Montreal’s rapid transit set to double

I just saw a very impressive plan to expand Montreal’s rapid transit system. The new elevated rapid transit line, similar to Vancouver’s SkyTrain design will almost double the rapid transit available in the Montreal region. In fact, it will likely become North America’s longest elevated rail line when it comes to fruition.

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Metro Vancouver Transit Funding’s Ongoing Saga – May 2016

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Okay, let’s start by looking at some of the numbers being bandied about in the news.

First off. There’s the one constant in this picture. Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals have promised to pay for 50% of the funds for infrastructure projects across the country.

Here’s what the other two levels of government have offered.

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mobi – Vancouver’s upcoming bike share

There’s finally a name to Vancouver’s upcoming bike share and it’s mobi. [Cue the Moby music accompaniment]

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That’s about all the info there is so far. However, you can sign up to become a founding member for a special annual price starting from $99/year for unlimited 30-minute bike share rides.

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Arbutus Corridor 2016

There’s finally been a breakthrough in the negotiations between the City of Vancouver and Canadian Pacific Rail (CP Rail) over the 9-kilometre long unused rail line. It has sat dormant since the 1990’s. It has been a collection of unused train tracks, overgrown bushes, and community gardens over the years. The City is finally taking it over and changes will be afoot.

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Surrey LRT – Support and Funding

The conversation for expanded fixed rail transit in Surrey continues to roll along. Metro Vancouver’s second largest municipality by population and largest by land area is still trying to push forward after the failed transit plebiscitie/referendum of 2015.

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A few things have happened in the past year that may help Surrey get its long-desired LRT.

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Starchitect lands in Canada – Bjarke Ingels

Some of you may know about Vancouver House going up along Howe Street at Pacific Boulevard and right up against the Howe Street onramp for the Granville Street Bridge. It is Danish starchitect, Bjarke Ingels‘, huge stamp on the Vancouver skyline.

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The giant tower will contort it’s frame over part of the bridge in architectural yoga pose in the sky. It’s an impressive looking building in the computer renditions. It may be just as promising when it is finished.

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Toronto’s Transit Rollercoaster

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Ever since I lived in Toronto back in 2003, I’ve always kept an eye on transit developments in the GTA. In the early days, there was David Miller’s Transit City, which promised to criss-cross the city with light rail. Then Rob Ford rumbled into office and promised the gravy train along with the light rail trains. Instead, Rob Ford planned on fewer lines, but with all of them being heavy rail subway lines. Then most recently came John Tory and his SmartTrack which was a vaunted “surface subway” that would start moving Toronto in a new way.

Three mayors with three very different visions over the past 13 years. It’s enough to make any transit follower’s eyes spin.

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The Imminent Parking Re-Think

I just read a long, but worthwhile article on “An End to Parking?” on Mother Jones.

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An giant empty parking lot in Sapporo, Japan

If you haven’t heard, the future is coming soon to a road near you. And the future is self-driving cars. There’s been a lot of talk about self-driving cars over the years. I’ve even sat in one back in 2006 at a Toyota Showcase building in Odaiba area of Tokyo.

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Miniature Wonderland on Google Maps

Das Miniatur Wunderland, or Miniature Wonderland, in Hamburg, Germany is now on Google Maps. It’s also featured on a neat YouTube video above.

I love places like this. The closest thing to me would be Victoria’s Miniature World, which amazingly I’ve never visited. There was also the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad, which I missed when I visited Osoyoos because it closes on statutory holidays.

However, Miniature Wonderland has now made its proverbial mark on the map with Google Street View directly at miniature street level. One of the views you can find is of this tiny central German town.

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The New Little Mountain

The New Little Mountain project has been on my blogging backburner for at least a couple of months. There’s a lot of changes afoot in the neighbourhood at East 37th Avenue and Ontario Street.

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Little Mountain homes boarded up (July 2009)

Originally, the whole plot of land was social housing. It was the first social housing project of its kind. I personally know of a couple of people who grew up in what they affectionately called  “The Projects.”

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