Covered Roots: The History of Vancouver’s Chinese Farms – Video

Here’s a neat video I came across while reading about East Van Market Gardens tour done by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. It’s a 22-minute video that talks about the history of how Chinese immigrants farmed much of the area. This agricultural history all used to take place right in the middle of the city.

What YouTube commenters and Plebiscite commentary had in common?

After the No vote has trumped the Transportation and Transit Sales Tax that would have raised $250 million annually for transit service in Metro Vancouver, I got to thinking. Yes, I know it can kill brain cells. Especially thinking about such negative things as the fallout from the No vote to the plebiscite.

Throughout the debate before the votes were all tallied up. I just felt a lot of comments were like YouTube comments. It’s what they call “haters”.

hater definition

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Service cuts to TransLink will affect the ones who need it the most

So the No side had a resounding victory in the Transportation and Transit Plebiscite. It is,I think, an extremely disappointing, but unsurprising result. So where does that leave us as a region. Without stable funding for transit in Metro Vancouver, where do we go from here.

Well, service cuts are probably the first to happen. Transit services for the disabled and the elderly will likely be on the chopping block first.

from Wikipedia

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Post-Plebiscite Thoughts and Readings

Well, if you haven’t heard by now, the results of the Transportation and Transit Plebiscite were 38.32% Yes and 61.68% No. The results are personally disappointing, but not at all surprising.

Gary Mason at The Globe and Mail talks of how the plebiscite was doomed from the beginning.

More than $6-million was spent – no, wasted – by TransLink and a coalition of the willing to underwrite a campaign the public had no interest in supporting. Plebiscite strategists such as Mr. Schlackman could only roll their eyes at the pitiful amount of time the provincial government gave the mayors to try to sell their $7.5-billion vision. In the U.S., transit proponents often have campaign runways that stretch up to two years. The mayors had a few months.

I think his last sentence in the article sums up how I feel about how this plebiscite.

All this plebiscite did was demonstrate what happens when a province’s political leadership abdicates its responsibility to govern.

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Sapporo – One Year Later

The giant Sapporo Station shopping and transportation complex

It’s been exactly one year since I flew off to Sapporo, Japan to spend 1 month there. Not only were there great memories from my month in Japan, but I also started a few new friendships while there. In the age of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with everyone. I’m now in touch with people in Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Montreal. It was a lot of great memories and a lot of great fun.

I’m a little jealous of those who are actually returning this year to Sapporo and the Hokkaido Japanese Language School (JaLS). I know of at least a couple of people going back. I even see photos of other schoolmates who are travelling in Japan again. They’re not necessarily going to Sapporo, but they are visiting other parts of the country.

Here are some photos from last summer while I walk back down memory lane.

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DYK? Vancouver has a Cycling Spot Improvement Program.

COV Cycling Spot Improvement Program screencap

I just discovered recently that the City of Vancouver has a Cycling Spot Improvement Program. The program basically looks at small projects that affect a single block or intersection and try to improve the safety and comfort of those blocks and intersections. The main goal is to look at these projects through the cycling infrastructure lens. However, I think there can be improved pedestrian experiences as well from these little spot improvements.

arbutus & w 7th improvement graphic

For example, take this map of West 7th Avenue between Yew and Arbutus Streets. A private elementary school is redesigning their driveway and more traffic is expected on 7th Avenue. A separated two-way bike lane is proposed on the north side of the road to protect cyclists from the increased traffic expected from the driveway. Parking will be removed and a one-way vehicle lane going east will be set for the most of the eastern half of the block. The separated bike lane will also likely impact people visiting the non-profit agency across the road from the school. You can read more details about this particular mini-project here.

So these Cycling Spot Improvement Programs are open to comment. Simply go to their site at vancouver.ca/spotimprovements and see what mini-projects are on the go and to see if any affect a part of Vancouver where you live/work/shop/visit.