Peter Ladner writes in Business In Vancouver.
Topics? The Metro 2040 Regional Growth strategy, now officially honoured solely in the breach. Tsawassen Mills. Massey replacement bridge. And motordom.
A.K.A. freeways to farmland. Which seems to be our de facto growth strategy.
The justifications for the [Massey tunnel replacement] bridge have a Trump-like ring: instinctive gut appeal to frustrated SOV drivers, but making zero sense to anyone who knows how traffic congestion is really solved. The transportation minister’s claim that a big new bridge will reduce emissions from idling cars unbelievably ignores the massive increase in emissions from the new traffic that will inevitably rush in to fill a 10-lane bridge. The bridge is a desperation move to make the SOV great again, orchestrated by the same traffic engineers who keep making up claims about projected traffic increases on the money-bleeding $3.5 billion Port Mann Bridge that have never come to pass.
No one is suggesting the maddening congestion on Highway 99 doesn’t need fixing. Just not this fix. Nor is it reasonable to expect a future without cars, but we can’t afford the 25% efficiency of SOV traffic.
Projects like Tsawwassen Mills and the new 10-lane bridge are cementing Metro Vancouver into a heavily subsidized SOV-dependent future, in spite of overwhelming evidence that this will come at a huge cost to the social, economic and ecological health of the region.