Continuing my irregular series of posts on things I’ll do when I am king, here’s some thoughts on what I’d like to do with transportation in Vancouver:
- Pedestrian malls: I’d make Granville, from Davie to Waterfront, a pedestrian mall on weekends. Cars would be redirected to Syemour & Hornby. I’d also tag Robson to be Pedestrian, from Granville to, say, Bute – perhaps Broughton. Assuming this experiment works well (and I’m sure it will), I’d look to expand the pedestrian-only times.
- Single-Driver tax: Anyone crossing Lion’s Gate, Second Narrows, or the Tunnel (you know the one), with only one person, would pay a toll. Commercial vehicles & motorcycles would be exempt from this. This could be handled simply by allowing those in the HOV lane to drive straight through, while creating a toll-zone for others. Yes, this could create a traffic nightmare, but that’s partially the point.
- Expanded transit: It amazes me everytime I travel to Europe how these small little places all have amazing transit systems. I’d like to study how those work and make Vancouver emulate that. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of a single-driver tax: make driving less inviting, but correspondingly, make taking transit more inviting. These means more suburban routes, more skytrain coverage, a more modern bus fleet. These small “commuter shuttle” busses that are now servicing Yaletown and the West End seem like a smart way to go for less-used routes.
- Cycling-lanes: There needs to be more of these. The network in Vancouver is decent, but could definitely use improvement, principally in main-road routes.
- Subsidized Bus passes: Much like the U-Pass available to all UBC & SFU Students, I’d extend this offer to all local (Accredited) college students in the Lower Mainland. Also, I’d create a program of tax incentives for corporations (small and large) to offer the same to their employees.
- Highway/roadway improvement: Because alot of the above will end up funnelling traffic along certain routes, it is imperative that those roads be improved: specialized HOV/Bus lanes where there aren’t currently any, widened here and there, and most importantly, remove bottlenecks like the Oak street bridge, where a 3-lane street siphons into a 2-lane bridge just before going on the highway. At least add a third, HOV/Bus-only lane on that bridge!
At any rate, those are my half-baked ideas on transit for the day.