Stop fighting Massey bridge, Delta mayor doesn’t get it

Some politicians ‘get it’ and many other don’t; the same goes with regional transportation planning.

Delta’s Mayor, Lois Jackson clearly doesn’t get it. The proposed Massey Tunnel replacement bridge will not solve congestion, only move it a few kilometres from Delta, across the river into Richmond.

Someone must explain to Mayor Jackson, that unless a new crossing into Vancouver is also built, a multi billion dollar eight or ten lane bridge, replacing the Massey tunnel will do little or nothing relieving congestion and may well exacerbate gridlock in Richmond.

The BC Liberal’s meddling in regional transit affairs is just leading us down the road to a massive financial and transportation disaster and the government’sAi?? hanger-on’s, in regional government are doing the taxpayer and the commuter a great disservice promoting the Liberal’s back of an envelope planning.

Stop fighting Massey bridge, Delta mayor urges Metro Vancouver

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson is calling a TransLink study “garbage” after it cast doubt on the merits of building a new bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel.

The report estimates peak travel times from South Surrey near the U.S. border to the Oak Street Bridge in Vancouver would be 31 minutes in 2045 with a new eight-lane toll bridge ai??i?? compared to 35 minutes now ai??i??Ai??or 38 minutes if the new bridge is not tolled.

It also forecast a travel time of 32 minutes if the existing four-lane tunnel is tolled and no new bridge is built at all.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Jackson said. “Anybody that travels that road, anybody that lives there and understands our communities south of the river would know that’s bumph.”

She urged Metro Vancouver directors at a March 12 transportation committee meeting to accept that the province is going to build the new bridge to replace the congested tunnel and not to “waste our time” trying to defeat the project.

“It’s so frustrating for me, I just vibrate,” Jackson said after the meeting, adding TransLink refused to study Highway 99 congestion for years until she gave up and lobbied the province directly for a new bridge.

Premier Christy Clark announced the new bridge last fall but has not yet indicated how large it will be or if it will be tolled. Preliminary studies are underway and a project definition report from the province is expected this spring.

Jackson said there’s no question in her mind the new bridge will be tolled, the only issue is how much the toll will be and whether other currently free bridges will also be tolled at the same rate.

She agreed tolling has a major effect on traffic flows and said a good regional analysis is needed on the potential effect of tolling all crossings, not just a study that looks only at one corridor.

“Some day the Second Narrows is going to have to be replaced and the Arthur Laing and all the others,” Jackson said.

“If all those lanes were tolled at a very low rate ai??i??Ai??say 50 cents or a dollar ai??i??Ai??people could understand that and accept that and they would take the bridges and they would go the shortest distance between their two points.”

If only some bridges are tolled, she said, people will go out of their way to save money.

If the Massey crossing and the Pattullo Bridge replacement are tolled, leaving only the Alex Fraser free, she added, it will be unusably jammed, while “you can play a golf game” on the Golden Ears.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts also called the study flawed, saying it fails to look at the regional effects on other crossings of adding a new bridge.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said any future study needs to look further north to determine if traffic will just pile up at the Oak Street Bridge because of the bottleneck at the entrance to Vancouver.

Jackson said that concern is overstated, adding large numbers of vehicles stop in Richmond ai??i??Ai??for jobs, shopping, access to the airport and to board the Canada Line ai??i??Ai??rather than driving into Vancouver.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said adding more lanes of traffic will intensify pressure to develop farmland in Surrey and Delta.

“We have to look at the big picture,” said North Vancouver City Mayor Darrell Mussatto. “Otherwise we are going to have a region dominated by the automobile forever.”


2 Responses to “Stop fighting Massey bridge, Delta mayor doesn’t get it”
  1. jim says:

    Oak St and it’s bridge won’t appreciate a new massey bridge. We need better transit options not just new bridges.

  2. eric chris says:

    If Metro Vancouver had more bridges, there wouldn’t be so many people forced to use a few bridge crossings and congestion would actually decrease. Bridges are expensive and Metro Vancouver has tried to get by on the cheap with too few bridges. At the same time, transit is always put forward as the total solution to road congestion when it only part of the solution for the downtown core of Vancouver, only.

    As much as I respect the need for transit at grade in the form of LRT or tram lines, I also understand that roads are necessary for both transit and drivers. Drivers have been maligned as evil in the transit propaganda campaign here and many people have simply been brainwashed into paying for sky train here under the false notion that transit will solve road congestion. It cannot and never has. Only restrictions to driving can do this and it is political suicide to attempt road pricing. So the transit industry just pretends that transit is the answer for the likes of Ian Jarvis (TransLink head) and his friends to collect big salaries. We paid $112 million in 2013 in overhead to Ian and friends. For what?

    Do you know who runs transit in Metro Edmonton? The mayor. In other words, there is no equivalent to Ian Jarvis in Edmonton and his $400,000 salary is not paid by taxpayers in Edmonton. Metro Edmonton also doesn’t have dozens of mayors. Edmonton only has one mayor and if Edmonton grows in land area to match the land area here, Edmonton will still only have one mayor.

    What is the reason for TransLink and the $112 million bureaucracy of fools at TransLink here? It is to skim money from taxpayers for unnecessary transit jobs. TransLink is about jobs because Vancouver is job poor and doesn’t have a Boeing or Microsoft to buoy the economy.

    Metro Vancouver can protect its farm land with proper zoning. Edmonton, for example, does this and you are tarred and feathered if you propose development on rich farm land in Edmonton. Unfortunately, here we have very morally lax politicians who would sell there parents for a buck – Geoff Meggs, Mike Harcourt… Gregor Roberson. It is the way things are here.

    Whether you build freeways or rapid transit lines – road congestion only occurs because greedy politicians are seduced with false promises of being able to have their cake and eat it too – they allow far too much development along the freeway or rapid transit line – Oakridge Centre in Vancouver is a prime example where TransLink is building a small city just because the crappy Canada Line is nearby. Transit planners over-estimate the amount of transit use after a rapid transit line is built. To save face, people are bused from far away to meet the quota of the transit line but the line is a failure which is made to look like a success – Canada Line, for instance. It is all a big scam for the transit industry to expand and secure jobs. You only have to look at Toronto for another instance of this.

    I’m in agreement with LJ on this one under the provision that development is not allowed to occur on any farm land. Every small city has more road space than it needs. If roads caused road congestion, every small city in Canada would have road congestion. I’m tired of the silly argument that roads cause road congestion. Too much housing density causes road congestion. I lived in Singapore for one year – great transit and massive road congestion – too many people and too much density.

    We have road congestion because too many people are commuting into Vancouver for jobs. Build LRT in Surrey and Delta for more people to live near jobs and you reduce road congestion. This sky train nonsense (Evergreen Line) for more people to live in Coquitlam to work in Vancouver will only perpetuate road congestion.

    Vancouver is copying the mistakes made in Toronto with subways and “fast transit”. Screw sky train and subways. Screw Gegor and his band of clowns.