[World Streets] New comment on Op-Ed. Kaid Benfield on Vancouver's Carfree Olympi....
- Eric Britton has left a new comment on your post "Op-Ed. Kaid Benfield on Vancouver's Carfree Olympi...":
More on this at www.planetizen.com/node/43096 - Vancouver Olympics a Living Laboratory for Urbanism! - Brent Toderian, Thu, 02/25/2010 -
(I have copied the first bit on 'traffic.)
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North America's Largest "Traffic Trial" Ever?
Cities like Copenhagen, and more recently New York, have embraced the value of traffic trials or pilots, in demonstrating effects of mode changes, dispelling myths, or just learning what really happens to traffic when you make a change, despite what the models say. Vancouver has used many such trials as well, including this summer’s very successful closing of a lane of traffic over our Burrard Bridge (one of three bridges connecting the downtown peninsula to the rest of the city) to give it to cyclists.
But has there ever been as huge an urban traffic trial as this in North America? The transformation of an entire mobility system in a large city and complex downtown? We know that Vancouver is the largest and most urban setting thus far for the Winter Games, and that many Summer Games have been concentrated in one area, often on the outskirts of the built environment. The highly dispersed nature of our Games across municipalities and across highly urban settings, has made this trial rare if not unique. Massive pedestrianization of countless streets, a necessary 30% drop in car trips in a city that has already shifted significant percentages of trips to walking, cycling and transit in the past few decades, the running of a new streetcar pilot, the aspects go on and on.
All of this, we believe, gives us a special snapshot picture of a potential future for our city as we continue to move rapidly to more sustainable modes of travel. As we work toward an updated transportation plan for the downtown and broader city, the massive amounts of data, and the general change in perception and attitudes from this temporary transformation, may end up being the most powerful legacy from these Olympics. I strongly believe nothing will ever be the same in how we perceive traffic and movement in our city after this.
Here are a few of the mobility successes so far:
* Halfway through the 2010 Winter Games, every day Vancouver is continuing to see record numbers of people walking, cycling and taking transit. We are consistently meeting or exceeding our 30% target reduction in car trips.
* More than 20,000 pedestrians a day walked across the Burrard and Cambie Bridges to and from Downtown Vancouver.
* With the good weather in the past few days, cyclist volumes across the Burrard and Cambie Bridges are at high summertime levels with an average of 5,000 cyclists riding to and from Downtown Vancouver every day. The City of Vancouver is providing safe and convenient bike parking spaces near Olympic and Para-lympic venues, LiveCity celebration sites and at the Olympic Village station of the Olympic Line streetcar. Free bike valet services are also available at these locations to encourage cycling.
* The new Canada Line subway line reached a peak of over 250,000 riders on Thursday February 18, far exceeding the expected numbers of around 100,000 and the SeaBus had 50,000 boardings on the same day, well over twice the normal numbers. The system is handling these numbers well.
* The Olympic Line - Vancouver's 2010 Streetcar pilot - reached a milestone a few days ago of 300,000 trips since starting on January 21, 2010, and is now averaging 20,000-25,000 boardings each day, making it busier than Seattle and Portland's streetcar networks, even though it has only two stations.
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Posted by Eric Britton to World Streets at Monday, 01 March, 2010