Transportation Minister Todd Stone released this yesterday:

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BC on move

 

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For Matt Taylor, this jumped out:

  • 93% of Lower Mainland residents surveyed agreed that “IMPROVING AND INCREASING TRANSIT SERVICES FOR COMMUNITIES ACROSS B.C.” should be a priority
  • While only 57% of Lower Mainland residents surveyed agreed that “CONTINUING TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE HIGHWAY CAPACITY, BRIDGES AND SIDE ROADS” should be a priority

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Also worth checking out the “Lower Mainland/Province-Wide Stakeholder Groups” starting at No. 34 on page 24, like these:

 

Vancouver Board of Trade (Vancouver) Stakeholder Meeting:

1. Transportation planning: Participants suggested the need for a balanced plan, noting that the content in the Discussion Guide makes it seem as though the plan will be primarily focused on roads. Participants emphasized the need for a balanced plan that considers all transportation priorities.

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Pemberton Stakeholder Meeting:

1. Connecting communities: Participants stressed the importance of transit connecting all communities to allow employment opportunities for residents.

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Pemberton First Nations Meeting

 1. Transit: Participants stressed the importance of improving transit for members to travel to work.

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BC Chamber of Commerce Stakeholder Meeting

3. Transportation planning: Participants discussed transportation and transit funding concerns, noting that considering an optimal funding mechanism for urban regions may be necessary.

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Disability Alliance BC Stakeholder Meeting

1. Transit: The participant noted that increased and accessible public transit is important for servicing the diverse needs of the population, for reducing congestion on roads, and for providing people with the necessary services so they can get where they need to go.

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Business Council of BC Stakeholder Meeting

1. Transportation planning: The participant suggested this is not the time to cut back on capital spending.

2. Transit: The participant noted that transit is an important consideration in this region.

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Some follow-up in the news coverage:

… transit services outside the Metro Vancouver area will get a $312 million boost over the next three years.

With half the population, Metro Vancouver taxpayers will presumably be paying a significant portion of that.  Will any other city or region have to vote for their local contribution?

Secondly, on CBC, Andrew Chang repeatedly asked the Minister what his Plan B was if the referendum failed.  No Plan B, said the Minister, repeatedly; they’re presuming Yes.  (Then, logically, why have a referendum at all?)

But how could there not be a Plan B?  By default, it will be more roads and bridges, as called for the in the plan, paid with provincial dollars.  Or is the Province content to let Metro grow – another 600,000 vehicles over the next three decades (see Matt Taylor’s video for what that means) – with no investment in either transit or roads?

And if it’s roads, what happens at the borders of Vancouver after the Province has spent billions on road widening, freeway expansion and massive new bridges to get the traffic literally to the borders of Vancouver?

Get ready for Freeway Fight 2.0.

Comments

  1. From my local paper: (Victoria News)

    “One major commitment for the Lower Mainland is to continue the six-laning of Highway 1 from Langley to Abbotsford.”

    We only need to look south to the I5 through Seattle to see where the situation up here is headed and how it’s going good turn out. Do we really think that more lanes is going to improve anyone’s quality of life?

    All I see in this announcement is that the dominant dinosaur traffic engineering mentality that has wrought so much destruction on our communities over the last 60 years is alive and well at MOTI, and continues to do its thing.

    When the Langley-Abbotsford portion of Highway 1 is 10 or 12 lanes in a few decades and is facing the same horrific congestion that they experience south of the border… I don’t get it, haven’t these highway planners ever driven the I5? Why in God’s name would you want to copy that fiasco?

    1. Agreed. The corridor between Langley and Abbotsford is congested any time I drive through, since Highway 1 is not only a through-route for other destinations in the province, but is also the only main corridor between the two cities, and is thus clogged with local traffic.

      A cursory look at the BC Transit website (since BC Transit operates in Abbotsford, not Translink), shows a single connection from Abbotsford to Langley (Aldergrove). Route 21 runs at 45 minute to 1h15min frequencies on weekdays, apart from a couple of buses early in the morning, and as infrequently as every 2 hours on weekends. This is clearly a coverage route that does not carry a lot of riders, and is of limited usefulness and convenience compared to many of the routes in the Translink region. Given such transit options, it is little wonder that most people drive along that corridor.

    2. Hwy 1 needs widening east of Surrey to Abbotsford with priority as does twinning of Hwy 1 from Kamloops all the way to the AB border.

      And yes, we need rapid transit from Abbotsford to Metrovan too, ideally a train but could be a bus.

      We also should toll Hwy 1, so we get funding for transit and less cars. Highway funding solely based on gasoline taxes with ever ore fuel efficient cars, hybrids and e-cars is the wrong funding mechanism.

      Keep in mind that Hwy 1 is not only a people, but also a goods movement corridor.

      Unclear to me why the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) is only 4 lanes and has still traffic lights. It ought to be 6 lanes. A major error.

      In a growing region, with Canada’s only major Pacific port we need MORE goods moving corridors. Not less.

      The density outside of MetroVan is too low to warrant major public transit investments. Uber-like ride sharing services need to be explored, i.e. private transit options that are cheaper than a cab but more flexible.

      Yes to more transit, especially rapid transit in MetroVan. No to more taxes.

      1. Goods movement uses about 8% of the roads or four tenths of a single lane in each direction. If the highways were really built for goods movement they’d be 2 lanes wide with occasional passing lanes so unladen rigs and small cargo vans could pass the loads of pipe that struggle up every hill.

        Let’s say another 8% is people who travel all day for business. We still need just a 2 lane road with no congestion in sight ever.

        Now add the tradespeople who must drive to and from the job site and we need a few 4-lane roads, but only during rush hour. The rest of the day 2-lane streets would continue to suffice for goods, tradespeople, mobile repair services, parents/nannies with pre-schoolers, mobile salespeople, etc.

        SFPR, because it was sold to us as a “goods movement” route, should have been a relatively cheap and effective way of serving the expanded port facilities: a 2-lane road with prominent “trucks only” signs and a few cameras to catch anyone disobeying the restriction.

        Like widening Highway 1 through the mountains to Alberta that’s a highway project I would have fully supported.

        1. Keep up your dreams. It is not reality, and that is why there is a traffic jam on Hwy 1 east bound and westbound daily to and fro Abbotsford. Until PM widening that was a 50km traffic jam, now only 10km.

          And yes, they should have built a rail link over the bridge, too, and yes, a 10 lane PM bridge was likely overkill, 8 lanes would have sufficed.

          And yes, we should toll Hwy 1, and every bridge or tunnel in MetroVan and every key intersection as car use is indeed far too cheap. With that extra cash we could then build rapid transit.

          Where is that vision, by the MetroVan mayors or the province ?

          1. Thomas, road pricing is in the plan “LONGER TERM: Staged introduction of mobility pricing on the road network, The Mayors’ Council is committed to implementing a more consistent region-wide approach to pricing road usage as the most fair and effective way to reduce congestion. This approach will:
            Fund the remainder of this Vision and also allow us to reduce the fuel sales tax by $0.06 per litre; Require careful study and consultation and take 5 to 8 years to implement in a way that is cost-effective and fair”.

          2. I see. Carefully hidden. So, more taxes now, more taxes later, and no break or less growth on wages/benefits of the many TransLink employees (quasi civil servants), eh ? Where can I find some detailed disclosure on that, the wage and benefit/pensions to age 95+ front ?

  2. Just a quick correction: ~600,000 is the number of additional vehicles at current ownership rates to by 2040 (25 years). 730,000 vehicles is the same ownership rate over 30 years of population growth. This is based of the population projection from the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy.

  3. To be fair their priorities for action relating to transit state “Fund one-third of the cost of new rapid transit projects, and the Pattullo Bridge, provided they can be accommodated within the provincial fiscal plan and the investments are supported by a business case” and “Work with the region to secure federal funding for rapid transit projects”.

    Now while I don’t like this part “provided they can be accommodated within the provincial fiscal plan” They at least acknowledge the need to also do their part to fund transit and work with the federal government, a more cast iron guarantee would have been nicer though.

  4. In the Lower Mainland Highways section (page 32) the preamble justification for investment is: “The Lower Mainland region has approximately 2.8 million people, or 60% of B.C.’s population.
    Approximately one million more people are expected in the region over the next 30 years. The region’s dense urban environment defines the transportation network.”
    This to me seems like an argument for Transit investment, but instead it is followed by this:
    “A robust and reliable highway network is needed to serve the needs of a growing population
    and diverse economy, and each area has different needs that must be considered in the planning, design and expansion of these highways.”
    and an argument for replacing the George Massey Tunnel.

    No mention of the Port Mann or Golden Ears traffic volumes not meeting projections or the losses incurred there to date.

  5. The proposed six lanes from Langley to Abbotsford wouldn’t have anything to do with getting more traffic to pay the tolls on the Port Mann and reduce its deficit…would it?

    1. Maybe it is as simple as increased demand and daily traffic jams, in a growing region with growing exports ?

      we need more (rapid) transit AND more bike lanes AND more pedestrian zones AND new bridges AND wider highways AND car sharing (Uber, car2Go, ..) AND driverless cars eventually AND more electric cars !

      This is not an either-or region. We need more “AND” !

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