UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Land use and transportation planning: The Greater Vancouver Regional District North East Sector: 1951- 1990 Elder, Brian W.


One of the most pressing problems faced by large urban areas is traffic congestion. Traffic congestion, or the urban transportation problem is not a new phenomenon, having existed since the process of urbanization began. Low density urbanization or suburbanization, facilitated by the availability of large numbers of automobiles has contributed to the present traffic problem. The causes of the problem have long been recognized by planners and decision makers, and viable solutions have been proposed. However, in spite of solutions being known, the problem still exists and has become worse. The purpose of this study is to observe how planners have dealt with the land use and transportation factors which contribute to the ever worsening traffic problems in a suburban area. It is hypothesized that the fragmented nature of the planning and decision making processes have resulted in a lack of co-ordination and co-operation in planning to resolve the urban transportation problem. The objectives of this thesis are to gain an understanding of: 1) why the urban transportation problem exists; 2) the planning process involved in finding solutions to this problem; and 3) the effect of the fragmentation of authority over various factors of land use and transportation. The methodology includes the following steps. The first is a literature review of the current thought on the subject of traffic congestion, and the factors causing it. The second is a literature review of the planning process and the theoretical foundations of current thought on land use and transportation studies. This will be followed by a case study using a descriptive historical approach. The case study reviews developments as well as past land use and transportation studies for the study area. The fourth step involves an interpretation of the information provided in the case study in light of the literature review. The area chosen for the case study is the Greater Vancouver Regional District's North East Sector. This Sector has experienced accelerated development and an increasing 111 population dependant upon the automobile for mobility. Low density land use, has created automobile dependent development, which make an automobile a necessity. A large percentage of the workforce in the area has to commute to other areas. Numerous studies have been commissioned to find solutions to the North East Sector's transportation problems. Despite the realization of the causes of traffic congestion, the solutions presented in the studies have not been comprehensively implemented to achieve workable results. There were two major findings of this study. The first is that planners and decision makers are aware of the relationship between land use and transportation planning. The second is the fragmentation of authority for different aspects of land use and transportation has frustrated attempts to resolve traffic congestion, through a fragmenting of the planning and decision making process.

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