have to rule commuting on transit for business out, but as the stats show, tens of thousands of E-towners are making the switch as the LRT expands. We are spread out. All the more reason to make a better, efficient transit system that goes to the right places. We'll never take all the autos off the road, and that's not the point. It's to reduce our dependence on our cars when there's an alternative going where we need to go. Soon our LRT will go from every corner of the city to every major institution. The absolute biggest gathering spots of the city will have LRT access. And guess what? People will use it, and they'll use it lots. They'll use it enough to justify a billion dollars to build it.

    I'm not drinking kool-aid and I don't believe it's true just because it's "cool" to do so. I'm an educated man, and I can see with my own eyes things that work and things that don't. I've been to places that do things wrong, and to places that do things right, and we're going to be doing some things right, and the LRT is at the top of that list.
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    Even if the LRT is built city-wide, I would imagine that 85% of trips will still be by car. My question though, what kind of trips? If they're crosstown, I'm sure many of those will continue. But if they're downtown or to other major employment nodes, then LRT is a great investment.

    This LRT will connect downtown, WEM (and at least three other major shopping malls) both universities, NAIT, four hospitals, Gallagher Park, major sports venues and major residential areas. Edmonton is not making this decision to be with the "in" group of cities, it's doing so because it sees a benefit from connecting central areas together. Can one get from Bonnie Doon to 124 Street, or from Rexall Place to University, by car, in less than 15
    minutes?
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  20. #20

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    ^During off-peak hours I can easily get from most parts of Edmonton to another in 15 minutes. I do it every day as I drive around managing my territory.

    That's not totally the point though. Public transit will, most of the time, rarely be faster. It's convenience that sells, and sometimes the cost savings. Gas, parking, and added insurance for commuting can easily add up to more than annual transit passes, not to mention non-work trips to auto-unfriendly events like football and hockey games, festivals downtown, and concerts.

    Since I have a company vehicle with company gas and company insurance, I don't often use transit, but I pay up and use it anytime I'm headed to Rexall, Northlands, or Commonwealth, and some downtown excursions in my personal time.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    There are a lot of people out there who think that Edmonton needs to be more like other cities in order to grow. Personally, I think they are still living in the 70's. They still believe the suburbs exist to feed workers into the downtown core. They do not take into account the last 30 years of deregulation and globalization. Edmonton's future as a business center is limited, given its relative location. But its future as a transportation hub is bright.

    If we could stop looking at Calgary for 10 minutes, and look north, east, and west, and see ourselves in the center of that region, we'd be much better off.

    But no, according to the rhetoric, we need 50 story office towers, an LRT to all corners, and one big airport, because that's what Calgary has. However, unless we can move Jasper and the Rocky Mountains 200 km east, we will never have everything Calgary has. So why are we even trying to compete on their terms?
    I'm not sure who you're referring to here by "a lot of people." "A lot of people" actually recognize the merits of having a strong downtown core, diversifying the city's economy and positioning itself as more of a business centre, and also as a transportation hub.

    Not because any of these things are what Calgary does. But because we see the value in these directions, and how they will help shape our city for the future.

    You may not realize it, but your insinuation that any vision for Edmonton that differs from your own stems from Calgary-envy is condescending and insulting. It seems to say that you don't think much of your fellow Edmontonians and their level of understanding of business, economy, and urban development.

    You talk of deregulation and globalization, but fail to take into account how these things are shifting the focus of many economies toward information services, research, and sustainable industry. If you want to argue about the impacts of globalization, you have to also consider that Edmonton would be negligent to ignore this shift and not position itself to take advantage of it.

    You also talk about suburbs feeding the downtown via LRT, but you also ignore that one of the major goals of this LRT building is to build density in the established inner city and along those LRT lines. "A lot of people" recognize that the way our city is growing is not sustainable, and see the value of LRT as a tool to help push for greater density and infill.

    You talk about rocky mountains as though they are the one and only thing that Calgary has going for it as a business centre. If that were true, then Edmonton should have no problem overtaking them - proximity to mountains are a pretty weak factor in determining where businesses and industries choose to set up shop and grow their business.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    Edmonton is located at a crossroads, always has been. We need to concentrate more on moving people and goods north, west, and east and less about moving them between the suburbs and downtown. We need to focus on developing transportation technology and not "pie in the sky" nanotech.
    Why is everything "one or the other" with you? You always talk like there are only ever two options, and nothing in between. Edmonton can easily grow itself as a transportation hub AND on emerging technologies like nanotech.

    You're also trying to combine the movement of people and the movement of gods as one and the same. They are not, and trying to combine these makes no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    I am a "white collar" worker, but I accept that Edmonton is a "blue collar" town. My dream home is warehouse conversion downtown, but I can relate to those who want the 3 bedroom with a back yard and a school down the street.
    Edmonton can be both, and can offer many things to both groups equally well.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    And I can relate to those whose Monday morning (or Sunday night) is a trip to Fort Mac. Driving an hour south to fly north makes no sense to me. Never has.

    Consolidation of air service at YEG did not make sense to me in 92 nor in 95. My thought was simple; if you force people to head south on Highway 2 to get air service, you can't count on them stopping before Leduc. So I always supported the Namao option; embrace the north and the polar routes and create separation between YYC and Edmonton's airport. But that didn't happen, and I really, really hate to say "told you so".

    I don't want to be saying "told you so" in 2025. YEG is a lame duck,...
    That ship has sailed; it's time to either swim back to the shore, or drown while continuing to chase after it.

    The voters of Edmonton overwhelmingly voted to consolidate air service in 1995, whether or not that makes any sense to you personally. City council has since reinforced that decision by voting to shut down what limited passenger service remained and working toward a phased closure of the airport. Both citizens and council have decided that consolidation at YEG was the way to go.

    YEG is our International Airport. It is our gateway, and our link to the province, the country, and the world. Namao is not and never will be. City Centre is not and never can be.

    There's nothing "lame duck" about YEG. Since consolidation, growth of air travel has expanded significantly. We have more flights to more destinations. Passenger growth is higher than ever, and still growing. We have seen not one but two major expansions in the last decade.

    To call it a "lame duck" is to intentionally ignore and deny facts and reality (or simply to mislead).

    If you are indeed serious about building Edmonton as a transportation hub, then you need to face this reality. If you are genuine about this as a future, then stop trying to relive (and revive) the past put your support behind the Port Alberta initiative.


    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    ...LRT to the northwest and southeast is not much better. Neither will ever fly far.
    What are you basing this off of? I've attended some of the meetings and sessions regarding the SE LRT expansion, and those in attendance were overwhelmingly supportive of the line. Look at how many riders have flocked to the new SLRT line. Once again, you are denying reality - Edmontonians want LRT. Even those who are less likely to use it seem to understand the value and need for it if we are to better manage the growth of our city and manage traffic volumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    So fix the potholes in the existing roads,...
    We can still do this without halting LRT expansion.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    ...embrace and expand all the airports in the area,...
    How many airports does a city need? Why do they ALL need expansion? And who should pay for those expansions?

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    ...and finish the ring roads.
    It may surprise you, but I think "a lot of people" actually do agree on this point. However, those people see LRT as a higher priority with greater returns, which is why it is the focus right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    Then we'll have the transportation infrastructure. Allow the "infill" of the space between Stony Plain, St. Albert, Fort Sask., Sherwood Park, Beaumont, Leduc, and Devon with single family homes and we might achieve the "critical mass" to make the Edmonton region something to behold.
    Whoa there, nelly. Are you seriously proposing that Edmonton needs to sprawl MORE? What dimension are you living in where this is considered a good idea? In what dimension is this considered a sustainable concept, environmentally, or financially for the city? What do you think it costs to build and maintain infrastructure for such a level of low-density living?

    You, sir, have only confirmed what I have hinted at earlier: You have no grasp of reality whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    Fixating on the downtown core is a short-sighted goal. We need to look at what makes Edmonton different, and play to that. I don't need cheap flights to Europe, the Lower 48, or Hawaii (subsidized by the Edmonton to Calgary and Vancouver traffic) to make Edmonton attractive. I want more Boston Pizzas, more Booster Juices, more Wardairs. I will not settle for trying to keep pace with Calgary. Been there, done that, I want more.
    What you need or want isn't what "a lot of people" need or want. And frankly, what you want is so far out of touch with reality that you shouldn't be surprised to find a lot of opposition to your idea of "different" or "more." Don't make the mistake of assuming this is because you are "thinking outside of the box." It is because you are thinking inside of a box that is 60 years old, has been falling apart for at least 20 years, and no longer meets crush limits that boxes today need in order to carry the kind of ideas and visions that will move us away from where the ideas and visions from your box has got us today.
    Last edited by RTA; 10-08-2010 at 11:24 AM.
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  22. #22

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    There's absolutely no refuting the fact that for a city to progress, it needs to eventually diversify away from primary industry (resources, manufacturing, blue collar) towards service, research, and luxury tourism industries.

    Every great city or region on the planet has done this. Perfect modern example: the ridiculously oil rich UAE's cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are using that oil money to force-build luxury tourism (Dubai) and finance capital (Abu Dhabi) industries, as they know that's the only way to progress to the next level.

    Capitalizing on emerging technology research like nanotech could be the ticket to housing some mega-corps here and help draw the services that they require, which in turn brings more rich people, which in turn brings in artists and high end dealers (jewellers, autos, etc) who craft and sell the luxury products they buy.

    Or we can do nothing and just be a boring one trick pony of blue collar hick honkey truck drivin' r'dneckers forever.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Interesting reading here - some good points & some sheep-grazing. By sheep-grazing I mean that which has been said by some urban planner somewhere, which has been now been adopted by everybody in this city without actually checking its merits because it sounds cool. The arena situation is a prime example of this, but this discussion is about transit & its future in the capital region, so let's focus on that, shall we?
    I see you've taken the "prerunr" tactic of condescension and insulting your fellow Edmontonians. "because it sounds cool?" Do you honestly believe that's why we support LRT? Do you also believe that the current ridership - approaching 100,000 a day - take the LRT every day "just for fun?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Having lived here all of my life, I agree 100% that Edmonton is a car city; some may not like it, but it'll be like that for the immediate & far-out future. The reason? The place is so spread out, & a small % of its workers actually commute downtown.
    You seem to be having a chicken-and-egg problem. Edmonton is a car city. Edmonton is too spread out. We don't have as large a downtown worker population as other cities.

    But rather than simply resign ourselves to these facts and patterns, Edmontonians are realizing that these patterns are not sustainable, and are not a good way to grow our city. Because they are what they are today is not a reason to keep that pattern, full steam ahead, alternatives be damned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    I hate comparing us to Calgary (in fact, it's our biggest crutch), but their dynamics are different: they have no industrial base, nor a bunch of rapidly-growing suburbs, so an extensive LRT makes better sense there, although it really doesn't. If you live in Boston, which is the size of Millwoods, have at 'er. In a city this size, however, the usage & ridership just ain't there, & never will be to justify the cost of getting it to a point where >5% of the population would actually use it.
    Calgary has no industrial base? Your lack of knowledge on the matter is becoming apparent. Calgary is home to a number of industries, not the least of which is a logistical hub anchored by CP Rail, as well as a strong manufacturing sector.

    Calgary and Edmonton are actually very similar in size and density, however their LRT has not only managed to secure one of the highest public transit ridership shares on the continent, but has also helped that city maintain a strong downtown workforce and plans are coming into place to see much more density built along their existing LRT stations - one of the goals of expanding Edmonton's LRT. If we want the ridership, we need to build LRT. You simply can't expect to get that ridership before it is built.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Sure, it sounds sexy, but we need to start being realistic here. As I mentioned earlier, I've been here for all of my 40 years, & I'm still waiting for the Yellowhead to be properly done, for the Whitemud to be done, for the Henday to be completed without lights. A mid-major city like Edmonton (let's be realistic, remember) cannot function well without a decent network of roads above all else; if you want to do something about the LRT after the roads are fixed, then fine. You can whine all you want about urban sprawl & lament the fact that nobody lives in the core, but it doesn't change reality.
    Neither does the status quo change anything. Fact is, Edmonton really doesn't have traffic problems if you compare us to Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, even Winnipeg. With that in mind, how much do we really need to focus on roads? If we want to continue to manage traffic volumes for the future, LRT is going to be a big part of that, by taking commuter cars off the road and keeping them available for moving goods and other traffic that requires them.

    Might I also add that this is becoming fairly transparent. After years of progress and focus on LRT growth, "suddenly" out of the woodwork come these "concerned citizens" telling us how LRT is not right for Edmonton, how it's too expensive, how Edmonton is and will always be car-centric and sprawly and why bother, right? Funny how this is happening right around the time when a major backer of the ECCA has announced he will be running for mayor, and has come out against LRT expansion. It's funny how these people seem to also be against taller buildings, against too much focus on downtown development, and generally against all everything else that resembles a reason for closing the city centre airport.

    Yeah, it's just a coincidence, I'm sure.
    Last edited by RTA; 10-08-2010 at 12:02 PM.
    Strathcona City Separatist

  24. #24

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    The best way to preserve a city is to be prepared for and brace the future, not hide behind the past. A lot of these "lots of peoples" are crazy old wankers that lust for some kind of nostalgic past. Sure, we can totally go back to the 50's, 60's, or whenever, but how does that help their children, or grandchildren, or current E-towners such as myself, my friends and family? Sure, lets forget having nanotech and lawyers and accountants and some new hotels and restaurants and clothing stores and this and that. Nobody needs those jobs, right? Why aim to get a Ferrari dealership or install bicycle lanes here when we can revert to horse and carriages instead?

    Pull your head out of the horse s--t and realize that your nostalgic longing for whatever you think was awesome back in the day is a minority view. And if you're from a small town and wish Edmonton was like that, move back to it. Edmonton is a big city with big city dreams and big city problems. It would be easier to tackle those if we didn't have small minds with drooling mouths getting in the way all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    What you need or want isn't what "a lot of people" need or want. And frankly, what you want is so far out of touch with reality that you shouldn't be surprised to find a lot of opposition to your idea of "different" or "more." Don't make the mistake of assuming this is because you are "thinking outside of the box." It is because you are thinking inside of a box that is 60 years old, has been falling apart for at least 20 years, and no longer meets crush limits that boxes today need in order to carry the kind of ideas and visions that will move us away from where the ideas and visions from your box has got us today.
    That paragraph, the cherry at the end of an excellent post, made me want to stand up and cheer. Well done.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Interesting reading here - some good points & some sheep-grazing. By sheep-grazing I mean that which has been said by some urban planner somewhere, which has been now been adopted by everybody in this city without actually checking its merits because it sounds cool. The arena situation is a prime example of this, but this discussion is about transit & its future in the capital region, so let's focus on that, shall we?
    I see you've taken the "prerunr" tactic of condescension and insulting your fellow Edmontonians. "because it sounds cool?" Do you honestly believe that's why we support LRT? Do you also believe that the current ridership - approaching 100,000 a day - take the LRT every day "just for fun?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Having lived here all of my life, I agree 100% that Edmonton is a car city; some may not like it, but it'll be like that for the immediate & far-out future. The reason? The place is so spread out, & a small % of its workers actually commute downtown.
    You seem to be having a chicken-and-egg problem. Edmonton is a car city. Edmonton is too spread out. We don't have as large a downtown worker population as other cities.

    But rather than simply resign ourselves to these facts and patterns, Edmontonians are realizing that these patterns are not sustainable, and are not a good way to grow our city. Because they are what they are today is not a reason to keep that pattern, full steam ahead, alternatives be damned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    I hate comparing us to Calgary (in fact, it's our biggest crutch), but their dynamics are different: they have no industrial base, nor a bunch of rapidly-growing suburbs, so an extensive LRT makes better sense there, although it really doesn't. If you live in Boston, which is the size of Millwoods, have at 'er. In a city this size, however, the usage & ridership just ain't there, & never will be to justify the cost of getting it to a point where >5% of the population would actually use it.
    Calgary has no industrial base? Your lack of knowledge on the matter is becoming apparent. Calgary is home to a number of industries, not the least of which is a logistical hub anchored by CP Rail, as well as a strong manufacturing sector.

    Calgary and Edmonton are actually very similar in size and density, however their LRT has not only managed to secure one of the highest public transit ridership shares on the continent, but has also helped that city maintain a strong downtown workforce and plans are coming into place to see much more density built along their existing LRT stations - one of the goals of expanding Edmonton's LRT. If we want the ridership, we need to build LRT. You simply can't expect to get that ridership before it is built.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Sure, it sounds sexy, but we need to start being realistic here. As I mentioned earlier, I've been here for all of my 40 years, & I'm still waiting for the Yellowhead to be properly done, for the Whitemud to be done, for the Henday to be completed without lights. A mid-major city like Edmonton (let's be realistic, remember) cannot function well without a decent network of roads above all else; if you want to do something about the LRT after the roads are fixed, then fine. You can whine all you want about urban sprawl & lament the fact that nobody lives in the core, but it doesn't change reality.
    Neither does the status quo change anything. Fact is, Edmonton really doesn't have traffic problems if you compare us to Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, even Winnipeg. With that in mind, how much do we really need to focus on roads? If we want to continue to manage traffic volumes for the future, LRT is going to be a big part of that, by taking commuter cars off the road and keeping them available for moving goods and other traffic that requires them.

    Might I also add that this is becoming fairly transparent. After years of progress and focus on LRT growth, "suddenly" out of the woodwork come these "concerned citizens" telling us how LRT is not right for Edmonton, how it's too expensive, how Edmonton is and will always be car-centric and sprawly and why bother, right? Funny how this is happening right around the time when a major backer of the ECCA has announced he will be running for mayor, and has come out against LRT expansion. It's funny how these people seem to also be against taller buildings, against too much focus on downtown development, and generally against all everything else that resembles a reason for closing the city centre airport.

    Yeah, it's just a coincidence, I'm sure.
    Actually, I'm at a loss to figure out the reasoning behind keeping the airport open - the Envision group is just nuts. I'd much rather see infill development along the lines of Denver & what they did in the same situation. Honestly, this city's got a golden opportunity to satisfy their stated wish for less urban sprawl & make a real difference, & they're going to **** it away.
    As for my original post, let me restate that an effective LRT in tandem with roadways is what we need, not that same LRT at the expense of those rodaways. What I'm reading here is that we need to shoot the LRT to all corners of the region ASAP with no regard to cost or other issues. If this happens, best-case scenario is, what, 20-30 years to full build-out? Should we expect no capital roadway improvements in that time? Should we just tell all the trucks & trains to stop moving until the LRT is completed? As stated before, let's be realistic...

  27. #27

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    ^Full build-out could happen by 2017 if federal and provincial funding is approved. The city has stated that it would borrow the remaining. Roadway funding wouldn't dry up, though major projects might be on hold, not that there's anything major proposed anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    Actually, I'm at a loss to figure out the reasoning behind keeping the airport open - the Envision group is just nuts. I'd much rather see infill development along the lines of Denver & what they did in the same situation. Honestly, this city's got a golden opportunity to satisfy their stated wish for less urban sprawl & make a real difference, & they're going to **** it away.
    Funny; prerunr tries to make the same claim. So far your M.O. seems to be the same, and equally transparent. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the optics so far seem to indicate that this is some kind of orchestrated scheme being carried out via social media channels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    As for my original post, let me restate that an effective LRT in tandem with roadways is what we need, not that same LRT at the expense of those rodaways.

    What I'm reading here is that we need to shoot the LRT to all corners of the region ASAP with no regard to cost or other issues. If this happens, best-case scenario is, what, 20-30 years to full build-out? Should we expect no capital roadway improvements in that time? Should we just tell all the trucks & trains to stop moving until the LRT is completed? As stated before, let's be realistic...
    Reality is that the city is spending $429M on roadway projects this year alone. That includes widening the Whitemud at Quesnell, part of that coveted inner ring road you want so badly. Claiming that LRT expansion is taking place without regard to road construction and maintenance is flat out false. The city is doing a great job balancing these priorities, and there's no reason to think they won't continue to find the right balance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobro View Post
    ...
    Should we expect no capital roadway improvements in that time? Should we just tell all the trucks & trains to stop moving until the LRT is completed? As stated before, let's be realistic...
    no, we shouldn't expect no capital roadway improvements in that time. as already noted, capital roadway improvement funding and long-range planning by the city and the province is probably at a higher level than ever.

    as for telling all the trucks & trains to stop moving until the lrt is completed, the more people on that lrt as more of it is completed simply means that many fewer cars on the road competing for space with those trucks and trains. which - if you really want to be realistic - is good for those trucks and trains.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesL View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    What you need or want isn't what "a lot of people" need or want. And frankly, what you want is so far out of touch with reality that you shouldn't be surprised to find a lot of opposition to your idea of "different" or "more." Don't make the mistake of assuming this is because you are "thinking outside of the box." It is because you are thinking inside of a box that is 60 years old, has been falling apart for at least 20 years, and no longer meets crush limits that boxes today need in order to carry the kind of ideas and visions that will move us away from where the ideas and visions from your box has got us today.
    That paragraph, the cherry at the end of an excellent post, made me want to stand up and cheer. Well done.
    Tomorrow morning, a lot of people will need to find their way to Scotford. The day after that, a lot of people will need to find their way home from Ft Mac. And on Saturday and Sunday, a lot of people in suburbia are going to want to get to the power centers to do back-to-school shopping. Two weeks from now, a lot of people are going to need to get their kids to school, hockey, football, etc., etc. A lot of these people will not see much benefit from the LRT expansion.

    However their fuel taxes fund the road construction; their general taxes fund the LRT. So it's reasonable for them to question why the planning has to be so vast, and the committed dollars so high. There are other public transit options, and perhaps we should be leaving more room and dollars for what might be available 10 years from now. Move forward with LRT construction, yes, but with more measured scope.

    Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying slow down or stop LRT construction. Just that we should have intermediate targets and ensure that it's not having a negative affect. Whisking people back to the suburbs or TOD's at the end of the workday might stall downtown residential development. Making it easy for downtown residents to get to WEM for shopping and entertainment might kill the gains downtown retail and nightlife have been able to make. The trains run both ways. Just like Highway 2 takes you to both Edmonton and Calgary International airports. It's hard to be sure what the outcome with be.

    And in terms of 60 year old relics that have been falling apart for 20 years, I can't see past the boxes that supply 19th century entertainment just north and west of Borden Park. Get the horses and buggies out of town first, and then I'll be willing to listen to what you'd like to do with the airport.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesL View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    What you need or want isn't what "a lot of people" need or want. And frankly, what you want is so far out of touch with reality that you shouldn't be surprised to find a lot of opposition to your idea of "different" or "more." Don't make the mistake of assuming this is because you are "thinking outside of the box." It is because you are thinking inside of a box that is 60 years old, has been falling apart for at least 20 years, and no longer meets crush limits that boxes today need in order to carry the kind of ideas and visions that will move us away from where the ideas and visions from your box has got us today.
    That paragraph, the cherry at the end of an excellent post, made me want to stand up and cheer. Well done.
    Tomorrow morning, a lot of people will need to find their way to Scotford. The day after that, a lot of people will need to find their way home from Ft Mac. And on Saturday and Sunday, a lot of people in suburbia are going to want to get to the power centers to do back-to-school shopping. Two weeks from now, a lot of people are going to need to get their kids to school, hockey, football, etc., etc. A lot of these people will not see much benefit from the LRT expansion.

    However their fuel taxes fund the road construction; their general taxes fund the LRT. So it's reasonable for them to question why the planning has to be so vast, and the committed dollars so high. There are other public transit options, and perhaps we should be leaving more room and dollars for what might be available 10 years from now. Move forward with LRT construction, yes, but with more measured scope.

    Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying slow down or stop LRT construction. Just that we should have intermediate targets and ensure that it's not having a negative affect. Whisking people back to the suburbs or TOD's at the end of the workday might stall downtown residential development. Making it easy for downtown residents to get to WEM for shopping and entertainment might kill the gains downtown retail and nightlife have been able to make. The trains run both ways. Just like Highway 2 takes you to both Edmonton and Calgary International airports. It's hard to be sure what the outcome with be.

    And in terms of 60 year old relics that have been falling apart for 20 years, I can't see past the boxes that supply 19th century entertainment just north and west of Borden Park. Get the horses and buggies out of town first, and then I'll be willing to listen to what you'd like to do with the airport.
    save the airport, infill the mayfair golf course.
    save the airport, infill hawrelak park.
    save the airport, infill northlands.
    save the airport, hold back downtown
    save the airport, hold back the quarters
    save the airport, hold back lrt
    save the airport...
    from a broad based city perspective, the airport is our biggest "horse and buggy" and your inability to recognize that is no reason for the rest of the city to run around in circles for another 60 years instead of moving on with moving it out of town where it belongs.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    The best way to preserve a city is to be prepared for and brace the future, not hide behind the past. A lot of these "lots of peoples" are crazy old wankers that lust for some kind of nostalgic past. Sure, we can totally go back to the 50's, 60's, or whenever, but how does that help their children, or grandchildren, or current E-towners such as myself, my friends and family? Sure, lets forget having nanotech and lawyers and accountants and some new hotels and restaurants and clothing stores and this and that. Nobody needs those jobs, right? Why aim to get a Ferrari dealership or install bicycle lanes here when we can revert to horse and carriages instead?

    Pull your head out of the horse s--t and realize that your nostalgic longing for whatever you think was awesome back in the day is a minority view. And if you're from a small town and wish Edmonton was like that, move back to it. Edmonton is a big city with big city dreams and big city problems. It would be easier to tackle those if we didn't have small minds with drooling mouths getting in the way all the time.
    I want to get rid of the horse s--t altogether, along with the horses and carriages and horse barns and race track. I want Ferraris ripping around the Indy race track on a daily basis. Then a dealership would make sense. I want aerotech, autotech, and nanotech (if that pans out, but I still remember Novatel, so I'm skeptical).

    And don't we already have a Research Park on Parsons Road? Why isn't nanotech going in there? Isn't that why we built it?

    Despite the big city dreams, there are still a lot of people coming here with small town wants. They want the 3 bedroom + den and a back yard. If Edmonton won't provide, there are a dozen towns within commuting distance that will. Have you seen the East Vistas plan? Another town, yes, a whole new freakin town between Leduc and Edmonton. (Thank YEG for that one).

    So sprawl is going to happen whether Edmonton likes it or not. There are just too many outlying towns and cities. Maybe if we can bring them close enough together, we might be able to get buy-in on a regional transit and road authority. Yes there are costs associated with that strategy, but if it's going to happen anyway...

    Personally, I wonder about running the LRT to the VIA station and looking at heavy rail to move people in from Morninville and St. Albert, and Stony Plain and Spruce Grove. I also see the space between QE2 nb and sb and wonder why there is not an LRT line there to the airport. Maybe if we got people out of their cars, they might stop driving to Calgary.

    There is more to think about than just TOD's and nanotech.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    save the airport, infill the mayfair golf course.
    save the airport, infill hawrelak park.
    save the airport, infill northlands.
    save the airport, hold back downtown
    save the airport, hold back the quarters
    save the airport, hold back lrt
    save the airport...
    from a broad based city perspective, the airport is our biggest "horse and buggy" and your inability to recognize that is no reason for the rest of the city to run around in circles for another 60 years instead of moving on with moving it out of town where it belongs.
    So you prefer the idea of spending 6-10 million dollars of taxpayer money every year to keep horse barns and pony racing within waking distance of downtown?

    Are you hoping for a position on the board of Northlands or something?

    I've said all along, there are better options, imo, for the CCA than either the city or Envision have proposed. I'd like the opportunity to express them without being branded a "heretic".
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    Please, people, understand. I love downtown Edmonton. I've lived there. I've walked to work downtown. I recommend it highly. My daughter currently lives there and does the same as I did at her age. I like to think that my passion for downtown and transit influenced her choice. When I needed a backyard for the kids, I chose Holyrood and rode the bus downtown.

    But I've also have opportunities to fly FBO to FBO between YXD and YYC. That is the best way to get to downtown to downtown on a day trip. Not only do you save 20 minutes on the Edmonton road leg, you save 10 minutes on the Calgary leg. So small plane service to Calgary from YXD has benefits for downtown business. But anything to the main terminal at YYC will potentially serve as connector service to long haul flights out of Calgary, so I will oppose any plans along those lines.

    At the same time, I've also had to cab it from downtown to YEG. And I didn't like sticking my employer with the tab. For the same price I could rent a limo for the trip from YVR to the waterfront. As a result, there have been times that I've driven to Calgary in my own vehicle and charged my employer with the milage and time. It was a few dollars cheaper than flying out of YEG, so nobody complained. That's why I believe we need LRT service to YEG asap. Reduce the cost to downtown business of sending people out of town. Use the LRT, or at least bus service from Century Park to kill East Vistas and reduce the car traffic to YYC. I see the current strategies as having more benefit to the surrounding towns than the city proper.

    These are my experiences, observations, and opinions. If you want to call me a heretic or drooling *****, so be it. But I've worn an Oilers Jersey to the office in Calgary on a regular basis when employment opportunities took me there. I've berated Calgarians face-to-face at the water cooler on their waste management practices compared to Edmonton. They they bring up the Stampede, I bring up the Fringe and the CFR. I've been out on the front lines promoting and defending this town for years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    ... I'd like the opportunity to express them without being branded a "heretic".
    disagreeing with your opinions - particularly when they are wrong - is not branding you. besides, you can't brand anything that's unknown and anonymous. imo. imo, you're not even prepared to be branded with your own opinions.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    ...

    These are my experiences, observations, and opinions. If you want to call me a heretic or drooling *****, so be it. But I've worn an Oilers Jersey to the office in Calgary on a regular basis when employment opportunities took me there. I've berated Calgarians face-to-face at the water cooler on their waste management practices compared to Edmonton. They they bring up the Stampede, I bring up the Fringe and the CFR. I've been out on the front lines promoting and defending this town for years.
    us "people, people" aren't calling you anything. just pointing out where you're wrong despite your protestations of how many "right" things you say you do. eating your veggies while dining on steak doesn't make one a vegetarian.
    Last edited by kcantor; 12-08-2010 at 07:44 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    Tomorrow morning, a lot of people will need to find their way to Scotford. The day after that, a lot of people will need to find their way home from Ft Mac. And on Saturday and Sunday, a lot of people in suburbia are going to want to get to the power centers to do back-to-school shopping. Two weeks from now, a lot of people are going to need to get their kids to school, hockey, football, etc., etc. A lot of these people will not see much benefit from the LRT expansion.
    That doesn't mean that 100,000 people won't see a direct daily benefit from it. Not everything can be all things to all people, but that's not a good reason to not do something.

    Plus you're also missing out on how LRT indirectly benefits these folks; LRT will help us manage the volume of traffic they have to contend with for the foreseeable future. LRT will help us produce a more compact and sustainable city, which will help keep their taxes from going out of control. It will help improve the quality of the air they breathe through lower street-level emissions. It will help keep their gas prices lower through lower demand.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    However their fuel taxes fund the road construction; their general taxes fund the LRT. So it's reasonable for them to question why the planning has to be so vast, and the committed dollars so high. There are other public transit options, and perhaps we should be leaving more room and dollars for what might be available 10 years from now. Move forward with LRT construction, yes, but with more measured scope.
    The scope is pretty well measured as it is. We're not overbuilding an LRT as fast as we can, we're playing catch-up from having ignored building it for so long.

    Also, I'm not sure who "them" is that you're referring to. Most everyone I know and have talked to supports the city building more LRT, and keeping up the momentum and pace that they are at now.

    As I alluded to in another thread, you seem to be trying to create an illusion that it's a majority of citizens questioning the pace of LRT construction. But it's still just an illusion, and a thin one at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying slow down or stop LRT construction.
    Actually you kinda are. There's not many other options between building it, slowing down, or stopping it.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    Just that we should have intermediate targets and ensure that it's not having a negative affect. Whisking people back to the suburbs or TOD's at the end of the workday might stall downtown residential development. Making it easy for downtown residents to get to WEM for shopping and entertainment might kill the gains downtown retail and nightlife have been able to make. The trains run both ways. Just like Highway 2 takes you to both Edmonton and Calgary International airports. It's hard to be sure what the outcome with be.
    No it's not. It's not like mass rail transit is some whiz-bang newfangled technology that hasn't been tested or proven anywhere. Rail transit has provided the backbone of major transit systems in cities of many sizes and shapes, and in some cases has done so for over a century.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    And in terms of 60 year old relics that have been falling apart for 20 years, I can't see past the boxes that supply 19th century entertainment just north and west of Borden Park. Get the horses and buggies out of town first, and then I'll be willing to listen to what you'd like to do with the airport.
    Nice segue. And by that I mean, not really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunr View Post
    If you want to call me a heretic or drooling *****, so be it.
    Attempting to martyr yourself nullifies becoming a martyr. Get over yourself. You're not being crucified for standing up for what you believe in. You're being crucified because your arguments are terrible, nonsensical, wrong, and often not even wrong.
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    I'm sure that Edmonton will continue to spend money on other transportation priorities. Once 23 Avenue and Quesnell Bridge are done, Edmonton can focus its priorities on projects on the Yellowhead (e.g. 66 Street overpass), planning for the Walterdale Bridge, or the 17th Street/Whitemud overpass.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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    ^ Bingo. As pointed out to WayneJ in the post just above prerunr's, saying, claiming, or otherwise suggesting or implying that the city isn't making roadwork a priority is patently and provably false.
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    If the Provincial Government has dedicated $800 million in Green TRIP funding to the Capital Region, I'm sure that Edmonton would receive $500-$600 million of that share.

    My thinking about this Green TRIP funding though, would it be better for Edmonton to collaborate with Leduc or St. Albert, should they pursue LRT? I know that SE and West LRT are the priority, but what happens if Capital Region municipalities start to express interest in building LRT?
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    ... but what happens if Capital Region municipalities start to express interest in building LRT?

    I love your sig. One of my fav movie quotes is:

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow." Agent K - MIB

    Most can't. A sad fact I must accept.
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    Most can't what? Know tomorrow? You won't if you're living in the past, that's for sure!
    "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright

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