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Patrick Meehan

I'm sure it's just a typo, but the councilor is Jonathan X Cote not Coe. Also, his middle initial is X, which is just kind of awesome.


Check out Jonathan's write up on New Westminster's FTN on our blog! http://sfuurban.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/turning-the-frequent-transit-network-into-a-useful-planning-tool/


Two more reasons why this is particularly valuable:

- it refers to actual walking distance, not the usual "as the crow flies" radius; and
- it refers to walking distance from stops and stations, and doesn't just offset 400 metres from the bus route itself.

Not only does it illustrate nicely how walkshed could be adjusted with stop locations, but it also shows the effect of the street network (see the northeast section of the frequent bus network).


The existing bus network in New Westminster was not designed for frequent transit. It looks like it might have been designed to provide bus-bus connections in Uptown, a declining subregional centre, and on the expectation that people will walk only 200 metres to transit. More likely, instead of being designed for anything in particular it is merely the product of a serious of tweaks and accidents over the decades.

New Westminster has only two bus routes that are considered Frequent Transit on 6th Street and 8th Street, and also infrequent routes on 2nd Street and 12th Street. The crux of the issue is that the bus routes - not just these ones but nearly all of them - are twice as close together as they are in Vancouver proper. For example, the two frequent transit streets are parallel and 340 metres apart. If the network had been designed for frequent transit, it would have frequent routes on 6th Street and 12th Street - its historical retail corridors and streetcar routes that are 960 metres apart - and no transit at all on 8th Street - a mostly residential street.

New Westminster is one of the most densely parts of Metro Vancouver and its arterial street grid is remarkably conducive to providing a grid of frequent transit - the spacing between arterials is just like in Vancouver. The present transit network has routes that are not organized around the arterial grid, so they poorly match the city's street structure. It's too early to formulate a land use plan around the Frequent Transit Network. First, the Frequent Transit Network should be designed around the city.


Reducing the number of bus stops, so long as they are no more than 400m apart, doesn't reduce the walkshed coverage much. But it does increase the average distance that people need to walk to the nearest bus/train/tram stop.

How much study has been done into the magic 400m/800m distances used for determining walksheds? Intuitively, you'd assume that someone 10m away from the nearest transport stop is more likely to use it than someone 390m away, yet both are within the 400m distance.

Sean Nelson

Bambul wrote: "Intuitively, you'd assume that someone 10m away from the nearest transport stop is more likely to use it than someone 390m away, yet both are within the 400m distance."

So it's probably more reflective of reality to use a "heat map" approach using more saturated colours closer to the bus stop and less saturated colours as you approach the 400m or 800m "limits".


Those 800-metre walksheds omit one important detail: the vertical dimension. It's a pleasant downhill stroll from Uptown to New Westminster Station, while going up the other way is not for the weak of heart. Some of those stops along 8th and 6th Streets might look close together on the map, but believe me, removing any of them could mean brutal uphill walks for some people, including yours truly.

Chris M.

I think analysis parcel by parcel can be very useful in illustrating the walkability effects of piercing culdesacs and circuitous streets with walkways. Where I live, if I climbed my neighbour's fence and walked through his yard, I would reach the bus in fifteen seconds, but instead have to walk five minutes.

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