Sunday, May 29, 2011

Visit from Vancouver BC Transportation Staff

We had a group of transportation officials from the Vancouver community visit us on Friday.
Vancouver BC is seen as a peer to Portland in many ways and they have done some great things that we can learn from. They also operate under a different set of constraints than we do in the U.S. and their flashing green "half signals" are a good example where they are continuing to build pedestrian and bicycle treatments at a rapid clip.

They have had a great number of successes with freight traffic and integrating the compromises necessary of increased density and maintaining capacity. They have a policy of no new auto capacity based on their community plans and I asked questions about how that can be construed as freight friendly. I didn't have enough time to discuss that with the staff and need to follow up because that was a bit confusing to me. Their relationship with freight seemed clearly different than ours (which we will improve with investments in our system).

The peer discussions and comparisons of our two cities was a good opportunity to compare notes on things that have worked for our collective communities. One of the main things we talked about was integration of light rail with the signal system. In Portland, we have several different examples that combine different elements. In most cases, City staff have worked on these corridors until they have worked efficiently for most users. In the event you're reading this and you can't agree with that statement, give me a call.
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