Frank Ducote added this comment to the post on the Arbutus Greenway – but it’s worth pulling out to continue the conversation on its own post:
… vehicular traffic on the main North Shore routes has gotten ridiculously congested – if not exactly gridlocked – an increasingly large percentage of the day. (Marine Drive, Taylor Way, both bridges, Highway 1, Keith Road, Capilano Road, etc.) The directional split on the Second Narrows Bridge, for example, went from about 70%/30% to almost 50%/50% in just a few years, making the so-called reverse commute very painful rather than easy. I hope new changes at the north end of the Second Narrows will improve matters there.
Contrary to his point, though, it isn’t additional traffic caused by residential population development on the North Shore, which is actually quite modest and incremental. I’d hazard to say it is mostly generated by explosive development along the entire Sea to Sky Highway corridor since that facility was widened for the 2010 Olympics.
Living in Squamish and commuting to Metro is now about as common as living in the Fraser Valley and doing so. That, plus the fact that almost all freight is carried by truck and construction workers drive vans and trucks, both of which originate south of Burrard Inlet and probably even south of the Fraser.
Oh, how I wish that railway infrastructure was selected for the Sea to Sky route rather than yet more Motordom!

 
There’s a critical point here: the Province has spent billions on this corridor – Sea-to-Sky, Highway 1, Port Mann, interchange upgrades connected to Second Narrows, along with smaller road and bridge widenings.
For that money and those political commitments, couldn’t the public reasonably expect that congestion would be lessened?  Has it been? And if it’s worse, how could that have happened?  
What lessons does that mean for the future of the North Shore and, to the south, with the massive expansion of the Massey crossing and Highway 99, growth on the Fraser Delta? The Province, without ever articulating a complete vision, has undertaken a region-shaping network of highways and some of the biggest bridges on the continent.  There is no reason to think they will stop.
And yet, if it is already failing to deliver the minimum expected – less congestion – we need to know why and what the alternatives are.

Comments

  1. It would be interesting to see total traffic numbers on those arteries for the last couple of decades. Does anyone reading this blog have access?

    1. apparently, there’s a big thing with those numbers all being entirely missing of the last few years – google ‘shadow toll sea to sky’ and get ready to love PPP’s a bit more (not).

    1. huh ? I made many points. Which one ? We need a subway ON the N-Shore ? We need one TO the N-Shore ? We need to toll bridges ? 2040 Transportation Plan needs updating ? We need less buses ? We need not confuse more bike lanes with better rapid transit ? We need more RAPID transit ?

  2. COMMUTER TRAIN SERVICE BETWEEN
    SQUAMISH AND NORTH VANCOUVER
    Report prepared at the Request of the District of West Vancouver, in partial fulfillment of
    UBC Geography 419: Research in Environmental Geography, for Dr. David Brownstein.
    https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/undergraduateresearch/52966/items/1.0302076
    This report only recommends a train to Squamish, but I have to think that a ‘Ski Train’ using the same equipment on the weekends would also be feasible during the winter. I’d definitely prefer to hop on a train than sit in a 4 hour traffic jam coming home because someone forgot to put on snow tires.

    1. an interesting paper, though it appears that the author’s cost estimates cite Patrick Condon and Randal O’Toole (!) for very flat cost-per-pax-km calculations that take into account no specific details other than ‘commuter rail’

  3. I’d agree that traffic on/over to the north shore has gone bonkers. My friend who lives in lower lonsdale and has her child in daycare at capilano college has often found herself in traffic jams in the PM rush hour – taking over an hour to go across town (i.e. staying on the north shore) – this summer, when schools are out and many people are on holidays. This is a drive that should take 15 minutes tops.

    1. Google Maps estimates that an average bike rider can make this trip in 30 minutes. It would be much faster on an e-bike. Why are we so slow to put in minimal cycling networks so that people can use bikes and leave more room on the roads for cars and transit? This is also the least expensive way of providing mobility and offers a huge payback in terms of benefits to society. Why do I keep thinking of this as a money tree?.

      1. “Why are we so slow to put minimal cycling networks ..”
        A few reasons:
        1) First of all some people would argue we are already building very fast .. probbaly the fastest in Canada.
        2) Secondly adoption of this use will take time, say a generation or 2.
        3) If people demanded it they would build it. But there isn’t all that many bikers compared to car users. No one is forced into any transportation choice.
        4) This is not Europe. It is more like Asia now. Is the biking mentality hugely engarined in Asia ?
        5) e-bikes are $2500-5000 and not in the mindset of folks that can afford it.
        6) It also is not that enjoyable in the rain, on the hills and sub 10 degrees. Not everyone is willing to inconvenience her/himself. Vancouver is quite hilly, and quite rainy at times and certainly on N-Shore. It is not like Denmark or Holland, N-France or N-Germany which is flat. Once you’re in more hilly cities, say in Italy or S-France or S-Germany or hot climates like Spain bike use is not as high as Denmark or Holland, N-France or N-Germany.
        7) Car users pay significant $s for PST and GST on car acquisition, gasoline taxes, parking fees. Bike users pay almost nothing. It is part of our general entitlement society that expect the government to pay for everything.
        8) It is more dangerous to bike than having a 1 ton contraption around you.
        9) There are no road tolls and gasoline is cheap. Car use is very cheap. There is no significant price advantage to take a e-bike yet on short trips once you own a car. In Israel, especially in the flat dense seaside town of Tel Aviv with the highest e-bike use, gasoline is double to 250% of what we pay here. That bites. $1.20 a liter does not. Worthy a blog post to look at why Tel Aviv has so many e-bikes. But I believe the another is: it is flat. It is warm. Gasoline is very expensive. It is dense. There is decent bike infrastructure.
        10) e-bikes are not allowed on the seawall. Some disincentive to use them. (Unlike Tel Aviv, too)
        In time, like in Israel’s Tel Aviv, we will see more e-bikes. Just like we will see more rapid transit. I may see the day. I am only 56.

      2. Thomas, many of your points are wrong.
        1) This can be a matter of opinion of course but we’re mostly just catching up to what was decided twenty years ago.
        2) There is latent demand so adoption happens within a year.
        3) People have demanded it. Remember Critical Mass rides? Many people are forced into driving who would rather go a different way. These people are taking up space that could be used by those who need/want to drive.
        7) Car users are highly subsidized (like all transportation). (Even after all that subsidy it still costs them a lot. Imagine what owning and operating a car would really cost if they weren’t?)
        8) Cycling is an inherently safe activity. It’s having to be next to 1 ton contraptions that is the problem.

      3. Thomas, only one of your points has any validity.
        1) Relatively fast in Vancouver; not so much elsewhere. But use is skyrocketing, so it doesn’t take much incentive to get lots of people cycling. Already 10% of commute trips by Vancouver residents are by bike. City of North Van is second highest muni in Metro Van in terms of cycling mode share.
        2) Adoption is as fast as we can roll out safe and convenient cycling infrastructure. This has been proven in Vancouver and in cities around the world. We could have safe and convenient cycling infrastructure in all communities in BC for less than the cost of one massive bridge. And the benefits to society would be immense!
        3) A BC wide survey showed that 65% of people say they would cycle more if there was safe and convenient infrastructure in place and 72% supported improved cycling infrastructure Recent Insights West poll showed cycling to be a preferred commute choice for quite a large percentage of the population.
        4) What a lame excuse. The only difference is that we are about 40 years behind.
        5) Cars cost how much? Many people – especially millennials – are choosing to be car free.
        6) Bike use in Barcelona jumped from about 0% to 10% when they put in decent bike infrastructure and bike share. Bikes have gears. e-bikes help. If one bikes regularly, hills are a non-issue. It rains in Copenhagen and Amsterdam as well. It’s not about bad weather – simply bad gear. The Insights West poll and research from Statistics Canada show that people who commute by bike enjoy their commute more than those using other transportation modes. I know a person who is a principal in a financial firm downtown who commuted by car until the downtown bike lanes went in. He now commutes by bike every day and he says that his worst day riding to work is better than his best day driving to work ever was. Bike riders love their commute!
        7) In spite of all the costs of motoring, it is still highly subsidized. Most city streets are paid for through property taxes. People riding bikes actually overpay for the roads they use. Automobile transportation is probably the biggest social program in Canada. And cycling offers huge benefits to society. Money tree.
        8) Like Adanac mentions, cycling is actually quite safe. With proper infrastructure, safety is improved and the perception of safety improves even more.
        9) I totally agree! The only way to reduce motor vehicle congestion is to introduce road pricing.
        10) E-bike legislation could use and overhaul. It would also help if our Park Board were more cycling friendly. Luckily, e-bikes can use all bike paths in North Van with the exception of those in Metro Vancouver Parks.

        1. So let’s assume we get a more robust, N-European-like, bike pathway infrastructure. You think we do not need higher capacity bridges to the N-Shore or rapid LRT/subway to/along the North-Shore as enough folks will switch from car to (e)bikes ?

        2. First priority is a safe and convenient cycling network and at the same time, implement distance/location/time based road pricing with pay as you go insurance. More buses could be added based on demand. With this in place, we probably won’t need Massey replacement bridge, rail in North Shore nor higher capacity bridges to NShore. More bridges will simply make overall congestion worse. Passenger rail to Squamish and Whistler is a no brainer.

        3. What sort of distances do you envisage for practical cycling commutes? I ask this since in Metro Vancouver we have the ALR which causes large residential areas to be developed at a fair distance from the city. We’re talking about Coquitlam, Surrey and Langley, Aldergrove, White Rock, between 40 and 60 km from YVR and Vancouver.
          Remember too that trades people cannot cycle.
          By the way, what is the cycle route from South Surrey and Langley to YVR? It’s not the 91 or the 99.
          Would it be fair to say that some people in Vancouver are out of touch with reality and long for this:
          http://tinyurl.com/zldwp7n

        4. Anonymous – Half of all commute trips in Metro Vancouver are under 8 km. These could easily be done by bike. E-bikes could easily handle commutes of twice this length. A cycling mode share of over 50% is certainly conceivable, but first we need a network of safe and convenient cycling facilities.
          You ask about bike regional bike routes. These are pretty well non-existent in terms of safe and convenient routes. It is possible to cycle from South Surrey to Delta, Richmond or even Vancouver but not safely and conveniently. Check out Google Maps and select the bicycling option from the menu in order to see the cycling facilities.
          Multi-modal trips are certainly doable. I know people who keep a bike in the King George bike room and another one in the Main bike room and use sky train in between. Some people drive part way to Vancouver and then park and ride the rest of the way. Ditto for UBC. My wife used to cycle from Vancouver to Sperling Station and then take a bus up the hill to SFU. This was faster than taking transit the whole way. TransLink wants to create safe cycling routes to transit nodes but has no funds to do this.
          We should start looking at end to end trip times and figure out how to minimize the trip time. The Netherlands does this for their rail network by providing bike parking at stations combined with a country wide bike share which is operated by the rail system.
          Meanwhile, in BC we are spending billions on roads and transit and pretty much ignoring cycling as a viable option.

        5. Dutch roads include at least 3,530 km of motorways and expressways, and with a motorway density of 64 kilometres per 1,000 km², the country also has one of the densest motorway networks in the world.
          It’s not all bikes, Arno.

        6. Yes – lots of roads, but when you hop on your bike, you know that you can get safely and conveniently to any destination in the country. And imagine how gridlocked the country would be without 30% of trips being made by bike. With the combination of great cycling, excellent rail and transit and a decent road system, it works well for everyone. What is sadly missing here is a decent cycling network. We could easily add cycling and provide a huge boost to mobility at little cost and great benefit to society. People talk about solving our transportation problems by either spending $billions on roads or $billions on transit. All I am saying is that there would be great benefit to investing $millions in decent cycling infrastructure.

        7. Speaking of the Dutch, we do we not create more dyked land, like the Dutch used to do ? West of Richmond or West of Delta in the Fraser River tidal flats, south of Surrey in Boundary Bay, even off UBC, Airport Island or N-Shore ?
          The land and thus, housing shortage, is all man made.
          Easier to squeeze in more condos, collect vast DCCs and new property taxes, then complain that the province doesn’t allocate enough funds for transit. Weird. More bikes lanes: sure, but that is NOT enough. Some more buses, sure, but that is not (convenient, fast, attractive) enough to lure folks into transit.
          In the meantime: doing nothing to alleviate congestion seems the motto of the day. Who elects these clowns ?

        8. Yes Arno: Mobility on Dutch roads has grown continuously since the 1950s and now exceeds 200 billion km travelled per year, three quarters of which are done by car, meaning that while Dutch roads are numerous, they are also used with one of the highest intensities of any road network. According to the 2014 OECD International Transport Forum.
          A few years ago when I first went to Apeldoorn I was impressed with the complete separation of bicycle routes. There were trees and shrubs between the bikes and the vehicles. Very civilized. I support this style of road design. Like the Dutch I also support improved highway construction where required.
          The combined A10 (Wisselbaan Coenplein) , A5 (Westrandweg), E22 (Einsteinweg) highway and bridges that run about 2km from Amsterdam Centrum has about 12, or more, lanes of roadway. Why? Because that’s what needed to keep people and goods flowing efficiently in a timely manner to ensure maximum productivity, reduced pollution from idling vehicles, etc. This is another reason the Netherlands is so highly respected. All forms of transportation, including rail and cars are well served.
          Cycling and transit enthusiasts that support all infrastructure improvements are more likely to gain general support for cycling infrastructure. The idea that we should stop building bridges in Metro Vancouver is unsustainable. As we can learn, the very best cycling infrastructure in the world has been able to gain around 30% mode share, this means that 70% still travel by other means and therefore roads need to be built.

        9. Exactly my point. They have good roads, good transit, good cycling, good planning – a good balance. We have great roads, mediocre transit, poor to non-existent cycling and poor planning. Unfortunately, we are putting most of our effort into building more roads and thereby increasing congestion. Wouldn’t it make more sense to provide a balance? This could be done by prioritizing cycling, transit and regional planning in order to get us out of the mess we are in.

        10. Thomas: “Like the Dutch used to do.” Among the most densely populated countries in the world and they only “used to” claim more sea. They could claim more. Did they learn something that you clearly have not? The world’s delicate ecosystems are important for OUR survival! Maybe you should acknowledge that endless growth is not a natural or desirable occurrence on this or any planet. Only then will you make suggestions that lead to healthy choices.

        11. @ RV: Plenty of land reclamation projects worldwide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reclamation
          As a mighty river pushes silt further and further out and makes the ocean shallower and shallower it behooves us to explore what we can do with this, for example claim some of it for agriculture, recreation, industry, retail or residences ! The birds will still get plenty of shallow marshlands.
          @Arno: “great” roads ? Hardly. Plenty of upgrades required. SFPR is only 4 lanes. Ought to be 6-8. Oak Street bridge needs and upgrade as does Second Narrows and Lions Gate. Infrastructure investments are missing in almost all categories: bike lanes, wider pedestrian walkways or whole pedestrian areas, bike lanes, rapid transit and roads/bridges/tunnels. A massive backlog in a region where we cram in more and more people.

        12. As sea level rises river silt may not be able to keep up.
          If you don’t sprawl their is no need for more and bigger bridges. It isn’t population density that forces everyone to drive and creates a demand for more bridges. The irony of your arguments is that if everyone was required to pay the true cost to drive/park there would be a lot less sprawl and a lot less need for all the bridges you always want.

        13. @RV: sprawl is a loaded term. I prefer “leafy lush neighborhoods with yards and room to play and relax in”.
          Not everyone buys into the “density is good” argument.
          I agree that road costs need to be better prized, i.e. road tolls or per km charges as now in Oregon: http://www.myorego.org/ You will see that people STILL want to live in leafy lush neighborhoods with yards and room to play and relax in, even if they have to pay for roads. As such we need density AND more public transit and road/tunnel/bridge infrastructure.
          Do you have kids ?

        14. No kids but plenty in my 11 storey building. You’ll see how quickly people give up the sprawl they can’t afford when they have to pay the real cost. Yes, there will always be some who can afford it, but not nearly enough to fill 10 lane bridges.
          Plenty of leafy lush parks in Vancouver for people to play and relax in.

        15. I might add that your “leafy lush neighbourhoods with yards and room to play and relax in” is a very disingenuous phrase as it comes with 10 lane bridges, vast parking lots and unliveable arterials. It is the lie that those who live it don’t want to talk about.

        16. @RV: get out and talk to some families please. Many do prefer these leafy neighborhoods, and many would be willing to pay more for it in terms of per km charges, especially if the road is not as busy. We do not even offer than fast lane for $ approach. Why not ?
          Yes, some prefer condos in 11 story buildings but folks with kids, if they can afford it, for the most part prefer some SPACE. Look to some European or Asian cities how ugly it could get with ghettos, graffiti and social housing in tight spaces. “spacious” 50 sqm (550 sq ft) 2 BRs is not everyone’s idea of preferred living. That is why so many come to Canada: to get some SPACE !

        17. But they can’t afford it. I’m subsidizing them.
          And you don’t need to look at Europe or Asia. Have you seen the downtown eastside? It has nothing to do with space and everything to do with proper allocation of financial resources.
          We starve the poor and helpless and pay people to live in the leafy suburbs.
          I’ve talked to families. They like the above mentioned status quo. Why wouldn’t they take the money and run?

  4. “Congestion” is more subjective an experience than a Rorschach Test. What is the baseline against which we perceive a road is ‘congested’? Free-flow with no need to ever have to travel under the speed limit at all times of day? No stopping at all on city streets? No queues longer than 5 cars? 10 cars? Not ever having to wait more than one signal cycle to move through an intersection? We spend a lot of time and money trying to overcome a problem that no two people can commonly and precisely identify. Even traffic engineers’ commonly applied “objective” matrices of Level of Service and vehicle/capacity ratios are subjectively-conceived and selectively-interpreted hokum.
    Let’s be adults and not concern ourselves with how “hard” it is to drive everywhere; especially during the same 90 minutes/day that everyone else wants to do so too. If you hate heavy traffic that much; adjust your schedule, move closer to work, choose another mode of travel (if one exists), move to Red Deer. It’s not society’s job to guarantee you a carefree jaunt each time your chosen life requires you to criss-cross the Lower Mainland in a privately-owned car – in perpetuity.

    1. It’s pretty obviously a congestion problem when bridge traffic impedes all local East-West traffic on the north shore. I mean ALL. There’s only a few routes East-West and none avoid bridge queues currently.
      You can shift times of certain traffic flows, but suggesting that the North Shore basically not be paralysed on a regular basis is a very reasonable idea. Busses, HOVs, Handidarts, emergency vehicles, government vehicles, goods movements and port vehicles all get stuck just as much as everyone else.
      The amount of times I billed Metro Vancouver about $100/hr sit in bridge-traffic trying to get from one North Shore destination to another probably adds up to over $10K when I worked there.
      You could probably use the most conservative definition here, where the actual road capacity drops off due to slower traffic speed.

      1. It’s hardly “paralysis”. That kind of apocalyptic metaphor is what gets us $3B highway bridges. It’s just sometimes slow. That’s it.

  5. Dan – increased congestion is the number one topic for many people. How can a local politician or civil servant be expected to not be concerned about it? It would be irresponsible for them to ignore it, IMO.

    1. You shouldn’t conflate what’s responsible with what’s politically necessary. If thousands of people suddenly became concerned about whether The Great Pumpkin was going to rise from the pumpkin patch or not, you’d better believe every MP, MLA, and Councilor would have some very public words on the matter. But that doesn’t make it “responsible” behaviour. Even if slow traffic is a real thing and The Great Pumpkin is not, the responsible thing to do is to be honest and tell people that Traffic is a choice, not some natural disaster the taxpayer bears some responsibility for cleaning up after.

  6. North Shore traffic has been studied to death, and every municipal politician deals with complaints about it on a daily basis.
    The problem is simple: at many times in the day the volume of cars travelling to and from the North Shore exceeds the capacity of the two bridges that they need to traverse.
    Added to which, one stalled car or breakdown on a bridge can take an hour or more to clear, during which time everything grinds to a halt. Even a problem on the Vancouver/Burnaby side of the water can back things up well into North Vancouver.
    For people living in the District the day to day reality is that there are several hours each afternoon when the Upper Levels is backed up to Lonsdale; Kieth Road and Main Street are backed up half that far; and Mountain Highway and the Seymour parkway lead directly into the crush at the bottom of the Cut.
    The current plan is to rebuild most of the highway interchanges at the bottom of the Cut, the theory being that traffic to and from Main Street, Keith Road, Mountain Highway, and Deep Cove will be able to move more efficiently to and from the highway.
    The same volume of traffic will still be trying to get to the same bridge, so it would seem unlikely that this will change things very much.
    It will though let Christy Clark put up lots of great big signs just before an election, singing the praises of the almighty bridge building Liberal government.
    There are really only three things that might make some improvement in the North Shore traffic problems.
    The first would be an east/west route between Lynn Valley and the Seymour Parkway, avoiding all of the bridge traffic. According to the story in last week’s North Shore News, that’s at least ten years off because Victoria wants to hold off until the current bridge reaches its end of life.
    The second would be to expand the Second Narrows bridge capacity, probably by building a new bridge. That too is not on the horizon until the current bridge reaches end of life.
    The third and final way to resolve this jam is to reduce the number of automobiles using the bridge each day.
    Anywhere else on the planet the idea would be to significantly increase public transit – forty people on a bus removes forty cars from the roads. It’s entirely possible to add lots more buses, more frequency, and even reduce fares to encourage ridership. It’s possible to increase Seabus services, reduce the extortionate fares, and even renovate the horrid terminals. It’s even possible to extend the Skytrain under the harbour to the North Shore.
    None of this will happen though, because the Liberal government, who, lets face it, make ALL major decisions regarding Translink, has an almost pathological hatred of public transit.

    1. The highway upgrades south of Second Narrows and north of West Van have made the unimproved stretch through North Van a much more severe bottleneck than before for cars, which I’m sure is made worse by the much higher internal volumes of traffic–this stretch of road cuts communities in two (with few viable crossings) and has terrible on/off-ramps that continually cause accidents. With increased volumes everywhere, all it takes is one accident anywhere and everything freezes.
      It HAS crossed a threshold to being a real problem, in that residential neighbourhood streets are now treated as arterials–undermining their safe use by pedestrians, cyclists and kids travelling independently–and that many residents (like me in Central Lonsdale) avoid visiting businesses along arterials near either bridge because of the traffic paralysis (for cars/buses), hazards (for biking), and generally unpleasant conditions (for walking).
      MOTI’s planned intersection upgrades at the bottom of the Cut in the 2020s will probably help this some, but the long-term solution must be revisiting a Third Crossing option, which itself can probably only be rapid transit under the inlet. (A looping B-Line around the two bridges might be a stopgap but won’t get most people out of their cars.) Given it took decades to plan and build Canada Line, it would make sense for Translink, the Province, and the NS municipalities to start planning studies now, so we might actually see it by the 20…30s? Ugh.
      A three- or four-stop subway from Waterfront to Lynn Valley Centre (via the Quay and Central Lonsdale), maybe with a Park & Ride at the rebuilt HJ Rec Centre for Squamish commuters–or a longer Wft-LVC line via Coal Harbour/Stanley Park, Ambleside, Cap Mall, Central Lonsdale to capture more riders–would be my dream, but I’m not holding my breath.

      1. All doable with enough political will. A few month I was stuck on Marine Drive from Dindarave through Ambleside past Park Royal to Lionsgate bridge. A few weeks ago it took me almost 1/2 h just to leave Park Royal. W Van residents are wealthy and have clout. They will demand more than a bus. A wider or multi level Lionsgate bridge with a train, car deck and ped/bike way makes total sense to me as opposed to a third crossing.

        1. No more motor vehicle capacity through Stanley Park or downtown Vancouver please. It may make more sense to you to relieve north shore traffic at the expense of Vancouver but there are those of us who’d like to see fewer cars downtown. Not more.
          I like Dan’s thinking on this. The solution to gridlock is not more road capacity. It is a different way of thinking and city building.
          If you were just thinking of adding non-MV capacity – what about more Seabus routes?
          And what about encouraging more employment on the north shore so there’s less need to cross the harbour every day?
          Most cars are still single occupant. That HAS to change.

    2. “North Shore traffic has been studied to death” – I haven’t seen any studies of where drivers in the congested area originate from nor where they drive to. Only a few vehicle counting spots.
      Nor has anybody studied the potential effect of transit and biking improvements congestion near Second Narrows. Of course it would be helpful to first know where people drive from and to, so improvements to other transport modes could be targeted.
      There is much complaining about North Shore traffic but not enough studying.

    1. The wealthy won’t care. The metropolis would become more of an enclave for those without financial wants and the less well off are then squeezed further from the centre, except for the truly poor that don’t use a vehicle.
      It’s quite a libertarian point of view.

      1. Many W/N-Van folks would happily pay $20 to get across the bridge with no wait times. The mere mortals take the bus. That makes sense to me, until the bridge is widened. It was built 80+ years ago. Perhaps, just perhaps a new bridge is in order with a train on one deck, 7 lanes on another and a bike/ped path on the third.
        The 80+ year old bridge was never designed for such high population density as we see now on the north shore !

    2. 20$ toll to enter/exit the city via the lions gate and no more flex lane. Free parking at park royal and a shuttle bus that uses the center lane of the lions gate running from park royal to georgia st.
      I ride to the north shore every day and it is almost exclusively single occupancy vehicles.

  7. Admittedly, MOTI data ends after 2014, but the Traffic Data Program numbers are pretty clear. The uptick in traffic on the Second Narrows after the completion of the PMH1 only brought traffic back to about the level it was in 2005 (ending a decade of declines), and roughly balances off the decade-long reduction in traffic on the First Narrows over the same decade.
    AADT:
    2005: 1stNarrows: 63,700, 2ndNarrows 117,800, total 181K
    2009: 1stNarrows: 61,500, 2ndNarrows 116,200, total 178K
    2014: 1stNarrows: 60,700, 2ndNarrows 118,700, total 180K
    No data available for the “Sea to Ski”.

    1. That however doesn’t give any indication of congestion hours or percentages of vehicle types. An increase in the amount of trucks can greatly increase congestion even if leaving the vehicle count static.
      A skytrain line running down Hastings and paralleling Second Narrows should at least be investigated, but nobody is saying anything about it.

    2. Which could also be due to the aging of the North Shore and/or the increased amount of investor immigrants who don’t live there full time or if they do, don’t work.
      A friend who lives on the North Shore said there was a clearly visible, large increase in the amount of construction trades using the bridge. They can’t afford to live on the North Shore but someone has to tear down all the nice older homes and built the new monstrosities.

    3. Thanks for the data. Amused that someone actually down-rated this post. I suspect the numbers didn’t fit their narrative, although without a comment we can’t know.

  8. Trade and truck traffic is indeed a big part of the mix on the 2nd Narrows these days. North in the morning south in the afternoon. Which is part of my original point about directional split changes.

  9. Unclear to me why the N-Shore populace tolerate bridges built in the 1930s (LG) or 1960s (Second Narrows). A third crossing makes no sense to me due to distance. What makes sense is a much wider or double decker bridge in the existing locations with a LRT/subway loop and ped/bike path on top (or below).
    W-Georgia downtown should be lowered into the ground and the traffic fed south to Granville below ground. This will be expensive but a $20 rush hour and $10 off rush hour toll would be able to pay for it, plus with rapid rail many folks will opt to use it instead to get to the airport, for example, or downtown, or UBC.
    The 2040 transportation plan needs a massive overhaul in light of more and more people.

  10. While the bridges are important, they are also a distraction when discussing traffic. The TransLink trip diaries show that the majority of North Shore car trips never leave the North Shore. But they end up in the same lineups near the bridges and the highway. It’s not only about the number of vehicles on the bridges but the number of vehicles travelling east-west past the bridge heads.

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