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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vancouver Kicks Seattle's Butt

Posted by on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM

At riding transit:

  • Sightline Institute

The Sightline Institute crunches the numbers.


Comments (18) RSS

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I suspect at least part of the difference is that they never made the horrible mistake of running giant freeways right through the middle of town.
Posted by SLCamper on July 18, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 2
Vancouver has had an extensive rail transit system with 1 of the 3 lines in place for nearly 3 decades. Skytrain is 43 miles long, with 47 stations.

Cut Seattle some slack - we're late bloomers.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 18, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
@1 I see you've never gone across Cambie or any of the other bridges.

Hint: if it has a highway designation, no matter how many lights are on it, it's still Monster.
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 18, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
But @2 for the Build It Last Century win.
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 18, 2012 at 4:24 PM · Report this
@2 Vancouver are late bloomers too - the SkyTrain didn't open until 1986. Sure, that's 23 years ahead of Central Link in Seattle, but it's not like they had an existing rail system from earlier in the century the way many US East Coast cities did. Seattle could have beaten Vancouver had small-minded voters not rejected the $500 million in federal rail funding for Forward Thrust in 1970.
Posted by junipero on July 18, 2012 at 4:59 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 6
Someday the 16% of households in Seattle who cannot afford them will have Google cars.

Then personal transit will dominate.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on July 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@5 um, SkyTrain was built on top of the existing rail system on Kingsway. You know, Kingsway, the federal highway (as in Highway 1), the first highway built in this region.

You were saying?

@6 a relative of mine has a plug-in electric car and he is getting about 2000 mpg right now. And electricity is cheap here in Seattle. You can call them Google if it makes you feel better. Electricity is a lot cheaper than gasoline in our city.
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 18, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 8
The good news is that Seattle's butt is so fat from all that sedentary time behind the wheel that it didn't even feel that kick land.
Posted by Fred Casely on July 18, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
What @5 said, if Seattle was so damned liberal and green, why didn't they approve FT???? Since the Feds are now misers with mass transit $$ and the city is very built up, making it difficult to expand to the places we need to expand to.
Posted by neo-realist on July 18, 2012 at 6:26 PM · Report this
@3: Cambie? A "giant freeway"? Seriously?
Posted by bigyaz on July 18, 2012 at 6:33 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 11
@9: it wasn't liberal and green back then. it was provincial and nearsighted. then we all moved in and we're awesome!
Posted by Max Solomon on July 18, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
This is what happens when transit is considered a utility for everyone rather than just a method for The Poors to get around.

When the people in Laurelhurst start taking Metro to work, then you'll be getting somewhere.
Posted by Cow on July 18, 2012 at 8:01 PM · Report this
As others have pointed out, Vancouver has a terrific transit infrastructure that's helped people become greatly habituated. And transit travelers know their trips will be reliably drama free, which increases the appeal of the mass mode.

But don't forget, another factor driving transit use is that the roads are packed - with cars being driven by Vancouverians. Anybody who takes this study to mean Vancouverians don't drive much hasn't been there. It's a much more dynamic city than we or Portland will ever, ever be, and comparing us is always an exercise in wishfulness.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 18, 2012 at 8:08 PM · Report this
I was up in Vancouver last week and was feeling like it was such a huge city compared to Seattle. I did a little research and found that people wise, we're about the same size. The difference is that their people fit in a much smaller space. (142 sq miles vs 44 sq miles from wikipedia) I read somewhere that mass transit doesn't work without density, and that is what Seattle lacks (in the housing way). So, while I'd love to see some massive mass transit here in our 'burb, I must be realistic, our loosely packed homes are a far cry from what is required to make mass transit work efficiently. The first true step is to declare a war on single family homes and small apartment buildings. We should also start ditching parts of the city that take advantage of city services but don't wish to be burdened with city needs. The next step is to charge people to cross our city line. If folks want to use our hospitals, visit our museums, or whatever folks do when they drive into Seattle, they should pay the premium. I just don't understand why we give it away for so cheap.
Posted by Season on July 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
@12, exactly. Laurelhurst drives, Capitol Hill bikes, and the rest of us get routes cut by Metro on a regular basis.
Posted by sarah70 on July 18, 2012 at 8:56 PM · Report this
They all Asian or Old - c.f. Mr McKenna's campaign staffer.
Posted by kinaidos on July 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM · Report this
Seriously, who wants to drive a car in traffic when you can sit on a bus and read for your commute. The issue is that the public transportation in this county SUCKS!
While I hate spending 30 minutes driving from Seattle to Redmond (and hate the 45 minutes commute home), I'll be damned if I want to spend nearly 2 hours on a bus for that same trip.
Posted by JimmyCap on July 19, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
HUGE taxes fund this up here in would be the same in Seattle but the tax burden might put people off...maybe. Vancouverites do not have a say in what is taxed and how much is taxed regionally...only provoncially (sometimes) and federally (maybe)... If you like the system, you must adopt the taxation to pay for it.
Posted by devoego on July 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this

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