New transportation director goes green

UBC's new director of transportation planning, Gordon Lovegrove, takes his advocacy of car-free commuting seriously. He ran, cycled or occasionally rode a bus to his previous workplace.

"To prove that I could commute to work by foot seven kilometres each day, even through harsh winter weather, was really a growth experience -- like a personal iron man regime," he said.

Lovegrove, who starts at UBC Nov. 10, will be responsible for all university transportation planning and reports to Geoff Atkins, associate vice-president, Land and Building Services.

The position of transportation planner was created by the university as part of the Official Community Plan for the UBC campus.

The plan, approved this summer by the university and the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), calls on the university to pursue a 20 per cent reduction of single occupancy vehicles travelling to campus.

"There is no car allowance in this job," said Atkins. "We need someone willing to set a personal example if we are going to reduce auto dependence on this campus by 20 per cent over the next five years. Gord's lifestyle, energetic personality and strong background is a good fit for UBC and will help us achieve our goals."

Lovegrove has been involved in municipal, regional and provincial transportation planning and development projects in the Lower Mainland and B.C. Interior for more than 15 years. Most recently, he served as the transportation planner for the City of Kelowna.

During his career Lovegrove has built strong working relationships with many of the stakeholders critical to the success of the university's strategic transportation plan, Atkins said. These include B.C. Transit, the City of Vancouver, the Ministry of Transportation and Highways and the GVRD.

Lovegrove spent nine years as a special projects engineer and transportation planning and design engineer with the City of Vancouver and five years as the transportation traffic engineer with the Township of Langley.

He has a degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in transportation planning, both from UBC, and an MBA from SFU.