More Highways On the Horizon

New highways always bring the so called experts into the fray. The problem is; we don’t have any, rather the region has a hodge podge of academics, planners and engineers calling themselves experts and the result is what is happening now.

The real problem is this; the population is growing at a huge pace in the Fraser Valley and the roads are fifty years behind the times.

As the population increases more stress is placed on the Number 1 highway and it must be expanded to cater to the transportation needs.

Adding a third lane makes the highway, ‘European standard’.

As the government has rejected any sort of rail transit, including Rail for the Valley’s Leewood Study, thus expanding the highway is the only option.

The so-called expert mentioned in the following news item, has probably had more to exacerbate traffic congestion in the region, with his myopic views on regional transportation.

You can’t blacktop your way out of congestion, but you must have an affordable transit alternative in place to help solve the congestion issue.

The Rail for the Valley TramTrain will not solve congestion, but it could help alleviate congestion by providing a rail alternative. Unfortunately our so called transit experts seem to be more interested in extremely expensive prestige projects, like the proposed $3 billion Broadway SkyTrain subway and land development, than trying to formulate  a practical transportation plan for the Fraser Valley.

Highway upgrade in Langley only moves the problem down the road: transportation expert

by Simon Druker and James Cybulski

Posted Mar 29, 2017

 

(Courtesy of Twitter: @MarksGonePublic )

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The plan to widen Highway 1 through Langley, unveiled yesterday by the province, may come as welcome news to drivers but not everyone is thrilled.

Gordon Price is the director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University and says the $225.5-million-dollar project only moves the traffic congestion down the road.

“There’s a case where the metaphor and reality do overlap. If all you do is build roads and move the problem down the road, you’re just going to create another congestion problem,” says Price, adding the province sees it as fulfilling its mandate.

“You can’t go wrong in BC politics by cutting a ribbon on a new or widened road, a big new bridge. We love that stuff and in a frontier province that kind of makes sense.”

“One doesn’t have to be facetious about this. This is growth and this is change, and it’s certainly associated with economic development. From the point of view of a lot of people, certainly in the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, that’s their job, they really do in fact see the future as solving one congestion problem after another even if it’s their own creation. It keeps them in business, that’s what it’s all about.”

The problem he says is that spending exclusively on road projects is only a temporary solution.

“We have enough experience to know that if that’s all you do, if you don’t provide people with options, you’re just going to create the transportation difficulty, the congestion, faster than you planned for,” says Price.

He says any road expansion should be balanced by putting money into biking and walking infrastructure in addition to transit.

But he says that’s not as politically sexy as cutting the ribbon on a new bridge.

“You never get the sense from the Liberals that they are going to be the party of ‘yes’ when it comes to transit in the city,” says Price.

“You can really see the discrepancy now. Here we are still debating yet again over funding for transit and then just almost incidentally here comes an announcement that ‘ya we’re prepared to spend a quarter-billion bucks to widen yes legitimately an important part of the transportation system.”

Ottawa is picking up half the cost of the Highway 1 project while BC’s deputy premier Rich Coleman hopes to eventually expand the widening project to Whatcom Road in Abbotsford.

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