Paving Paradise – Has the Premier Washed Her Hands of Public Transit?

The grossly overbuilt Hwy 17 & 99 interchange. Why build just one overpass, when you can build three?

This is the legacy of the BC Liberals: gold plated highway and bridge construction, designed to funnel huge

portions of taxpayer’s money into the pockets of corporate friends.

As pointed out many times before, the Expo, Millennium, and CanadaAi?? mini-metro lines and the soon to be completed Evergreen Line (the Evergreen Line is the unfinished portion of the Millennium Line) were or are nothing more than vanity projects of who ever the political party was in power at the time. Rapid transit was built to cut ribbons for pre election photo-op’s; reward political friends and insiders with large construction contracts and sooth the voters angst about a lack of public transit. Ridership was assured by recycling large numbers of bus riders onto the mini-metro.

It is now clear that the Premier’s transit plebiscite was to stall transit investment in the region and with no real reforms coming to TransLink, especially with Minister Fassbender in charge. it is business as usual in BC.

Both the SkyTrain Broadway subway and the poor man’s SkyTrain being planned for in Surrey will not only be extremely expensive, they will be controversial, so much so, that they could be vote losers at election time. So it is clear that the BC Liberals have resorted to the tried and true “blacktop” politics that have won so many elections in the past.

A good example is the hugely expensive and vastly over engineered Highway 17 expansion project in South Delta, which is in the constituency currently held by the independent MLA, Viki Huntington, which the BC Liberals hope to blacktop their way to an election win in the next election.

The needlessly expensive and massiveAi?? bridge, replacing the Massey Tunnel, is another sweetener for the South Delta and South Surrey voter, even though after $3.5 billion investment, it will move gridlock about 5 km further down Hwy. 99. Never fear, the MoT is going to expandAi?? Hwy. 99 to 6 or 8 lanes, which will create traffic chaos for the Oak and Knight Street Bridges.

Endemic gridlock and congestion is coming to Richmond with the current highway’s planning.

Of course the BC Liberals are not expanding Gordon Campbell’s vanity project, the Canada line, simply if they do, it will spotlight how incompetent the original construction was and underline the fact that the Canada Line is the only heavy-rail metro in the world, built as a light metro, which has less capacity than a simple streetcar costing up to one tenth to build!

The Canada Line and the Evergreen Line has showed the BC Liberals that “blacktop” politics is not only are cheaper than TransLink’s transit expansion, it gives the BC Liberal government more opportunity to give ‘spreadin around money’ to political friends and insiders. Hence now all the talk of “road pricing” and “congestion fees”, to help fill government coffers for more lolly to divvy up among friends and insiders. The anti-car crowd love that kind of talk, but so does the premier, seeing even more money to blacktop more farmland to more election wins!

Joni Mitchell’sAi?? lyrics from “Big Yellow Taxi” have never rung so true; “Don’t it always seem to go; That you don’t know what you’ve got; ‘Till it’s gone; They paved paradise; And put up a parking lot.

More and more, the Premier seems to have washed her hands of public transit, seeing that there is no political gain to be made and in fact there is a lot more political capital to be made paving paradise.

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2 Responses to “Paving Paradise – Has the Premier Washed Her Hands of Public Transit?”
  1. Jim says:

    In general though Hwy 17 is poorly designed and built.

    The province is also planning on widening hwy 1 to 6 lanes to Abbotsford, but not with HOV or bus lanes, just more car lanes.

    I’ve seen it suggested that the Massey Tunnel replacement is to support LNG by dredging up the river and get larger ships through, though I don’t know about this?

    I wonder how Vancouver who loves to argue how they are freeway free in their city, feels about moving the Massey tunnel congestion up Oak Street into town and on Granville?

    Zwei replies: The real reason the Massey tunnel is being replaced is to allow dredging to deepen the river channel to allow cape max colliers; tankers and container ships to reach Surrey Docks which are owned by McQuarrie and SNC.

  2. Haveacow says:

    I couldn’t tell if the highway and interchange was poorly built based on that picture however, the one thing it does show is how much expensively serviced land those interchanges actually use up, wowsers!

    Zwei replies: I am not exaggerating, this interchange is probably one of the worst designed interchanges in history; massive; three overpasses, which one is gated; totally bizarre.