Memo to Metro Mayors: Forget Road Pricing, build With LRT!
As Vancouver’s metro mayor’s dig themselves further into a financial morass, with the proposed now $3.2 billion Broadway subway to Arbutus and the now over $100/km Surrey LRT, which will demand more and more punitive regional taxation, why instead don’t we plan for affordable European style LRT?
The trouble is, our regional mayors think they live in the 1970′s, where upping taxes imposes no problem’s at all. In fact, the Sky is the limit, for many regional politicians, when it comes to the issue of taxes.
BC and regional politico’s are also wedded for the dated and very expensive proprietary ALRT/ART (SkyTrain) light-metro, which today is seen by the world as a curiosity , not quite as interesting as the Wuppertal Schwebebahn monorail.
ALRT/ART SkyTrain costs more to build, maintain and operate than light rail and it is also capacity constricted, but that does not stop the powers that be to squander more money on this relic, because it is their belief that the public has very deep pockets for this sort of thing. Thus the dreaded threat of “road pricing” or “congestion charges” hangs over the heads of over taxed residents.
TransLink and the regional mayors seem ignorant of recent history especially with the results of the 2015 transit plebiscite and that another way must be planned for.
“Tax and spend – tax and spend” is the refrain of most regional mayors, when instead they should be singing in chorus, “getting our best bang for the taxpayer’s buck“.
It seems those who reside in Cambridge UK, understand this.
providing affordable quality public transportation.
Readers of “Cambridge News” say a congestion charge is not the answer to the traffic problems of the English city and some suggest light rail is a better answer than buses for CAMBRIDGE 50 miles north of London, according to a post on the “cambridge news dot co dot uk” site. Paris or Dublin, Ireland, could be models for such an LRT service:
Congestion charge is NOT the answer to Cambridge’s traffic problems, News readers say
The idea of a congestion charge for Cambridge has got people talking
By Freya Leng
3 JAN 2017
Making drivers who are coming into
Cambridge pay a congestion charge is not the answer to beating the city’s jams, according to News readers.
As reported in the News, Tim Bick, leader of the Lib Dem group on the city council and the man who clinched Cambridge’s £500 million (USD $611.6 million) City Deal, says the ‘taboo’ against making motorists pay must finally be shattered.
His comments come ahead of a response due to be published by City Deal leaders on Friday (January 6) to the furore that greeted last year’s proposals to tackle Cambridge’s jams, including the scheme for Peak-time Congestion Control Points (PCCPs), which would bar general traffic from some roads at rush-hour.
But most readers on our social media channels and website say a congestion charge is not the answer to the city’s traffic problems.
Writing on the News Facebook page, Alexa Stansall said: “This councillor sounds completely detached and removed from the reality of cost of living, Cambridge wages and housing.
“The congestion charge will hit those on lower wages that often car share to work and can’t afford the high bus fares into Cambridge. There isn’t ‘an irrational fear’ of the congestion charge it’s a very real fear based on the reality of costs of living wages and house prices in Cambridge.”
Eve Wooldrige said: “Ridiculous idea! The bus service is nowhere near efficient enough, or cheap enough to encourage people to use it. The last time I used park and ride, I vowed never to use it again!
“People will continue to drive, unless park and ride charges are reduced to an affordable and tempting level and by running far more buses!! If a congestion charge is enforced, it will just force people to reconsider living and working in Cambridge.”
Michael Abberton said: “Before there is any talk of a charge, the infrastructure has to be in place. Public transport provision and safety measures for cyclists are nowhere near good enough. This will also penalise those people forced out of the city by out of control housing costs. All these elements are linked and have to be considered holistically.
“The introduction of CC without any viable alternative and without addressing affordable housing and rent controls will not do anything to address our catastrophic congestion and air quality crises, and just bring more revenue to the council.”
Other people commenting on the News website, felt a light rail was an option.
Alek said: “A congestion charge is NOT the answer. Cambridge will suffer long-term if that plan were to occur. After all, for shopping and entertainment – People can travel to nearby Newmarket and Huntingdon.
“The answer lies with a Light- Mono rail system, scrapping the guided bus and introducing Trams.”
SashaM said: “A congestion charge cannot be introduced until a sensible alternative is available, i.e light rail or trams.
“Buses are not the answer! It takes me 8 minutes to drive into the Grand Arcade – the C7 bus takes 45 minutes usually, 35 if no traffic at all.”
Cambridge1985 said: “For me to use the bus for work, I’d have to pay £87.50 per month (USD $107.06), on top of my car costs. And for what? The buses in my village never turn up on time, and regularly don’t show up at all…I think there is a lot of work to be done before you can expect people to use the bus services currently provided.
“Rather than constantly trying to squeeze more money out of drivers, maybe make it worth our time to switch over.”
James H65 wrote: “There needs to be an alternative to using the car. Right now, despite horrendous queues, lengthy travel times and hard to find/expensive parking, people still use their cars.
“Why? Because the alternative is worse. Adding congestion charge costs on top won’t make a difference unless there is actually a viable.”alternative.
Writing on Facebook, Theresa Marshall said: “The centre of the city needs to be a no car zone, the buses should be free, cycle paths should be improved and the whole city rethought for the 21st century, it could be amazing if people had the will and vision.”
However, Gazza Lawrence supported the idea.
“Best idea this city has had,” he said on Facebook.