Category — Traffic
Metro Toronto’s upcoming $2.5 billion transit investment program could be financed by a range of funding sources, says a new CCPA study, and generate a huge benefit to lower-income families in the process.
Public transit is such a boon to lower income commuters that regressive funding measures, like sales tax, are offset by the reductions in income equality, the study says. But corporate income tax can help as well.
The new review by economist Hugh Mackenzie provides a refreshingly practical approach to the political challenges of transit funding that bears consideration here in Metro Vancouver. Mackenzie turns away from property taxes, congestion charges, vehicle levies and area benefitting taxes, always perennial funding favourites with transit policy wonks, but often killers among voters.
Fare increases are also ruled out given the 70 percent share of Toronto transit revenue that already comes out of the fare box.
But Mackenzie says modest sales tax increases, fuel taxes and corporate income tax hikes — Toronto has a very low rate, as does Metro Vancouver — could produce enough revenue to maintain existing services, build new ones and reduce congestion.
A similar approach could help fund Metro Vancouver’s needs — and might pass in the referendum the new government says may be required.
May 23, 2013
Vancouver’s False Creek bridges, which link 250,000 people and jobs in the downtown peninsula with another 100,000 along the Broadway Corridor, are in for a series of upgrades in coming years to make them safer, more accessible to pedestrians and easier for cyclists.
City staff spelled out the work plan in a report to council today on implementation of Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 plan.
Memo to drivers: stay calm, you should like the results. Impacts on existing traffic will be carefully assessed.
(The numbers reflect jobs and population in a three-kilometre radius from the downtown peninsula.)
My favourite: improvements this year at the north end of the Cambie Bridge to resolve the miserable connections to the bike route at Beatty St.
But in future years, Cambie will see extra attention for seismic safety and increased capacity for pedestrians and cyclists. The popular east-side sidewalk will be at capacity in 2020.
Work is proceeding to evaluate a proposed bike and pedestrian lane down the middle of the Granville Bridge and planning is under way to improve intersections at each end of the Burrard Bridge, which is scheduled for significant remediation work during the next capital plan.
April 24, 2013
Translink’s recently-released 2011 Trip Diary Survey, a study of travel patterns based on reports from 20,000 Metro Vancouver households, shows trips increased 9.2 percent to more than six million trips between 2008 and 2011.
That’s growing pressure for transit that transportation decision-makers will have to confront with a new Translink investment program, because car is still king in Metro except in Vancouver, where car trips make up about 40 percent of the total.
In fact, car use remains relatively stable across the region, staying at 57 percent of total trips since counts began in 1994. Transit trips have grown from 10 percent of trips in 1994 to 14 percent in 2011, but make up 22 percent of trips in Vancouver.
An expanding population is growing that number, but each traveller is also taking more trips, up to 2.77 trips on average per day in 2011 from 2.68 in the previous survey.
April 17, 2013
City traffic calming on Prior St., implemented in response to council direction last summer, was producing significant reductions in volume even before the April 1 protest by the Strathcona Residents Association, according to a memo circulated to council today by Brian Jackson, general manager of planning and development services.
The Strathcona Residents Association has been demanding a range of measures to reduce traffic volumes when (and if) the city decides to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts.
But Jackson’s note sets out a number of improvements that are already producing results, all of which were communicated to the SRA before the April 1 protest, including:
- relaxed parking restrictions on the north side of Prior;
- improved pedestrian safety measures at eight signalized intersections in the neighbourhood; and
- improved safety trough a larger, brighter traffic light at Prior and Campbell.
After the changes, daily vehicle volumes dropped from about 30,000 in June 2012 to 23,000 to 25,000 in December 2012 and February 2013. [Read more →]
April 9, 2013