On the day he unveiled the Transportation 2040 public-consultation process, city transportation director Jerry Dobrovolny said oil prices are driving part of his thinking in trying to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in Vancouver.
“We used to talk about it off in the future, when oil hits $100 a barrel, or when oil hits $150, $200, or more,” Dobrovolny told reporters at City Hall on May 25. “Well, the future is pretty much here now, if you look at the gas pumps, the fuel pumps. We see the impact that it’s having on people in different parts of the region. The less people are reliant and dependent on their automobile certainly makes a big difference to the pocketbook and frees up resources that would be spent on other things.”
Dobrovolny said Transportation 2040 will update what the city began formulating in 1997 with the cementing of its transportation plan, which he said reflected in policy terms public input demanding a city that is more livable and less car dependent. He said the population and jobs increased by 18 and 16 percent, respectively, between 1996 and 2011, but car trips into the downtown core fell by five percent.
On Thursday (May 26), the Kitsilano Community Centre will host a public meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. In all, there will be 10 meetings up to July 13.
Dobrovolny said staff will report to council in September on this first input-gathering phase. The second phase of consultation will begin in early 2012, he added.