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Motordom Madness: We just can’t stop ourselves

February 26, 2013

Once again, development outside the Regional Growth Strategy is forcing a reallocation of resources and priorities:

Today’s Sun: Committee to study effect of development around tunnel

Port expansion, residential and commercial growth change traffic patterns in  vicinity of George Massey Tunnel.
Metro Vancouver is joining individual municipalities in trying to tackle rising traffic volumes around the George Massey Tunnel as result of massive port expansion and residential and commercial developments.  A new Metro transportation committee, which meets for the first time next week, is expected to analyze potential traffic volumes arising from an expanded Deltaport, Surrey Fraser Docks and the border.

It is also expected to consider the impacts of major developments such as a proposed residential development at Southlands or a megamall at Tsawwassen First Nation. …

And here’s the giveaway:

The South Fraser Perimeter Road is expected to ease some of that traffic using the tunnel, but officials argue more work needs to be done.

We are spending billions to expand capacity for goods movement – and now we’ll need to spend billions more, which in turn sparks unanticipated development – particularly that levered through First Nations – which will require more highway construction.  And so on.

Even though our presumed priority is the maintenance of the existing infrastructure.

A Sightline post reveals the mentality immediately south of our border (which is very much the same as on this side):

Go to the Washington transportation department’s website and you’ll find this:

Our highest priority is maintaining and preserving the safe and long-lasting performance of existing infrastructure, facilities and services.

But go to the new transportation package proposed by the House Democrats and you’ll find a funding arrangement that looks like this:



A growth machine that must constantly be fed, regardless of priorities, plans or prospects for our environment, urban form or quality of life, in the name of an economy which is doubling down on carbon-based energy.  This does not look good.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2013 10:30 am

    Could someone explain the South Perimeter Rd. to the rest of us– what congestion it relieves, what traffic is expected, how it is supposed to impact other roads and highways? Wasn’t it supposed to do the heavy lifting of relieving Deltaport-related congestion?

    • Andrew Browne permalink
      February 26, 2013 3:01 pm

      Shhh, the first rule of unbridled highway expenditures is that you’re not supposed to ask what the heck function they’re supposed to serve.

  2. February 26, 2013 11:01 am

    Urban Food: Quick explanation = South Fraser Freeway is a beltway, designed to foster sprawl onto farmland and increase sales of automobiles and oil. It seems to be working exactly as intended.

    • February 26, 2013 9:41 pm

      Also, timed perfectly to coincide with the opening of the Port Mann, it offers an alternate route to the pattullo and Alex Fraser if you don’t want to pay the $3.

  3. Guest permalink
    February 26, 2013 8:20 pm

    Here you go:

    It connects Deltaport to Hwy 1 – which in turn connects to the rest of Canada, and along the way it connects to the industrial lands along River Road (@ 8, 9, 10 & 11 on the map at the link), industrial lands on Annacis Island (via Alex Fraser Bridge), and industrial lands in Port Kells (@ 22 on the map).

    The industrial lands may have a variety of land uses – including manufacturing uses, warehouse space and freight forwarding facilities (taking freight from containers originating from various sources/countries and reorganizing and compiliing the contents for their final destinations).

    i.e. All those areas that received industrial land uses after they left the City of Vancouver.

  4. Guest permalink
    February 26, 2013 8:33 pm

    Forgot to mention it also connects to Port Metro Vancouver’s Fraser-Surrey docks.

  5. Rod Smelser permalink
    February 27, 2013 12:20 am

    Whatever its merits or problems, the SFPR was called for in the much ballyhooed LRSP.

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