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Jeff Nagle brings us this news from the Metro Vancouver regional board via the Peace Arch News.

Massey.Bridge

Metro Vancouver’s regional board says it can’t support the province’s $3.5-billion plan to replace the Massey Tunnel, at least not the proposed 10-lane bridge.

The regional district has released an assessment critical of the project, arguing the proposed bridge will have a dramatic impact on regional growth, steer more people into cars instead of public transit, and ultimately increase not decrease congestion. . .

. . .  “We definitely disagree with a 10-lane bridge,” Metro board chair Greg Moore, adding something between four and 10 lanes might be more acceptable. “We know from experience around the world you can’t build your way out of congestion.”

Moore said the regional planners are concerned such a huge expansion of the bridge and Highway 99 will increase pressure to develop farmland and undermine Metro’s regional growth strategy of containing urban development.

The region also cites concerns about ecological disruption to the Fraser estuary, air quality impacts if all 10 lanes end up clogged with idling traffic, impacts on Deas Island Regional Park and extra costs for municipalities for local roads. . . .

. . . . Buses make up one per cent of trips through the tunnel now but carry 24 per cent of the people going through it and Moore argued more emphasis on transit as an alternative to single occupant vehicles could increase that further.