Langley Councillor and Price Tag contributor Nathan Pachal has outlined a sensible alternative to the billion dollar proposed Massey Bridge-just toll the existing tunnel.

Nathan has reviewed the proposed Massey Bridge’s documents and traffic volumes, including the document suggesting that once the Massey Bridge is tolled, a lot of traffic will be steaming towards the Alex Fraser Bridge. Mayor of Delta Lois Jackson, who is also the only mayor supportive of the Massey Bridge project is aware this will happen, and has suggested that ALL the bridges be tolled to keep traffic on the proposed new Massey Bridge through Delta.

Pachal thinks building a new span may not be worth it. “It’ll actually end up with less traffic on that with the toll than at any level seen since the 1980s.” He suggests if you simply tolled the existing tunnel, the replacement project’s $3.5 billion tab could be better spent on improving transit in the region. “Obviously, there are things that need to be replaced. I would say, again, of all the crossings that are in need of replacement, it would be the Pattullo Bridge. That one has structural issues with it, chunks of it are falling into the [Fraser] River.”

Nathan notes on his blog  “a new tolled Massey Replacement Bridge will have less traffic volume on it in 2045 than in 1984, an un-tolled Alex Fraser Bridge will see an increase in traffic volume, and transit and tolling have been shown to reduce congestion, it appears that $3.5 billion would be better invested in improving transit in our region.”

Imagine if we improved transit in the region and then used tolls to further reduce congestion, using those monies to maintain the transportation network. A simple but inspired solution from Nathan Pachal.



  1. The tunnel is too high in the Fraser River. to allow larger boats up the Fraser. It’s about commercial expansion in Canada’s ONLY major port region for 30+ ports to Asia. All road, pipelines and railways end in MetroVan. MetroVan is a PORT CITY. Not primarily a IT or resort town.
    Deleted as per editorial policy

    1. You have omitted an excellent deep water port, Thomas: Prince Rupert. It’s container rail system connects to Chicago and beyond.

    2. So why is there nothing in the project documentation about this? Why all the secrecy?
      One reason for the bridge is to ship out dirty US coal. This coal is being delivered to our port since no US port will deal with the stuff – probably due to health concerns. So we are spending $3 billion to make it easier to ship the stuff out? And pay for all the health problems created by the coal dust?
      The other reason is to import jet fuel for YVR. Why don’t we produce jet fuel in Burnaby and reduce both inbound and outbound tankers?
      The bridge is currently being supported by a pack of lies. Why are people falling for this?

      1. I can see the signs & petitions in Burnaby already for “we love a jet fuel refinery”right up there with “We love Kinder Morgan pipeline capacity increases” …
        Coal is being shipped from an already expanded Delta Port.
        Here is what Port of Vancouver has to say, basically as expected “We want larger vessels and deeper dredging” : or here
        Some “pro bridge” commercial voices incl Surrey Board of Trade and other commercially minded bodies are here:

      2. To label it a “pack of lies” is a bit melodramatic. “Nonsense”, sure. But “lies” means that supporters are saying things they know aren’t true. Provincial Liberals truly believe this bridge is just and necessary. To them, it will ease goods movement to/from the border, allow more trade with Asia, and ease suburban commuters’ “pain” (inconvenience). Knowing these reasons won’t fly with Lower Mainland voters who like to think of themselves as environmentally conscientious, some of these reasons are ignored or sometimes downplayed. It’s an approach that’s worked so far. Barring a dead body suddenly turning up on Clark’s campaign bus, she’s getting re-elected and this silly thing’s getting built.

      3. Arno, there has been a Trans Mountain / Kinder Morgan jet fuel line in place for years. It’s made at the Chevron refinery in north Burnaby and transported from there to YVR via pipeline. That refinery also supplies much of the gasoline and diesel used in the Metro.
        You are correct about coal exports. No other West Coast port would handle it. And the stuff is the filthiest thermal coal used as fuel for Asian power plants. BC also exports anthracite coal used to make steel, but that leaves through Prince Rupert.
        Note that Beijing had to shut down its thermal coal power plants last week because the smog was at record levels with visibility down to a couple hundred metres and people keeling over everywhere. Beijing is the seat of government, and the party apparatchiks have to regularly drive their limousines through the pea soup on their way to work. Is it any wonder the same officials are promoting the ramped-up development of Chinese-made renewable energy products and funding research into fourth-generation nuclear power that burns the radioactive waste from older plants?

        1. They do ship metallurgical coal through Vancouver. Port Metro Vancouver ships more coal than any other port in the world.

          In 2013 68% of the coal exported through Port Metro Vancouver was metallurgical (25.9 million metric tonnes) and 31% was thermal (11.9 million metric tonnes). This volume appears to be dropping, since no thermal coal was shipped to China in 2015. The two biggest coal producers in the US have already declared bankruptcy. I predict that thermal coal exports from Surrey Docks will stop by the time the bridge is built.

        2. Good info. Thermal coal needs to disappear worldwide. And there needs to be some very deep R&D on cleaner ways to make carbon steel.

        3. My comment seems to have been deleted so I’ll try again: the best way to rid the world of thermal coal plants is to encourage the immediate transition to far cleaner natural gas. These can provide inexpensive dependable constant power relatively quickly. However the same people who complain about thermal coal are out there trying to shut down every LNG project. It’s a funny old world.

        4. From: A Clear Look at BC LNG by David Hughes
          This analysis of the BC government’s plans to create an LNG industry and associated revenue bonanza reveals several key problems, both in the stewardship of finite non-renewable resources at the provincial and federal levels and in the promised environmental and financial benefits.
          [. . .]
          Oil and gas represent a one-time legacy that underpins virtually every aspect of modern society. Notwithstanding the desirability of replacing fossil fuels with lower-emissions alternatives, it is highly likely that fossil fuels will continue to be needed at some level for the foreseeable future. Canada and British Columbia have adopted a de facto strategy of liquidating these resources as quickly as possible in the name of the economic prospects of the government of the day. These resources are precious, non-renewable and come with collateral environmental impacts. They demand more balanced stewardship in view of the needs of future generations of Canadians.

          David Hughes is a retired Canadian geoscientist and has conducted extensive technical analyses of the world oil and gas industry. [Emphasis added.]

    3. If the the bridge is for shipping then toll both cars & the ships that need the tunnel removed Users should pay for it without a government subsidy.

      1. OMG. User pay. What a concept!
        There is a long ways to catch up with transit which captures half its operating costs through the tolls known as farebox revenue.

        1. User pays discourage use. Subsidies encourage use. Full cost recovery on transit would lead to gridlocked roads as commuters switch from transit to driving. The MARGINAL cost of driving is too low with free roads & unlimited mileage ICBC premiums.

        2. I suppose we have to ask ourselves, as a society, if we want to have more subsidized daycare too. This will encourage larger families, that will need larger houses? Is that what we want?

        3. Isn’t this why we pay taxes as we “subsidize” many things from one giant tax pot? Useful stuff such as: education, healthcare, daycare, roads, police, street cleaning, beach maintenance, safe injection sites, bike lanes, buses .. and some use it more than others. Shall we charge for bike lanes or beach use too ? Or just healthcare ? Why are roads principally any different than education or healthcare that benefit all but is used more by some than others ? Should I as a healthy adult get a rebate on healthcare, but pay more for roads ? Should others that never go to the beach get a beach rebate but pay more for transit ?

        4. If there is ever a serious push for ‘road pricing’, as it’s called, the debate in Vancouver will have to be opened up about all the items you mention, Thomas.
          Metro already has their road pricing in place now, with the massive gasoline tax.
          The progressives love regressive taxes because they never see a tax they don’t like. They like them all.

        5. Full cost recovery on transit will lead to gridlocked roads as commuters switch from transit to driving.
          Perhaps in the suburbs and periphery, but certainly not along rapid transit lines where higher density residential and employment offer straight line frequent and fast commuting. The Expo Line makes a profit, as presumably does the Canada Line which has exceeded its original ridership estimates with a private operator. It is not unreasonable to expect the Broadway extension and new Evergreen Line to obtain high fare revenue and hold costs down for the entire system. If ridership exceeds all expectations with attractive frequencies and TOD, then perhaps fares could even come down one day. Suburban bus routes operate at a net loss. B-Lines probably break even, though I haven’t done the research to say this with confidence.
          All roads and bridges operate at a total loss. To obtain even just a 50% operating cost recovery rate (equal with transit), all roads and bridges will have to be tolled permanently at a rate a lot higher than the currently Port Mann tolls which are designed to recover only the capital construction cost. It’s doing a lousy job at that while drivers spend more money on gas and time in toll avoidance behaviour
          Imagine the outcry if only two or three transit routes collected tolls / fares.

        6. Regarding subsidized daycare, this cannot possibly be compared to roads. Daycare affords individuals to re-enter the workforce with a net positive contribution to the economy that exceeds the subsidy, and that has well-documented multipliers. Children also have the benefits of extensive socializing at an earlier age than when stuck with stay-at-home parents who cannot afford unsubsidized care. There are also the wider social benefits to women (and some single dads) when more career advancement opportunities open up as they are freed from day care responsibilities.
          No one can tell us these days that families will shrivel and die if they can’t get their hands on a 5,000 ft2 detached home with an unmaintainable huge yard the kids will outgrow in a decade. Three-bedroom townhouses, rowhouses and apartments — definitely needed, but no more than what is justified by demographics which clearly indicates an ageing society with a lot of singles in the majority.
          Roads are a net financial and environmental drain to society and health with one exception: commercially-oriented transportation and freight.

        7. Seriously, Alex ? As tax payers we have to ask for ALL services what kind of co-pay is appropriate: daycare, healthcare, education, roads, swimming pools, beaches, bike lanes or roads as all these services provide value to some but not others. An educated healthy workforce, for example, is as beneficial to a decent road or transit network. Why do we give free healthcare to smokers, or free education to unmotivated teenagers that could better serve as plumbers or bus drivers perhaps, as not everyone needs 12 years of free education ? Clearly some road tolls make sense, perhaps in lieu of high gasoline taxes as the Tesla driver too clogs the Massey Tunnel or wears out the PM bridge.

        8. Seriously Thomas? I ask you what is the value of a fully employed adult population? What is the value of equality for women in the workplace over the pension-free and prejudicial housemother’s and baby-producer’s social norms of 40 years ago before subsidized daycare? What is the cost per capita and infant mortality rate of the private US healthcare system com[pared to just about any public single-payer or mixed-payer system?
          By any independent study conducted over the last few generations, your much vaunted un-socialized and unregulated systems would bankrupt society.

        9. Seriously Eric? You are going to lecture us on environment?
          According to Prof. William Rees (who looked into this issue), the relationship between population and the carrying capacity of the planet is directly related to the extent of one’s environmental footprint. If you own two cars and drive 75,000 km a year, a home and a vacation home, eat 50 kg of meat a month and take annual vacations overseas, your footprint will be many times larger than the average person from Africa.
          The key is to understand how to lower our society’s gluttonous consumption of resources and energy while maintaining a high standard of living. I believe it can be done by being smarter about consumption, economy and resources, including human innovation. Otherwise, we may as well colonize Mars until we f*ck that planet too.

        10. Unlike the opinion of many I think he planet is just DOING FINE, and one reason for that is cheap energy, as progress requires energy. Raise energy prices and you lower progress of humans, especially in developing nations that are growing far faster than we are and have a far lower living standard still, yet want what we have: A/C, cell phones, cars, condos, university education, healthcare, WiFi .. Over time, energy sources will change and other material will emerge that replaces oil.
          Here’s a good website that argues what I believe in more depth and eloquence namely that ” the whole world can reach and maintain American standards of living with a population of even 15 billion.” Oil eventually will be used for airplanes only, most other transportation can be electric or hydrogen, in time. Other sources like solar and nuclear can be used for heating & electricity production, and other carbon can be used for plastics. Good thinking in here on human progress without the “limits to growth” BS and “we are all doomed” naysayers.
          Humans are an inventive lot. We will prosper and do better, in time. We will not run out of oil soon nor is the planet heating up overly until we replace oil with other energy or material sources.

        11. Actually, that is a very informative link by an optimist. It confirms many things that I believe, like it’s possible to increase the Earth’s population while maintaining a good quality of life. In particular, his acknowledgement about the constraints of oil, the laws of physics and the effects of climate change in the context of population growth was realistic. Doomers would hate this guy.
          However, McCarthy doesn’t address waste and inefficiency nearly enough. Yes, it’s possible to maintain quality lives, even a limited amount of gluttony, but it’s imperative to look at how to be better at it, and as he says to share it with developing nations instead of hoarding. That wouldn’t exactly stem from socialist altruism, but would reinforce our survival, sort of a kind selfishness.
          Then there is a lack of info on economics, specifically the current hidden costs of externalities regarding our deep dependency on fossil fuels, the tendency of vested interests to manipulate, bribe and kill their way to protecting their interests, and to calculate the price of scarcity and the conversion to sustainable management of resources and renewable energy. Nuclear is not cheap, but wind and solar are.
          His comments and links on forests do not detail the recent radically increasing losses of wood volume and carbon absorption capability specifically in the boreal forest, which is the largest forest in the world, due to climate change (more bugs, fires and soil loss). It turns out the boreal is more important to the health of the planet than the Amazon which has until recently been underestimated. High-grading and over-harvesting are not addressed at all by this academic at the local scale who looks at global numbers and probably rarely goes into the field. On that note I’m sure the dour McCarthy has his critics.
          Several other books refer to the civilization’s possibilities with illustrations and analogies. One of my faves is if the entire population of the planet lived in one big city that was as comfortable and efficient as London’s Chelsea, it would fit into Texas, or a bit more than 1/3rd of BC. When you add food producing and basic resource lands, the entire world’s population and associated support lands with some greater efficiencies could be accommodated within the four Western Canadian provinces.
          However, our lifestyles and corporate practices currently consume far more energy and resources per capita than the average Chelsean. And that is the basic problem that will cause us to run out of planet. Increasing wealth isn’t enough. Sharing it will be necessary.

  2. This guy Pachal from Langley really screwed up on the radio today. When repeatedly asked how many times he’s traveled through the Massey Tunnel in the past year, he finally, weakly said, “a few”.
    It was right at that point in the afternoon where he had to be put on hold while the traffic reporter came on to tell everyone that the southbound traffic was backed up all the way to Bridgeport and the Alex Fraser Bridge wasn’t any better. Even on a dry sunny day in the middle of the week.
    Then he came back on, again saying if everyone was charged a fee the congestion would just evaporate.

    1. I drove through the tunnel exactly six times last year, twice in heavy congestion. Even if I drove it 60 or 600 times, I still wouldn’t support the freeway megaproject for several reasons, the most important being the utter vacuum in exploring a plethora of proven transit alternatives, and the sheer expense.
      I have chosen to live and work on the Burrard peninsula in part because commuting is insanity at the best of times, and doing it more than 30 minutes in either direction wastes an inordinately large chunk of my life. There are about 1.9 million others here who think the same way.

      1. Yes. It does seem impossible to understand why the Mayors’ Council and their Plan, as well as TransLink, have no plan to extend the Canada Line through Richmond and into Ladner, Delta and Tsawwassen.

        1. To be fair, they didn’t really want the Canada Line as-is anyways. Richmond wanted an LRT. The Mayor’s council wanted Evergreen first.
          It’s not surprising at all that they didn’t want to bother with spending a tiny bit more money and making the system easily extendable.
          Heck, Burnaby didn’t even want to pay a tiny amount of money to allow for a future station at North Road and Cameron by placing in a flat section of track. When municipalities don’t want to spend money, they have a habit of spiting themselves.

        2. Can the province step in a rule that the transit has to go further south, either in Richmond or in Surrey, or is it the Mayors and TransLink that decide alone?

        3. You do understand that the Translink 2040 plan goes a lot farther than the 10 year plan now being discussed, right?
          All it needs is funding.
          It shows lines out to the valley.

        4. What about an extension of the Richmond line to Ladner, South Delta, Tsawwassen and the Ferry Terminal? Even if Metro wants development around transit hubs they don’t seem to be able to say a single word regarding the massive growth leading all the way down to the Tsawwassen terminal.

        5. Urbanflux said “To be fair, they didn’t really want the Canada Line as-is anyways. Richmond wanted an LRT. The Mayor’s council wanted Evergreen first.”
          I’ve always assumed that the Canada Line was first and foremost an Olympic vanity project for Gordon Campbell. And maybe some developer pals.
          Handy though it is for getting to and from YVR (if you can afford it) it’s hardly the top of the list in terms of transit corridors that could be improved.

      2. @Alex. The Burrard Peninsula is an area that includes Coquitlam, about the same distance from downtown Vancouver as is Delta and Tsawwassen.
        Metro Vancouver reports that the population of the whole of the City of Vancouver is about 600,000, this is just 13% of Metro.
        The other 87% of Metro, 1.7 million actually do not live in Vancouver.
        Metro Vancouver expects that in 25 years time Surrey alone will have a larger population than Vancouver.

        1. Vancouver’s pop is closer to 670K according to the latest stats, and the Metro is 2.6M.
          Yes, the peninsula include the tricities. Surrey may have more residential population than Vancouver one day, but it will take the better part of a century to catch up in employment density and office space … if ever. Nonetheless, Surrey deserves more rapid transit.

    2. Probable reasons for delays at Massey Tunnel and Alex Fraser yesterday:
      12:10 #BCHWY99 Crews are working on potholes inside the #MasseyTunnel SB. Excpect lane closures and delays.
      NEWS 1130 Traffic ‏@NEWS1130Traffic 21h21 hours ago
      1:09 #BCHWY99 Accident SB on the #OakStreetBridge blocking the left lane.
      NEWS 1130 Traffic ‏@NEWS1130Traffic 20h20 hours ago
      NEWS 1130 Traffic Retweeted NEWS 1130 Traffic
      1:57 ALL CLEAR but volume still backed up to about W 59th
      3:07 #Delta Police incident NB on Nordel Way is blocking 2 lanes blocked at the bottom of the hill. Traffic backed up to the #AlexFraser
      NEWS 1130 Traffic ‏@NEWS1130Traffic 18h18 hours ago
      3:40 #Richmond Stall NB on Knight St at Bridgeport. The right lane is blocked. There is a tow on scene.
      5:28 #Richmond #BCHWY91 EB stall on the #EastWestConnector just before the #AlexFraser
      More transit, fewer drivers equals less crashes and congestion. More lanes means higher speeds and more crashes (that are more severe). It’s an equation that’s not so difficult to understand.

      1. A 12:10 pothole job in the tunnel should have been completed by the time of the interview at 3:15.
        A South bound accident on the Oak St Bridge has no effect on the tunnel traffic; except to possibly slow it down more.
        A North bound stall on the Knight St Bridge would not have any effect on Southbound traffic 6 km away. This was after the 3:15pm interview.
        As the CAA says in its document yeasterday:
        “Traffic congestion is a major source of stress for Canadians. Our study concludes that traffic bottlenecks affect Canadians in every major urban market, increasing commute times by as much as 50%,” said Jeff Walker, vice-president of Public Affairs for CAA National. “Reducing these bottlenecks will increase the quality of life for millions of Canadians, save millions in fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gases, helping contribute to Canada’s climate change commitments.”
        Traffic congestion impacts both the quality of life for individuals and the overall economy. Motorists and passengers give up productive work hours, and precious personal and family time. When trucks are stuck in traffic, the goods they are moving become more costly to businesses and consumers. The lost productivity from delayed passenger trips and freight deliveries harms regional and national economic competitiveness. Along with delays, congestion increases fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Vehicles idling in traffic consume far more fuel than they otherwise would. And by extension, vehicles emit more greenhouse gases in congested conditions.”

        1. Math is still hard. Traffic congestion will persist long after the cause of the delay is gone.
          “Mathematicians from the University of Exeter have solved the mystery of traffic jams by developing a model to show how major delays occur on our roads, with no apparent cause. Many traffic jams leave drivers baffled as they finally reach the end of a tail-back to find no visible cause for their delay.
          Now, a team of mathematicians from the Universities of Exeter, Bristol and Budapest, have found the answer and published their findings in leading academic journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.
          The team developed a mathematical model to show the impact of unexpected events such as a lorry pulling out of its lane on a dual carriageway. Their model revealed that slowing down below a critical speed when reacting to such an event, a driver would force the car behind to slow down further and the next car back to reduce its speed further still.
          The result of this is that several miles back, cars would finally grind to a halt, with drivers oblivious to the reason for their delay. The model predicts that this is a very typical scenario on a busy highway (above 15 vehicles per km). The jam moves backwards through the traffic creating a so-called ‘backward travelling wave’, which drivers may encounter many miles upstream, several minutes after it was triggered.”
          Read more at:

        2. OK, so you’ve got a pothole repair at noon.
          More lanes means less congestion and a wider bridge means no more slowing down as nervous drivers hit their brakes as they enter the dark tunnel. Elementary.
          That’s why there is a massive majority support for the new bridge.

        3. Eric:
          If you don’t understand how traffic congestion works, that’s OK. But don’t try to paper over reality. The answer to traffic congestion is not more lanes that get filled up by more cars. This has been proven time and again. If you want faster travel times for those who must drive, providing better options for those who can utilize alternatives is the best approach.
          Your dismissive responses only show that you don’t seem to grasp that a problem in one spot can result in people choosing a different route and clogging the alternative. You obviously are unclear on the fact that an accident can create congestion that lasts for hours after it clears. Apparently the reality that higher speeds equals more severe collisions and result in complete road closures for hours as it is investigated escapes you.
          You end up looking the fool by repeating disproven talking points like ‘more lanes means less congestion’.
          “Using the most widely accepted statistical model, drawn up by a Norwegian academic using data from 100 studies in more than a dozen countries, an increase in average traffic speeds of just 3mph – a typical change for a 10mph rise – would be expected to cause more than 25 extra deaths a year on motorways and more than 100 serious injuries.”

          When you barrack for higher speeds and more lanes you are essentially saying that human lives simply aren’t part of the equation. It’s both mean-spirited and illogical, as the increase in severe collisions not only equals more human suffering, it’s a guarantee that delays will increase.

        4. Good job they didn’t hire you when they had to solve the congestion at the old Port Mann Bridge. More lanes solved that problem.
          Good job too that you don’t have a following in Germany, where all studies from number counting beard-tugging academics and all other metrics show; The Faster the Safer.
          The autobahn fatality rate of 1.6 deaths per billion-travel-kilometers compared favorably with the 4.6 rate on urban streets and 6.5 rate on rural roads.
          The accident rate coupled with the stress caused by congestion, as well as the added expenses and the tragic ramifications possible when emergency services are restricted by traffic blockages, plus the horrible filth spewed into the atmosphere from idling vehicles, it’s a dystopian recipe and one shudders at the ramifications.
          Let the ideology rest for a minute and have some compassion.
          You might want to get onto Metro Vancouver and the mayors and see if you can interest them in developing a rail link south. Meanwhile, a new bridge is essential.

        5. I don’t know why you wish to cloud the issue. We are talking about the severity of crashes. Higher speed equals more fatalities and injuries, longer delays, higher cost to the taxpayer, more human tragedies. Comparing freeways with rural roads is not the point. In addition, you are arguing against a status quo situation. I am not suggesting that nothing change w/r/t congestion. In fact, my first comment clearly identifies improved transit as the solution to both congestion and traffic casualties, not to mention your laudable concern regarding emissions. Of course it also costs the taxpayer less in the long run.
          Invoking the autobahn without recognizing the vastly stricter licensing criteria in Germany is disingenuous at best and ill-informed regarding the real world consequences. Higher speeds with the lax licensing rules we see in Canada would truly be a disaster. From my original link:
          “”the relationship between speed and road accidents has been studied extensively and is very clear: the higher the speed, the greater the probability of a crash and the severity of the crashes.”
          “A 1991 case study used in the ETSC report illustrates the results of introducing a speed limit. A 130km speed limit was introduced on a 167km section of the A61 in Rheinland-Pfalz combined with a ban on overtaking heavy good vehicles. The result of both these measures was a 30% reduction in fatal and severe injury accidents.”
          “In their 2008 report, the ETSC were firm and clear in their overall conclusion:
          empirical evidence indicates that all instances’ of introduced speed limits on German motorways have caused very large casualty reductions.”
          “Let the ideology rest for a minute and have some compassion.”
          Indeed. And compassion points us to better transit, not more white-knuckle commutes, still more motoring fatalities, and negative impacts on our economy.

        6. It is understandable that some people seem concerned about accidents. The Ministry listened and studied the entire area around and leading to the tunnel, from all sides and one of the most important reasons to build a new bridge is exactly because of the high rate of accidents; with traffic merging and squeezing, stop – starting all around and in – the old seismically unsafe – tunnel.
          If you find driving anywhere a ‘white-knuckle’ experience, then it is incumbent on you to not drive. Please. Don’t endanger yourself, and others. Find a friend to drive you or seek alternative means of travel.
          As Justin Trudeau says and is meaningfully demonstrating with hard cash, infrastructure spending has very positive impacts on our economy.

        7. Fewer talking points and illogic please. You claimed congestion causes stress, now suggest people shouldn’t drive on the roads you want to see built. There are many ways to spend on infrastructure that aren’t more pavement and are far preferable to subsidizing chronic motorists such as yourself.
          How many people have died as a result of bus crashes compared to motoring collisions?

        8. All State Insurance warns about the terrible dangers of driving too slowly. This is why driving too slowly is a highway infraction offence in many jurisdictions.
          “The biological effects of aging can lead mature drivers to drive too slowly. It may be because arthritis stiffens the joints, reducing the amount of pressure a driver can exert on the gas pedal. Or it can be due to worsening vision that simply obscures the posted speed limit. Enrolling in a mature driver safety course can be a good way for senior drivers to refresh their skills “

      2. Not just “more transit” .. more RAPID transit i.e. LRTs or subways. Let’s not forget increased commercial and truck traffic. Also: Surrey growing, Ladner growing, Delta growing, Richmond growing, New West growing, Vancouver Island growing, Asia growing, US Pacific NW growing, Canada growing and thus goods shipped to and fro Asia & USA .. as such we need more road/bridge/tunnel AND more transit infrastructure !

      3. Eric, a 10-lane bridge deck and 21-lane freeway exchange are proposed in the latest road project in a region with ~2.5 million people. You seem to equate that gross consumption of land with commuter liberation and freedom and reissue time and again denial of all the evidence to the contrary.
        In your world would you advocate doubling to 20-lane bridge projects coupled with 40-lane freeways when the population doubles to 5 million? How about 40-lane bridge decks and 80-lane freeways when it doubles yet again?
        When does that insanity stop? When will you admit that there are alternatives that are far less costly to society than automatically multiplying road space by orders of magnitude?
        Some of us can agree with a bridge, but never with excessive engineering to unneeded additional road lanes, and only when combined with transit, preferably rail to new TOD south of the Fraser. That seems to be the most reasonable compromise.

        1. I’ve lived and for many years in a city with comprehensive rail transit and I did not need, so never owned, a vehicle. This is not one of those cities. Maybe in 50 years time it might be.
          Transit lovers are dreaming if they imagine that they can just stop building road infrastructure to meet the volume needs. You can get away with that in a dictatorship because the people have no recourse. Not in a democracy.

        2. I have friends here who do not own cars and have no prospect of ever being able to afford cars. One used to commute two hours each way to work by transit. Your claim that this is “not one of those cities” rings hollow when many people have no choice: whether they “need” a vehicle is immaterial. The fact is, this is one of those cities, and if we “need” anything, it is better transit.

        3. There is a cogent, yet disturbing, argument that building many nuclear weapons averts war.
          The possible nuances of any idea should always be considered.
          Travel requirements depend on one’s profession or job. Not all couples can always both live close to their work. Many professions require people in different places all the time. Think of everything related to construction and buildings systems in general. For those that have to work at night another dimension has to be considered.

  3. I once commuted for two years to the outer limits of the Metro from False Creek, which amounted to about 470 round trips averaging 2.5 hours each, or the near side of a thousand crossings of the old Port Mann. That was the equivalent of over 70 eight-hour working days (or 14 weeks) spent behind the wheel a year. The traffic congestion was only prevalent on the approaches to the bridge, not the bridge itself. Stephen Rees once advocated restricted priority merge lanes there for transit and HOVs to improve their attractiveness over SOVs, which were counted as over 70% of the traffic (and no, the majority of them were not registered commercial vehicles). Adding these simple lanes would have had the potential for a net decrease in the number of cars and could have saved the taxpayers billions by upgrading the old bridge instead of building a new one to the myopic adolescent specs of road lobbyists.
    I actively looked for work closer to home, even when I joined a car pool in the second year. That was my choice. Quitting smoking was another choice. I have little patience for people who claim they cannot quit and “have to” smoke until their first MI and suffer through a trying premature stint with publicly-funded medical services. This also explains why I will never agree with people who think society should continue to foot the utterly massive bill to change society to suit their lifestyles, such as demanding more freeways everywhere (but remarkably never in their own neighbourhoods!) to serve their statistical 2.3 cars per family in the outer suburbs instead of looking at a more humane life-home-work balance, or advocating for the monoculture suburbs to nut up and accept greater transportation, planning and economic diversity and more closer to a much better selection of homes and shopping, hopefully all within a reasonable walk.
    I didn’t own a car in the decade prior. Now that was freedom!

  4. It is very obvious that the Massey Tunnel is a choke point with in the overall roadway network. It is equally obvious that eliminating this choke point requires the actual construction of physical infrastructure of sufficient capacity to match the capacity of the rest of the system. This should not be thought of as road building as the roads are already built! Upgrades of the system that allows for the smooth flow of traffic benefits the environment by eliminating idling engine emissions. There are numerous other benefits as well but the environmental benefit is really the foundational one.
    Using the phenomenon of choke points in order to argue for the implementation of tolls or funding for mass transit are not strategies that will eliminate current conditions. That is not to say that we should not support mass transit because we should have many transportation alternatives as a matter of public policy. How we pay for transportation infrastructure should not be based on user fees as it penalizes the least able to pay.
    The physical form employed to eliminate choke points is a matter of design based on all the contextual requirements and constraints along with funding realities. I expect that there are many ways in which this puzzle can be solved. Pick one and go with it! We are all victims of current inadequacies.

    1. I wonder if you actually read the posts, links and comments in this blog. Perhaps you could have a date with Ms. Google to locate independent research published in reputable journals on the costs and environmental impact of car dependence.
      Until then, I would advise not to take Minister Stone’s propaganda about Massey without a Grouse Mountain-sized grain of salt and a serious call to check sources.

      1. I am well aware of the “costs and environmental impact of car dependence.” However, allowing inefficiency to dominate the system that is the cause of those environmental impacts is not a way forward for obvious reasons.
        We can make the overall transport system function with greater environmental efficacy by adding mass transit capacity in strategic areas, but we will always need the car or small truck. In the future the smallest units will be the first to become zero propulsion impact vehicles. Yes, we will still need roads and home addresses, they will not disappear ever. And when we plan for population growth we have the option to design dense car free cities built from scratch around transit nodes.
        We have enough engineering knowledge and we have the urban design and architectural knowledge to eliminate environmental impacts associated with the transportation of either goods, materials, or people. Things are being built and issues are being solved as we go along. Transportation diversity is building the green economy of the future.

        1. Quite right. Don’t allow yourself to be rudely intimidated, especially by someone that proudly tells everyone that they passage through the old tunnel around once every sixty days. Those of us that have to traverse the tunnel, the Alex Fraser Bridge, the Second Narrows Bridge and the Port Mann Bridge literally many hundreds of times every year know that you are correct.

        2. “Rudely intimidated?” LOL! You can drive through the tunnel a million times a year and it still won’t prove expanding the road space by orders of magnitude won’t lead to orders of magnitude more congestion, especially when you ignore reasonable alternatives.
          BTW, I used to drive for a living too and put on over 700,000 km in three years, two of them doing 12-hour shifts six days a week. This experience contributed to my pro-walkable community and transit advocacy and disdain for driving, while yours obviously follows the road lobby crib sheet. Go figure.

        3. I follow no lobby. Roads and bridges are what have evolved from mud paths and trails across the mountains and stepping stones in the river. There’s nothing wrong either with innercity transit and commercial neighbourhoods. If I go to Toronto to work or visit do you think I stay in Mississauga and drive in, just because I like suburbs? Of course not.
          I strongly supported the construction of the Canada Line. I would support the construction of a rail link to the North Shore. I expect support for the new bridge. If the *active transportation* extremists push too hard then eventually people that need drivers, or that have to drive will become fed up with underwriting transit with massive gas taxes, etc., and a politician will come along with appealing proposals to shift expenditures.

        4. “Those of us that have to traverse the tunnel, the Alex Fraser Bridge, the Second Narrows Bridge and the Port Mann Bridge literally many hundreds of times every year know that you are correct.”
          Where would one find the time to make all these crossings and comment on this blog so frequently short of texting while driving?
          Many hundreds? Really? I’m skeptical.

        5. Jeff. Math again. If one works only 5 days a week and for only 48 weeks a year and traverses a bridge a day and a tunnel one or twice a week and another bridge on say just nine days each month, what does that add up to? Don’t forget the round trips and don’t forget that business people often work 7 days a week. Remember too that many people have husbands, wives, children and/or partners and they might sometimes be in a vehicle too at the same time.
          Do some crunching and get back to us.

        6. Daily round trip every day of the year – the most unlikely scenario, just over 700 crossings, barely falling into the ‘literally many hundreds’ category IMO. Reality is probably far different. What it tells me is that if one is making these long journeys every single day of the year, and still finding time to post repeatedly on at least one blog, research every detail of highways and other projects, and still find time to be hoodwinked in by climate change deniers, the traffic can’t be that bad.

      2. Your point about still needing roads and addresses is true. But please do not inflate that little kernel to total submission without question to the unwarranted, discredited engineering hubris that played a huge role in creating so many problems at a planetary scale.
        A second 10-lane bridge deck? A 21-lane Steveston interchange? What, are they going to shift the entire citizenry of LA to Delta and Surrey? Maybe Jolson you can propose something more reasonable instead of swallowing the hook without thinking.

        1. Alex,
          As I originally stated; “eliminating this choke point (Massey Tunnel”) requires the actual construction of physical infrastructure of sufficient capacity to match the capacity of the rest of the system”. This is a question of appropriate scale that is best answered by traffic engineers and transportation planners probably focused on a design standard of several hundred years. I do not have an opinion on the particular technology applied to the issue, I only note the deficiency, the choke point that produces overall environmental inefficiency.

        2. Alex.
          This is my bridge design proposal for the Massey Tunnel replacement project;
          I propose a suspended cable bridge design with the following cross section;
          Suspended below the main deck; a sixty-foot-wide enclosed pedestrian and bicycle skyway.
          A concession area and ALRT station at mid span, stationed security guards at the bridge heads.
          On the main deck level;
          A two-way ALRT track system on the bridge center line with a station at the mid bridge point.
          (This river crossing is an opportunity to engage the public in the construction of vital infrastructure with awesome public space opportunities for example; construct an enclosed skyway park with plantings, benches, play areas, rainwater streams, dedicated bicycle commuter route, anything else? At mid-span an ALRT station, bike rentals, washrooms, concession stand, restaurants, perhaps an evening supper club? Anything else?)
          London has the Wheel; we can have the Bridge.
          Back to reality, the travel lanes look like the following and therein is where dispute lies…………….
          Out board from ALRT; travel lanes of min 2, up to 3, or 4,
          Out board of travel lanes a turning lane.
          Out board of turning lane an emergency stopping lane with protected service walkway.
          It all adds up but I would be happy with a bridge design something like this if it includes the linear park.
          I hope you like the idea and start lobbying hard to see it realized.

        3. Here’s a simpler and more affordable design:

          Double tracks under a 4-lane car and truck deck. This is the Oresund Bridge between Malmo and Copenhagen, the only fixed link between Scandinavia and the European continent, which serves tens of millions of people a year and 24/7/365 truck traffic within a huge collective economy.
          A second 10-lane bridge and mega freeway here are madness by comparison.

        4. “This is my bridge design proposal for the Massey Tunnel replacement project…”
          Small point, but if the skyway park with bike path is fully enclosed, it is going to need air conditioning to deal with the effects of over 1 km of 5% grade, in each direction.
          You would be happy with a 10 to 14 lane bridge, as long as it had a highline park underneath it?
          Back to the current design, I think you’re going to love the elevator to the tower viewing platform.

        5. Alex; The Øresund Bridge is very beautiful. So, since the tunnel takes five times the volume of that bridge, the tunnel should be five times bigger, 20 lanes.

        6. Where would your rail line be heading to, Arno; Tsawwassen or Surrey, or maybe some part of Delta, or White Rock, or all of them?

        7. @ Eric, it’s obvious that the ~60,000 commuter trains that cross the Oresund bridge each year (~160 a day) are bleeding off the “need” for excessive road capacity at a phenomenal rate.

        8. Not that Tsawwassen or White Rock will need 160 trains a day …. or 10 bridge lanes to accommodate what four tunnel lanes currently handle. The Oresund illustrates the vastly superior ability of transit, specifically well-networked commuter rail, to move people. It also illustrates how to be truly fiscally responsible with the people’s money by removing demand for excessive and wasteful public infrastructure.

        9. So why do we not see a proposal to build a rail link to Tsawwassen, White Rock, Delta, Grandview Heights or North Vancouver?

        10. “So why do we not see a proposal to build a rail link to ….”
          Let us count the ways. Starving Translink of sufficient funding. A lack of provincial leadership. A Ministry of Transportation that has a focus on highways. Anyone else want to add to the list?
          The DOT in the US just decreed that transportation is now going to be measured in terms of people moved, not vehicles. That approach would be a great step forward here. We can see it coming, many Canadian transportation regulations are based on DOT standards.
          It was reported on in this post:

          These sorts of metrics lead to increased efficiencies, stronger and more productive societies, and greater public health. But they don’t lead to more massive bridges and highways when there are better alternatives.

        11. Oh, woe is me. Being a cry baby doesn’t get people excited. TransLink is a multi-billion dollar operation with extensive powers. They just do not have the capacity or desire to extend the rail network. Have they ever wondered that if they had proposed extending the rail network both north and south then maybe that referendum thingy might not have bitten them so hard and they would have got even more billions. Probably not. We can clearly remember no supporters in the burbs saying that there nothing in the Mayors’ Plan for them.
          “About Us
          TransLink is Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority. We are responsible for regional transit, cycling and commuting options as well as Intelligent Transportation System programs. Our services are delivered through our operating companies.
          We also share responsibility for the Major Road Network (MRN) and regional cycling with municipalities in Metro Vancouver. We are the first North American transportation authority to be responsible for the planning, financing and managing of all public transit in addition to major regional roads and bridges.
          Under legislation introduced by the provincial government in 2007, TransLink’s governance structure was changed. We now have the ability to provide services under agreements with municipalities from Pemberton to Hope.”
          We fondly remember this CBC Vancouver headline from a couple of years ago:
          “TransLink and Ian Jarvis: why failed CEO job is best gig going”
          Foot shooting is a popular sport and TransLink and we still have acolytes and sycophants that shill for them.

      3. I still think the best case scenario would have been a 6-lane Boundary Rd. to Tilbury Island corridor.
        The overall vehicle km’s were predicted to go down due to path efficiency. The problem with large, but widely spaced bridges is that you potentially have to divert a long way to reach them.

        1. How about Lionsgate, Second Narrows or 3rd crossing bridge ? Severe bottlenecks to North Shore.
          Yes a new Boundary Road bridge would make sense too !
          Pattullo only 6 lanes. Why ?

        2. Paving everything over ? Hardly. I am merely suggesting minor bottleneck removals AND rapid transit on strategic lines with plenty new condo & commercial developments such as under Broadway to UBC, under Marine Drive in N-Van and W-Van, over to north shore and east out of Vancouver.

        3. “Pattullo only 6 lanes. Why ?”
          4 lane, not 6. Likely because that is the extent to which the local municipalities want to promote vehicle traffic through their municipalities.

      4. That would certainly be attractive to commercial trucking with good links, especially if part of the bridge ramping could intersect the Boundary slope fairly high up and lessen the grade. It’s a straight line to Delta, and is evenly spaced between the economic and residential hearts of Richmond and Surrey.
        Thank you for not proposing the hugely excessive 10-lanes of Massey. Perhaps two of the six lanes could be devoted to LRT linking with Metrotown and SkyTrain just up the hill, and a three-way wye branch to the south joining with Richmond / Canada Line, Whiterock and Surrey. I suggest tolls should be half price for commercial and HOVs, and free for transit (which already tolls through fares).

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