March 24, 2014
…and the Vancouver Canada line case. The remarks apply also to LRT unless specified (another post has been dedicated to buses
In a nutshell, the person per hou per direction capacity a subway line can offer, is
(capacity of a train) × (number of train per hour).
Like for buses, the capacity of a train is a function of different parameters, mainly person per square meter occupancy standard, and seat arrangement.
At the difference of low floor buses (and LRT), is little “protuberance” (such wheel room) on high floor train, and technical room present in a train cabin rather under floor or on roof, are often the result of a tradeoff:
train capacity vs easy maintenance
The theorcal capacity of a train, is in fact a direct function of its surface:
(length of the train) × (width of train).
…and train length, is constrained by the station’s paltforms length, which are typically very expensive to expand.
below is an example of compared train capacity, expressed in term of surface able to accomodate passengers
|Train consist||Platform length||width||surface|
|Vancouver Canada Line||40||3||120|
|Vancouver Canada Line||50||3||150|
|Vancouver Skytrain (Expo line)||80||2.65||212|
|Paris typical subway line||75||2.37||178|
For matter of comparison, the theorical Canada line capacity (with 50meters platform) is just 15% lower than on most of the parisian subway lines, such as its line 2 or 5: those lines carry ~100million riders a year.
Behind the seating layout, a train needs in practice several features to effectively reach its theorical capacity. Among them
- Minimal unusable space between cars (and in cars)
- Allow passenger to “overflow” from a car to another one
Intercirculation between cars, usually allows that, but again, some interciruclation layout can be more efficient than other:
Dwelling time and frequency
homogeneous occupancy of a train is also function of the door disposition, but the door layout affect primarily the dwelling time. Short dwelling time is important for a host of reasons, frequency being one of them, and frequency affcet the line capacity:
interval between train can’t be shorter than the station dwelling time
It is hence important to have as much as possible doors, but also have them wide enough, to allow good in/out flow movement. It is also important to avoid that some doors, slow down the boarding/alighting time because they have to handle more traffic flow:
- From a boarding viewpoint, where passengers have no apriori on the location of door on platform, the best way to do that, is to have all the doors equidistant (It make also the best use of the platform space)
- From an alighting perspective, all doors on a car should be equidistant
A single track, vs a double track, at the end of a line could be used as a cost saving measure, but obviously it affects the freqeuncy of a train line. That said, if the single track portion is short enough, the impact can be relatively minimal.
- Frequency can be be obtained by using a tail track to store trains
The possible frequency is then:
((time to travel for and back the single track) + (dwelling time × number of train to be stored) ) / (number of train stored).
As an example, at Richmond Brighouse station, on the Vancouver’s Canada line
- the tail track past the station can accomodate one stored train , and the station another one
- the travel time between Lansdowne and Brighouse is ~90s and a typical station dwelling time ~20s
2 trains can run every 4mn on the Richmond Brighouse branch of the Canada line.
Because one train can run every 4mn on the Airport line, it is possible to get a train every 80s, or 45 trains per hour, on the common trunk (Bridgeport-Waterfront)
Even, with 40meters long train, the Canada line could provides a caapcity of ~15,000pphpd, assuming 330 passengers per train: that is 3 times of the actual capacity. Greater frequency are theorically possible with the introduction of short turn train (avoiding the single track section):
PS The above numbers for the Canada line, assume the availability of rolling stock, power supply, track signalling, and fast operating switch: All those could need to be upgraded, as well as the stations along the line to handle the corresponding increase in ridership, but it could be no need for heavy civil engineering work/track reconfigutation toward a capacity increase of 15,000+ pphd
 Addressing Canada Line capacity questions, Translink, June 3, 2010.
February 19, 2014
This article has been mainly written in November 2013, so could need to be read in the context of a still active law suit regarding the construction of a bike path in Hadden park . I have added further information made available in the interim
Is it legal to cycle in Hadden park (block 136-137)?
Like in most of the urban parks, cycling is prohibited in Vancouver parks, except on footpath or promenade specifically designated as a cycle path : Does such exception exist for Hadden park?
The cycle maps provided by different sources from City of Vancouver seem to be confusing:
The signs, along the seaside route, say a total different story again:
The real sanctioned route is apriori:
The Vancouver street and traffic by-law confirms this interpretation 
The lawsuit 
The Nov 2013 Megan Carvell-Davis vs City of Vancouver lawsuit states two important points:
- The City of Vancouver approved an “active transportation corridor” which mandates a bicycle path through Hadden park but requires the approval of the park board to approve the construction of the bicycle path
- The construction of a paved bicycle path through Hadden park is a violation of the term of the Hadden trust.
- This first point insisting on the bike path rational, tend to support the idea that the goal pursued by the construction of the bike path thru Hadden, is not for the enjoyment of the public, what is a first contravention of the Hadden covenant
- The second point claims that the bike path is an alteration to its present state of nature which is not reasonably motivated by neither park preservation, safety or enjoyment of the public
It will be probably an important legal point to demonstrate that either or not, a legally sanctioned bike path already exists or not in the Hadden park land under covenant (block 136 and 137).
It will be also eventually important for the petitioner, to demonstrate that the current use of Ogden avenue constitutes a reasonable, and safe alternative for cyclists to enjoy the current state of nature of the park, making the request for a bike path in the park an unreasonable alteration of it.
There is little question that cycling along Ogden allows cyclists to enjoy the park and the view it has to offer. The arrangement chosen to the under construction bike route along Point Grey road (near Trutch) will support the idea, that Ogden avenue is
- either safe enough for cyclist of all age and ability to cycle,
- or the city can modify Ogden avenue to achieve a desired safety without infringing the Hadden park covenant:
To give more strength to its case the petitioner has provided reference to a peer reviewved scientific paper titled ”Safe Cycling: How Do Risk Perceptions Compare With Observed Risk?”  (affidavit ). A paper, we have already studied here. What is important to retain for the case under trial is that this paper states that a “bike only path” and “residential street designated bike route” exhibit a similar level of objective safety (thought that the perceived risk is measured greater in the later case) as shown in this graph:
The petitioner case proved strong enough to have the City of Vancouver finally renouncing to fight against it on February 17th. That also makes the route alignment, thru the picnic area, in Kitsilano park, meaningless.
Main source is the lawsuit filled by 
 park by laws City of Vancouver, Jan 1st, 2008.
 Seaside Greenway Completion and York Bikeway (Phase 1 of Point Grey-Cornwall Active Transportation Corridor),General Manager of Engineering Services, City of Vancouver, July 16, 2013
 lawsuit filled by Megan Carvell-Davis vs City of Vancouver, on Nov 4th, 2013
 street and traffic by-law no. 2849, City of Vancouver, January 1st, 2014
 Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study, Teschke K, Harris MA, Reynolds CC, Winters M, Babul S, Chipman M, Cusimano MD, Brubacher JR, Hunte G, Friedman SM, Monro M, Shen H, Vernich L, Cripton PA., American Journal of Public Health: December 2012, Vol. 102, No. 12, pp. 2336-2343.
November 12, 2013
Most of the below come from Megan Carvell Davis affidavit in . She had already stated the issue in a comment on the bike lane vs the park post, but then unaware of the covenant exact terms, I have no commented on that before. The below is under the light of this covenant attached in :
Some historical context
The land known now as Hadden park (originally given to CPR as a provincial crown grant in 1886) was promised to be a harbour, according to the CPR wishes:
The CPR always had some development plans for this Kitsilano area, and those encountered opposition at the time (“already many nimby there!”): Even the park board objected to see this area (the land east of Chestnut, was also slated to be an indian reserve by the federal government), to be turned into a major facility for shipping, this in July 1919 . The area was then looking like below:
“According to the 1933 journal of Major J.S. Matthews, Vancouver’s first city archivist, on his final trip to Vancouver in 1928,
Mr Harvey Hadden, a real estate business man from London, expressed the view that he would “like to do something for Vancouver which had done so well for him-in his real estate investments”. Hadden accepted the proposal of his former architect and friend, Mr S. M. Eveleigh that there should be a waterfront park connecting the Kitsilano Indian Reserve to Kitsilan Beach.” 
In October 1928, Mr Hadden, gave for a $1 and subject to a covenant, to the city of Vancouver, the properties he had just purchased from the CPR. That is block 136 and 137 (DL 526), then valued at $41,000, are shown below:
The city accepted the gift, and the covenant.
Hadden park, as we know today, consists of
- Block 136 and 137 (DL 526) as donated by Mr Harvey Hadden
- “Closed road” Maple and Cypress, North of Ogden, on April 27, 1931
- “water lots” 5780 and 5781 granted by the Province of british columbia, on June 12, 1935
- The Centennial Totem pole erected in October 1958, is in the Cypress ROW north of Ogden
- Part of those land has been filled up, noticeabily to erect the maritime museum in 1958, and the unleashed dog area is also on this area
The term of the Hadden Trust are that Hadden Park (that is stricto senso applying to block 136 and block 137 as illustrated above)
- “shall be used as and for a Public Park or recreation ground and not for any other purpose whatsoever”
- “shall be improved and put in shape as a public park or recreation ground, but in carrying out such improvements the Board of Park Commissioners shall keep the property as near as possible in its present state of nature subject to such alterations or changes as may be reasonable necessary for its preservation and for the safety and enjoyment of the public. it being the desire of the grantor that those using the Park shall as far as reasonably may be enjoy the same in its natural state and condition”
The maritime museum
In the 1950′s, the city had acquired the St Roch vessel and was looking for a place to moor and preserve it.
After much controversy, a decision was made to house the St Roch into a new building: the maritime museum. This will be built circa 1958, on land granted by the Province in 1935: The “water lots” 5780 and 5781 have been partially filled for that purpose, and that has been considered at one point as not violating the covenant by the city . The fact that the blocks 136 and 137, have lost de facto, their waterfront status, is considered as a violation of the riparian right of the said blocks, this, according to the Hadden park conservators .
The dog off-leash area
The covenant, stipulates that “the grantee shall use and maintain the properties for park purposes and the beach for bathing more especially for women and children”. In 1998, the park board approved Hadden Park Beach as an off-leash dog area, while that dogs are not allowed on bathing beaches, according to the park bylaws .
The enforcement of the covenant in that matter per-suppose, that the blocks 136 and 137 have riparian right, but the city viewpoint could be that:
Mr Hadden rights did not extend below high water mark as he did not hold title to the water lot which was at that time in the name of the crown. He therefore had no power to convey any rights with respect to bathing on the beach .
The letter and the spirit of the covenant
The spirit of the covenant could not have been respected that well, but so far the letter of the covenant has been relatively well respected (neither the maritime museum, nor the totem pole are on properties donated by Hadden). Basically, the only alteration the properties has seen since 1928, has been the installation of benches (already there circa ~1940), and can be considered, as a reasonnable alteration forward a better enjoyment of the park. The construction of a bike path, directly on block 136-137 could certainly set a major precedent:
Main source is the lawsuit filled by Megan Carvell Davis 
 lawsuit filled by Megan-Carvell-Davis-vs-City-of-Vancouver, on Nov 4th, 2013
 park by laws City of Vancouver, Jan 1st, 2008.
 Corporation counsel letter to city, November 20th, 1957, as attached in 
October 30, 2013
Some critics of the park board plan  have called the infamously bike path approved by the park board, a “bike freeway”. Is it an “over the top” rethoric”?
A freeway definition:
dual-carriageway, especially one with controlled access.
The dual carriageway is there, albeit on a short section, where downhill bikes can accumulate lot of speed (the reason for the “freeway”?). That is a point for the bike freeway qualification. Unfortunately it is also at the most convoited picnic area site…If the project proceeds ahead, picnickers will be separated from the shore by no less than 3 rows of paths…The bike path takes more space than we have initialed thought
Notice, that the gradient of the slope is roughly similar to the one on McNicoll, but the elevation difference, 6m, is 50% greater than between arbutus and Maple, along Mc Nicoll (4m). That increases the risk of speedy cyclists, and potential safety hazard
Notice also, that from a cycling effort perspective, it makes little sense, to go down to the parking lot from Arbutus (2m elevation change), to have a longer hill.
- On october 7th, the Park board approves a bike lane bisecting Kistilano beach and Hadden parks, the approved report  mentions that benches need to be relocated, and fences erected around the playground area (see more here)
- On october 14th, thanks to some chalk lines materializing the approved bike route alignment, park users and residents discover the existence of the project. That creates an outrage in the community, Howard Kesley seems to emerge as a leader, and seems to be behind @savekitsbeach and the associated facebook page (Raymond Tomlin, is also following this on his blog Vanramblings)
- On october 15th, Park board commissioner Aaron Jasper explains it is a “done deal”, and there is no intention to consult the public on it 
- On october 16th, The city of Vancouver issues the request for proposal PS20130532, with detailled engineering plan – specifying at least 5 memorial benches to be relocated, in addition of picnic tables, and the fencing of the playground area. the deadline is November 5th
- On october 18th, Park board chair Sarah Blyth issues a media release  qualifying as “untrue rumour” the above and stating that the “White chalk lines outlining a wide route through the Park” as not in any way reflect the route to be taken”. The park board staff said otherwise the day before. She goes as far as to say that “The final route has not been determined”, and advisory group will be established to work on the final design of the route. Some media, like the Georgia Straight, reprint the media releases in extenso without pointing any contradictions
- On october 20th, a town hall meeting organized by savekitsbeach is held at the Kitsilano boat house. NPA park board commissioners Melissa De Genova and John Coupar, NPA city Cuuncillor George Affleck and Vision park board commissioner Constance Barnes are attending. Ms Barnes then recognizes than the lack of public consultation was a mistake, explained the the park board has been misleaded by its staff, and agreed to correct that…
- On october 22th, Park board chair Sarah Blyth and commissioner Constance Barnes agree finally to qualify the attendance to the sunday town hall meeting, as a “mob of retiree loitering around the Boathouse” and “enjoying obsolete pasttime…as picnicking” .
- On october 28th, NPA Park board John Coupar and Melissa De Genova issued a motion calling for Special Meeting on Kits Beach Park, to be held on Novemebr 4th, 2013, 6pm
In principle, After all the damages inflicted to the public trust, by more noticeabily park board commissioners Barnes and Blyth, the park board, recognizing it has been off track, should be eager to regain this trust and approves the NPA motion…and finally forms the promised advisory committee….
…let see how gonna unfold all this….
 Seaside Greenway Improvements,Vancouver Park Board, Oct 1st, 2013
 Park Board statement on Hadden and Kitsilano Beach Bike Path – Next Steps, Sarah Blyth, October 18th, 2013
 Kits Beach bike path a done deal, Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier – October 15, 2013
October 28, 2013
Some people ask,
Many parks have bike paths, or scenic drives. Some have even a train, what is the problem with Kits beach?
The problem is one of geometry:
- A park needs to be accessible
- The smaller is the park, the more a new infrastructure impacts it
- The larger a park is, the more it needs to have access infrastructure, if one want to see it “used”.
According to what is measured, the impact of a bike path along Kits beach (around 1.1km) is between 2.5% of the total park area to 10% of the effective green space (vegetation):
In comparison, John Hendry park (Trout lake) is 27Ha and has a ~900m bike path. Kits beach a 50% smaller park, could have a bike path 40% longer than John Hendry park. The Trout lake bike path occupies roughly 1% of the park area. A number order of magnitude lower than in the Kitsilano Beach case
- Some shapes are better than other
Comparing surfaces area disregarding their shapes is missing the most critical informations on the quality of the space
Kitsilano is a narrow “strip park”, which usuability can be quickly compromised, if it can’t offer swaths of grass of sufficient size for spontaneous activities, usually occuring on grass that is ball games but not only; spontaneous activities typically occur on space with non defined use.
A good picnic site, in addition of a good view, also requires an agreable environment able to maintain a minimun of “social distance”, with other people and activities…what requires a certain size, too
One of the problem with a bike path into Kitsilano park, as initially approved by the park board , is that it will impact other activities justifying a park in the first place. If the park board proceeds as it wants, there is no doubt, the bike path will be successful, but that also means, that our seaside will become increasingly homogeneous, geared toward the enjoyment of cycling only, instead to offer a wide and diverse range of recreational activities
Fortunately, it is possible to provide a safe and scenic ride to cyclists, with minimal impact to the park, and its current usages, as we have seen here and in more detail, there. The question rest, does the Park board will finally listen?
 twitter user neil21
 Seaside Greenway Improvements,Vancouver Park Board, Oct 1st, 2013
 flickr user keepitsurreal