It should be clear by now.
Another piece of the plan. Just consider all the commitments – built, proposed and planned – in the last decade: Sea-to-Sky widening, Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 widening, Upper Levels interchanges, South Fraser Perimeter Road, a widened Highway 17, an overnight announcement of a new Massey Bridge and a widened Highway 99, planning for a Sunshine Coast Connector – more widenings, more bridges, more roads, announced and otherwise. And a begrudging acknowledgement of transit, so long as the region pays more.
It should be clear by now: The provincial government intends to reverse the regional visioning and intentions that go back half a century for a transit-oriented compact metropolitan area, and return to a Gaglardi-era strategy of shaping growth around highways. Metro = Motordom.
It won’t work, it never does, as Sandy’s piece on the Braess Paradox below explains. But all you need to do is look around.
Here are the traffic conditions on Highway 1 as I write this:
Several billion dollars after the new Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 widening, and we’re back where we started – only with more vehicles and less possibility of solutions.
The least that local leaders and media need to do is to acknowledge what it is in fact happening, and push the Province to articulate its vision for this region. Does it intend to turn the Fraser Valley, from the Strait to Hope, with tentacles up to Powell River, Squamish and beyond, into a vast exurban manifestation of Motordom? Because it’s happening by default.