The B.C. Ministry of Transportation is hitting the road to peddle Gateway:
Would You Like to Share Your Ideas on the Gateway Program and Effective Infrastructure with BC MoT?
BCTA (BC Trucking Association) has arranged for an exclusive meeting for BCTA members with both Gateway Program personnel and B.C. Ministry of Transportation (MoT) representatives … to:
* share their experiences and ideas in a policy discussion about supporting the movement of commercial vehicles (e.g., truck-only lanes, accident clearing) on the infrastructure that we currently have and will have in the future. Since there is recognition that we will never be able to build “enough” infrastructure, we need to figure out ways to make better use of the infrastructure that we do have.
* receive an update report on the Gateway Program, including specifics about the Brunette, Cape Horn and 176th Street interchanges, and provide feedback. The Gateway Program aims at enhancing three major transportation corridors by twinning the Port Mann Bridge and improving Highway 1, creating the North Fraser Perimeter Road and building the South Fraser Perimeter Road. Together, these and other elements of the program are projected to reduce travel time, depending on origin and destination, by up to 30 percent in the Lower Mainland. Moreover, even though the Gateway Program is centred on the Lower Mainland, it is equally important to the rest of the province as Vancouver is B.C.?s and Canada?s main gateway to the Pacific and connector to the U.S.
Your participation in this meeting is crucial since the Gateway Program, despite its tremendous potential to relieve congestion and help B.C. take advantage of trade opportunities, has received significant negative public attention. Help us show the government that there are also strong supporters who value the implementation/completion of this project.
Let me add a little more negative public attention.
Gateway affirms, literally, the Highwayman’s Motto: “It won’t work, we know it won’t work, we’re going to do it anyway.”
I’m not quite sure what the quotes around ‘enough’ mean, but be assured, they don’t really believe that – as indicated by the quote below: Gateway will reduce travel times up to 30 percent.
Here’s the problem: they have no evidence, no proof, only assumptions. They assume two things in particular: a toll will discourage enough drivers to keep the highway uncongested. (That means they’re going to price people out of the use of their cars, though of course they would never say that; it’s inherent in the argument. It also means they have to raise tolls high enough and often enough to keep the disincentive working – though they don’t say that either.)
Second assumption: regional and municipal land-use planning will work (though the Minister rejects the Livable Region Plan as outdated) in order to prevent growth and induced traffic from filling up all the new asphalt. Gateway has never provided models or evidence to refute Anthony Downs’ Triple Convergence theory: once new road space is available, people switch time, mode and alternative routes to use it all up, regardless of growth.
The tragedy for those South of the Fraser is that the time and money it will take to build Gateway could have been used to give them some alternatives. The problem for the truckers is that routes built for cross-regional and long-haul movements will be filled up with suburbanites using Highway 1 as their Main Street.
And finally, Gateway has never had to explain how building car- and truck dominant transportation systems will address climate change. But then, they’ve never thought they had to.