In 1910, Vancouver had one of North America’s most advanced electric train networks. The old interurban line ran for 114 miles,to Chilliwack in the heart of the Fraser Valley. It also serviced the sleepy village of Steveston to the south. This technological wonder was abandoned when British Columbians turned to the automobile, in the 1950s. A 4.6 mile segment of the route through Surrey was recently brought back to life as part of living museum project. So I went riding Vancouver’s old interurban.
Andy Vine’s best known song is probably Woman of Labrador, which was released in 2005. His musical roots go back to the UK’s 1960s folk revival. CKTZ listeners know him as the host of the Folk Club, every Wednesday at 10:00 AM. I recently interviewed Andy about folk music, his trip to Ireland and much more.
The United Nations endorsed Passive House as a global standard at the recent North American Passive House Network conference in Oakland, California. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed described Passive House as a model for the developing world, “where millions await the basics of a quality controlled environment” and the “developed world, which needs to redevelop sustainably.” Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, added that Vancouver and New York will be the locations of North America’s Global Centres of Excellence in Building.
Contrary to what some urban business owners expected, the global shift to alternate transportation has not adversely effected their revenue streams. A study from Portland, Oregon, found that “cyclists spent less than drivers on grocery trips, but more at restaurants, bars, and convenience stores.” The average pedestrian or cyclist in Manhattan’s East Village spends $15 to $20 more per month. A University of Melbourne report pointed out (pp 38, 39) that as six bikes fit into one car park, car drivers need to spend six times as much as cyclists to produce the same economic benefit. A new report shows the transition taking place in British Columbia, where pedestrians & cyclists contribute to Vancouver’s downtown businesses.