A Tale of Two Bridges: Pattullo survey in New West opposes six lane replacement

It seems the good burghers in New Westminster do not want a mega bridge dumping traffic into their city.

In the 1970′s, the GVRD (pre-METRO Vancouver days) proposed a new six lane bridge, with two lift spans for railways,Ai?? plus two light rail lines to replace replacing the decrepit Fraser River Rail bridge and the Pattullo Bridge. Today, we still have the now decrepit Pattullo Bridge, the even more decrepit Fraser river Rail Bridge and the now twenty year old SkyBridge for the SkyTrain light metro for its short run into Surrey.

The problem with the SkyTrain Skybridge is that Surrey doesn’t want SkyTrain, rather Surrey wants LRT, thus making the SkyTrain Skybridge somewhat a white elephant as it can’t be used for anything but SkyTrain!

Zweisystem has a solution; TransLink should design and buildAi??aAi?? combined road/rail bridge to replace both the aged Fraser River Rail and the Pattullo road bridges. The design could be a modified GVRD 1970′s bridge with a modern 4 trafficAi??lanes, generousAi??pedestrian/bicycle lanes and a three track lift span for the railways.

Such a bridge would allow modern LRT to directly access downtown Vancouver at least 20 minutes faster than taking SkyTrain from Scott Road Station. Allowing light rail, operating as TramTrain,Ai??to trackshare with the mainline railways would mean faster travelling times for transit customers and according to TransLink, the faster one can travel via transit, the more people will use the service!

A three track lift spanAi??would allow many trains to use the bridge at the same time, without conflict and with modern technology, a modern lift span can be raised and lowered in about 90 seconds, minimising disruption of rail traffic, while keeping the waterway open for ever less shipping traffic on the Fraser River.

The problem is that TransLink is not interested,Ai??instead planners spend their times planning for ever more expensive light metro construction or road only bridges. The fear Zwei has, that in 20 years, we will have the aged white elephant, the SkyTrainAi??Skybridge, a white elephant six lane car bridge replacing the Pattullo Bridge and an even more decrepit Fraser River Rail Bridge or a single track lashup if the bridge falls into the river, all being a monument to TransLink’s myopic planners of today.

From radio News 1130

Pattullo survey in New West opposes six lane replacement

Andrew Hopkins Jun 19, 2012

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) -

The mayor of New Westminster says TransLinkAi??is offering his city more input on what a new Pattullo Bridge might look like. New Westminster council has a problem with the current focus on building a six lane replacement to help you get across the Fraser River.

Mayor Wayne Wright says at city-run open houses earlier this year they collected feedback from the public. He says almost everyone they heard from was against jumping from four lanes to six. He believes roads through his city won’t be able to handle the increase in traffic that could result.

“We are at capacity as we speak, anything that we add to it now will just cause more congestion everywhere, so that came out very strong from everyone that was on this side, and I think people who realistically look at it from any point of view, will see it,” says Wright.

He adds a letter to council from TransLink now suggests the authority is willing to review all the options with the city.

Councillor Jonathan Cote says that has him feeling a little more positive about the project’s future. He believes the letter shows TransLink may be willing to reconsider the six lane proposal.

“Indicating that they’re open to have dialogue with both New Westminster and Surrey, and that they’re willing to put back on the table the location of the bridge and also the lane capacity,” says Cote.

He hopes discussions will lead to a solution that can handle the region’s needs, without hurting New Westminster.

Wright says he’s anxious to see how TransLink plans to get six lanes of bridge traffic through New West.

The city says it won’t be able to handle the increase in traffic

Comments

One Response to “A Tale of Two Bridges: Pattullo survey in New West opposes six lane replacement”
  1. Kalou says:

    This article is miinladseg and unscientific. Others have pointed out that it doesn’t factor in the cost running the Surrey SkyTrain stations, the millions spent on road network, or the benefits accrued from being connected to an integrated network. What about the bridges which serve South of Fraser residents disproportionately. The article also doesn’t account for TransLink’s debt incurred to extend SkyTrain to Surrey. Also factor in the debt from purchasing shiny buses that run empty on Surrey streets. If Surrey abandons TransLink can they also take the hundreds of millions of dollars of debt with them that was spent to give the level of service they have? Please take the millions of dollars of debt repayments TransLink incurred to extend transit into the suburbs. Politics is the only reason why a lot of those routes are in place. If Surrey leaves TransLink can we charge Surrey residents full price for travelling north of Fraser? Currently, fare revenue only pays for about a third of transit operations. Are you prepared to pay 3x more than you already do to enter Vancouver by transit?Vancouver properties are worth more money and homeowners in central areas pay more in property taxes and more to TransLink. The central city pays more than its share of property taxes. Yes Surrey residents likely pay more in gas taxes, but complain to your City for building sprawl and for forcing you to buy lots of gas, don’t complain to TransLink for not subsidizing transit enough in your area when the city is not built to encourage transit ridership.Transit should first be awarded to routes that return the highest levels of revenue and can attract riders. Cities that build density and can fill regular buses should be rewarded with better service. Surrey gets billions in highway funds that the central city never sees, let’s factor that into the calculations. Surrey deserves transit investment that will shape growth in the future, but don’t blame TransLink for trying not to bankrupt itself. Build a city that will work with transit, don’t rely on the transit to build your city.