Peter Ladner writing in Business in Vancouver is a former city councillor, an avid bike rider, and a proud citizen of Metro Vancouver. He has called out the “inane election promises that threaten urban mobility initiatives” in his latest editorial. Metro Vancouver’s mobility has been shoved aside as an afterthought by the lack of careful thinking and crafting of what should be the Provincial showpiece and jewel-the public transit and movement of Metro’s citizens.
As Peter states “In moves reminiscent of last election’s sudden dumbest-move-ever call for a referendum on regional transportation funding, both the BC Liberals and NDP have done a deep dive into the stupid-policy pit. The BC Liberals have promised to cap tolls on existing and future bridges at $500 per year per person, and the NDP would get rid of tolls altogether. No, no one consulted the regional transportation plan or its guardians (TransLink and the Mayors’ Council, both created by the provincial government)…
Just as the Mayors’ Council and TransLink are about to set up an arm’s-length commission to explore options for mobility pricing to #curecongestion (a debatable goal, but leave that aside), the province has clamped the handcuffs on. Without a measured look at the current unfair toll regime in the context of all the other transportation funding options, the opportunity to link fairer regional fundraising to reducing congestion becomes a distant haze.”
“Both the BC Liberals and NDP have now made improved mobility immeasurably more difficult by arbitrarily changing an unfair bridge tolling policy with no public input except perceived anger from motorists.”
The “vote-now, pay-later” program policy assigned to bridge tolls by two of the political parties is in direct odds with the Mayors’ Council’s work as well as a prudent approach to accessibility and affordability for citizens. Peter also takes a further swing at proposed energy and mega projects steered by the current Provincial party. In summation, Peter notes:
“If only voters would see into these dark holes and realize what will really happen to their taxes and their commute times after today’s false promises have hit the wall. But that probably won’t happen. Both the NDP and BC Liberals are counting on that.”