For years I have used a slide in my presentations that illustrate the various highway and bridge projects that are reshaping the Metro Vancouver area – a combination of MOTI Gateway and TransLink projects that together constitute a kind of asphalt noose.  Yes, that’s a perspective from Vancouver, as most of these projects either end at the boundaries of the city or provide freeway-scale routes around it.
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I thought I had pretty much included everything built or committed.  But now, once again, another project has to be added: the Sunshine Coast Connector.  Some would say it’s speculative too – but I doubt it would even be announced for study unless there was some significant momentum behind it.  That’s how Motordom works: get a project on the map and create a certain inevitability.
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So here’s the latest version.
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Asphalt Noose
Click to enlarge.
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Given the billions spent or planned for highway projects that will, in the absence of transit expansion, generate millions of more trips (and hence congestion), it’s only a matter of time before the noose will tighten – and there will be serious proposals for road expansions, expressways, tunnels and bridges though Vancouver to join them all up.

Comments

  1. A growing region with more and more people needs more ( public ) transit options AND more roads.
    If we wish to export more, as the main Pacific Gateway for goods, we must have robust rail and road corridors & upgrades. As to Sunshine Coast connector, that is a long shot given the water depth and currents, but new technologies and advances in steel engineering make longer bridges feasible, and as such I welcome its study at least. We also ought to study a bridge to Vancouver Island again.
    Of course, we also need more subways, such as to UBC, below Granville or Burrard from Vancouver, along Marine Drive in N-Van and W-Van, below E-Hastings, and further into Richmond or Delta. Unfortunately those were not in the MetroVan plan, for reasons that are utterly beyond me. More buses won’t win new riders, shifting from cars. Only fast rapid ( public ) transit i.e. LRT lines or subways do that.
    We need both.
    As stated a while ago, the 10 lane Port Mann bridge and the 8+ lane Massey bridge will be heralded as visionary in 20 years whereas the only four lane South Fraser Perimeter Road with still four traffic lights as too small.
    Why have the two leaders leading the Mayors Council and the Transportation Referendum not resigned now that the referendum has failed ? MetroVan needs a new, bolder vision and an ability to work with the provincial government. It appears the current MetroVan leadership is out of touch with reality.

  2. If the vision is sprawl, then yes, the 10 lane Port Mann is truly visionary. Previous Skytrain projects have been visionary to a different sort of vision–of dense town centres where residents can be whisked around the region quickly without having to live in the downtown core. That’s the vision I wish our provincial government believed in. But no, they believe in whisking natural resources to ports for sale around the world. Seems like coal, LNG, etc. come first and people come last.

  3. Perhaps one day the mayor’s of Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey will be in agreement on a transit plan. This last round had Vancouver calling for an expensive subway along one of it’s busy streets to a nice trendy bedroom community. Surrey called for more modest, and successful in much of the world, light-rail running along two corridors and linking to the existing system of SkyTrains. Burnaby, in the middle, said no. This was not a base for success and the public heard that and assisted in crushing the patchwork offering.
    Vancouver led the whole thing with repeated statements declaring the Broadway subway was the priority, with 2,300km of bike paths. The supporters in Vancouver looked forward to their priority leading the way and gobbling the cash. Those in the outer regions saw that writing on the wall and said no. No to a few more buses and a subway in Vancouver, all being run by an operation in a dysfunctional state, spending money like spoiled children that have no sense of the value and no care of those paying the freight. The CEO foot shooting was classical by this gang of over 500 incompetents at the top raking in over a hundred grand each. Then they tried to tell us the vote wasn’t about them. Why didn’t anyone come up with the hashtag Occupy TransLink?
    The major roads are the responsibility of the province. Perhaps one day the province will take back the responsibility of the Metro Vancouver mayors.

    1. “Surrey called for more modest, and successful in much of the world, light-rail running along two corridors and linking to the existing system of SkyTrains.”
      Surrey’s plans were hardly modest. They would have covered much of the city and cost as much as Vancouver’s new Skytrain.
      “The supporters in Vancouver looked forward to their priority leading the way and gobbling the cash.”
      Again, Surrey’s LRT would have gobbled up as much cash as Vancouver’s Skytrain offering. That was hardly an unbalanced plan.
      “…all being run by an operation in a dysfunctional state, spending money like spoiled children that have no sense of the value and no care of those paying the freight.”
      While that is the public perception, it is not what the provincial auditors found. Considering those are the people who have examined Translink’s books, I’d trust them when they say they found no excessive waste.
      “The major roads are the responsibility of the province.”
      Much of the major road network is actually the responsibility of Translink, and it would have also received funding had the referendum passed. That said, roads as well as transit is, according to the constitution, a provincial responsibility. Translink is a provincial organization and the referendum was a provincial priority. This is their mess – and their job to clean it up.

  4. The Broadway subway was estimated at 7 times the cost of the Surrey LRT by Km.
    Gregor made it quite clear that Broadway was the first.
    Everyone, including you know who, said TransLink needs fixing.

    1. “The Broadway subway was estimated at 7 times the cost of the Surrey LRT by Km.”
      That may be true – per kilometer. I can’t confirm and but it’s irrelevant. The total amount of money that would have been dedicated to each project was about the same. And the total ridership of the Broadway subway would likely have exceeded all three proposed LRT lines in Surrey.
      “Gregor made it quite clear that Broadway was the first.”
      If I remember correctly, LRT in Surrey would have been finished before a Broadway subway.

      1. Certainly a tunnel is far more expensive per km than surface LRT, but in terms of total budget Broadway and Surrey LRT are both in the $2.x billion range.
        LRT is much quicker to build. SCC – Guildford would have been open to the public while the tunnel boring machine was still digging across in Vancouver.
        SCC – Newton was up second, although there continues to be grumbling that SCC – Langley should be built in two stages meaning SCC – Fleetwood should be second, with both Newton and Langley to follow. Either way the plan was to have two LRT lines up and running around the time Broadway opened.

      2. Tessa, it does not matter that the Broadway Subway would have served more transit riders than the Surrey LRT would, at seven times the cost. A Vancouver LRT would ALSO serve more riders than the Surrey LRT, at ONE SEVENTH the cost.

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