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.