Metro Vancouver is growing, both in terms of population and jobs. That means the number of people commuting to work is growing and putting a strain on our transportation system. The nature of that strain depends to a large extent on how people are getting to and from work. The Canadian census started collecting data on how people get to work in 1996, which allows us to see how commuters and commute choice have changed over time.
Today I saw a particlarly uninformed tweet claiming that “the most important areas to densify are near transit and are mostly upzoned already”. I tend to agree with the first part, but the notion that our frequent transit network is “mostly upzoned already” is plain wrong. I suspect that a lot of other casual observers share the misconception. So I decided to take this as an opportunity for a quick post to quantify zoning in our frequent transit network.
When we (Denis and Jens) got together for coffee the other day, Denis showed off some maps of renter density in the frequent transit network that he was working on. The idea immediately clicked and we decided to work this out together. Motivated by the issue of renter demoviction caused by the 2017 Metrotown Plan, we set out to quantify how one could plan for displacement on a regional level, instead of treating it as an unwelcome consequence of development at the lot level.
A friend of mine is looking for a new rental, which reminded me that I always wanted to do a quick map of rents near skytrain stations. Should not be too hard.
Skytrain station data
Mitchell Reardon asked me a question about lanes in the City of Vancouver: “Do you happen to have a figure (or quick way to calculate) the number of laneways in Vancouver, and the amount of space they take up?” I have looked at the overall space taken up by roads before using the Metro Vancouver land use dataset, but never looked just at lanes. But that’s easy enough to do thanks to the streets package in Vancouver’s Open Data Catalogue.