Stephen Rees points me to a powerful, must-read post from Daniel Fontaine at City Caucus.  It’s his story of taking his family down to southern California to got to Disney Land and getting a first-hand look at the genuinely awful consequences of too much car-centric development and transportation planning.  But what makes Fonatine’s story so hard-hitting is his realization that LA isn’t just LA, a huge American city far away from Vancouver and our local concerns.  LA is also Vancouver’s future–or at least it could be, depending on the choices we make now.  Here’s Fonatine:

I can’t help but look at plans to facilitate vehicle use by expanding the Port Mann Bridge, as well as other recent “shovel ready” road construction projects with a bit more skepticism. I can’t help but look at the proliferation of new low density, car-dependent single family housing developments in the Fraser Valley and wonder if it will become our version of the San Fernando Valley. I also wonder if our visionary multi-billion transit plan will ever see the light of day.

This is exactly right.  What’s at stake with Translink’s plan is metro Vancouver’s future.  The choices we make right now about development and  transportation infrastructure will have monumental consequences in 20 years, and 40 years, and all the years after that.  The choices we make right now will start to determine whether our future is one full of gridlock, ever-longer commutes, and smog warnings telling asmatics to stay indoors.  Or, whether Vancouver’s future will be one where kids walk to school and bike to piano lessons, and the rest of us get home from work quickly enough to spend our evenings with our families and friends, eating and bowling and going to the opera.

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