You have heard via the media that Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities in North America. And it’s true. It’s also the most exasperating to navigate —in a car that is.
First , the expensive . We have all heard about the houses and condos. Average three bedroom detached around $1.5 million. We go there frequently; family there . So we take the ferry from Vancouver Island. We tried to find a reasonably priced room for three days. Summer prices are through the roof, anywhere near downtown .
We settled on a room, small studio suite 200 sq. ft.( Yes, that’s what it is called,) including bathroom at UBC , the University renting some stock during the summer , their relative down time. Price $405 . Not bad. But the kicker , of course, is taxes—$ 100. of them. GST, PST, Parking, and Trans Link. Of course, because you are at the campus there is transportation downtown both cost and time. So what starts out as a reasonable cost suddenly gets expensive.
Second, the transportation. Vancouver is one of those cities that allowed development to escape sensible transportation planning for decades . So entering Vancouver from the east on the TCH is that one artery. Transportation Sclerosis has been a part of Vancouver for a long time. (You can throw in Victoria as well.)
The multiplicity of municipalities meant poor co ordination for a long time and so catch up finds hodge podge incursion of the subway , called sky train, bridges and widening where none is really possible. Of course, without much planning the city, the leftist City Council, adds bike lanes in a space for vehicles and sidewalks. The majority mode is not welcome. So pack that into a downtown that must go up and not out and you have what surveyors have called one of the worst congested cities on the continent. I think the GPS company Tom, Tom were the latest to so describe it in such terms. Of course , summer weekends are full of festivals and road repairs so getting from one place to another , add an additional thirty to sixty minutes.
For us on the weekend , we came from the west , Horseshoe Bay to West Vancouver via a congested Taylor Way across a three lane over congested Lions Gate Bridge , narrowing through a part of Stanley Park on to a packed one entry street, Georgia Street.
No question it has beauty , but the cost and getting around is seriously eroding the image.
Oh, Molson is moving to Chilliwack from downtown Vancouver. Craft beer is in you see.
Solar panels and wind turbines can’t be far behind.