The Urban Futures Survey and the Upcoming Transit Referendum

Peter Ladner recent op-ed for Business in Vancouver mentioned the findings of our survey. The former Vancouver City councillor and TransLink board member is a fellow at the SFU Centre for Dialogue and author of “The Urban Food Revolution.”

Here is a excerpt from his article. It originally appeared in Business in Vancouver on April 1, 2014:

The mayors may be encouraged by the opinions of self-selected regional respondents to PlaceSpeak’s just-released online “Urban Futures Survey 2012.” They said that transportation was their No. 2 concern (after provision of health care), and that the No. 1 way to respond to congestion was “expanding the public transit system.” “Improving highway transportation” ranked No. 9. “Making better use of existing transit” ranked second – something that TransLink needs to heed.

Photo courtesy of kzirkel/flickr. (via MovinginaLivableRegion.ca)
Photo courtesy of kzirkel/flickr. (via MovinginaLivableRegion.ca)

The mayors may be encouraged by the opinions of self-selected regional respondents to PlaceSpeak’s just-released online “Urban Futures Survey 2012.” They said that transportation was their No. 2 concern (after provision of health care), and that the No. 1 way to respond to congestion was “expanding the public transit system.” “Improving highway transportation” ranked No. 9. “Making better use of existing transit” ranked second – something that TransLink needs to heed.

The mayors’ challenge will be to marry the big differences in support for transit spending among municipalities well laced with transit choices (Vancouver, Burnaby,New Westminster, parts of Richmond) and the mostly car-dependent residents south of the Fraser. Support for the most preferred sources of new revenue in the survey (gas taxes, new tolls, parking fees and vehicle levies), was much stronger north of the Fraser than south. A successful referendum has to offer improvements to every part of the region.

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