After $30 Billion is Spent on SkyTrain – Metro Vancouver 2nd Spot For Worst Traffic

It is the old story, spend $billions$ dollars spent on SkyTrain light metro and traffic gets worse.

Memo to Premier Eby and TransLink: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.’”

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Metro Vancouver takes 2nd spot for worst metro traffic in North America: TomTom

By Charlie Carey and Robyn Crawford

Feb 22, 2023

Metro Vancouver is making a name for itself on the world stage once again, this time, for not such illustrious reasons. The area has been named the second worst metro area for traffic in North America.

Vancouver has also taken the fourth spot in having the worst traffic in North America.

The TomTom Traffic Index, released Wednesday, shared its rankings for 2022, and lists locations on how long it takes to travel 10 km within city limits.

The index found Vancouverites average about 22 minutes and 30 seconds to travel the distance.

CityNews 1130 Morning Show Traffic Anchor Ryan Lidemark says he’s noticed traffic has gotten worse in Metro Vancouver since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would say in the last 10, 11 months, traffic is back to their pre-COVID [levels] or even worse,” he said.

The index says the average driver in Vancouver spends almost 200 hours a year in rush-hour traffic. Drivers in Mexico City were found to have the worst driving times in North America, followed by New York and Toronto.

When compared to metro areas, Metro Vancouver ranked second in North America, just behind Mexico City, with Halifax in third.

Lidemark notes that the high housing and real estate costs mean many have to live farther out and commute into business centres.

“Many people have moved during the pandemic, and also with the cost of living the Lower Mainland people are going farther and farther,” he said. “Now you see people from deep in the valley, people commuting from Chilliwack, into Vancouver, people from Abbotsford. So, it definitely makes a difference, especially going towards the Port Mann Bridge.”

However, Lidemark thinks Highway 1 has always been bad for traffic.

“I would say in the last 10, 11 months, traffic is back to their pre-COVID [levels] or even worse,” he said.

The index says the average driver in Vancouver spends almost 200 hours a year in rush-hour traffic. Drivers in Mexico City were found to have the worst driving times in North America, followed by New York and Toronto.

When compared to metro areas, Metro Vancouver ranked second in North America, just behind Mexico City, with Halifax in third.

Lidemark notes that the high housing and real estate costs mean many have to live farther out and commute into business centres.

“Many people have moved during the pandemic, and also with the cost of living the Lower Mainland people are going farther and farther,” he said. “Now you see people from deep in the valley, people commuting from Chilliwack, into Vancouver, people from Abbotsford. So, it definitely makes a difference, especially going towards the Port Mann Bridge.”

However, Lidemark thinks Highway 1 has always been bad for traffic.

“It was designed just for people going out of town or going deep in the valley, it wasn’t designed for commuting like is done now,” he said. “They weren’t planning on that many people living out that way. And now, you have a flow, and they’re expanding the highway from 264th towards the Port Mann Bridge but that’s still going to be about another seven or eight years.”

“It was designed just for people going out of town or going deep in the valley, it wasn’t designed for commuting like is done now,” he said. “They weren’t planning on that many people living out that way. And now, you have a flow, and they’re expanding the highway from 264th towards the Port Mann Bridge but that’s still going to be about another seven or eight years.”

Comments

2 Responses to “After $30 Billion is Spent on SkyTrain – Metro Vancouver 2nd Spot For Worst Traffic”
  1. Haveacow says:

    1. I have said this before, Tom Tom is trying to sell technology. They can’t sell units if the traffic situation is no worse then most cities. They don’t advertise when your city has acceptable levels of traffic, only when its bad. There data sets although somewhat useful are at best misleading and at worst, deceptive and shouldn’t be the entire basis for assessing traffic in a region. Not to mention, they tend to cherry pick there data.

    There methodology is also not the most scientifically accurate and consistent. They use single day traffic totals, 4 to 6 times a year, with limited geographic differentiation. The individual cars are driven by people whom can afford Tom Tom’s services thus, is not an accurate cross section of the general traveling society.

    Where a competent traffic department will use at the least data from, week long periods, collected 3 to 4 times a year, based around known traffic zone boundaries (called phase lines), region wide, which are based on and checked against long established mathematical traffic models and actually counted current and historical data, for use specifically designed for the conditions in the Lower Mainland of B.C, nowhere else. The methodology is also consistent, to allow accurate comparison to previously collected data.

    2. Good transportation data gives a basis of comparison but it will not define long held subjective, environmental and political decisions made in a region. Like it or not, a generation or two ago, Vancouver Area and B.C. provincial politicians decided to not build urban expressways in the interior regions of Vancouver. That decision forever made traffic slower and more concentrated in what are now the innermost regions of Vancouver. One of the primary reasons Vancouver has certain traffic issues that Tom Tom is scarring people with.

    However, over the long term, this saved HUGE amounts of infrastructure money, forced area politicians to invest in rapid transit. It opened the door for politicians to consider different or unusual traffic control measures and alternative transportation modes (like water taxis and bicycles for example), transportation modes other regions didn’ or are just now, considering to use. It protected Vancouver’s neighborhoods and made the living environment a critical decision factor, one of the many reasons, an above grade, Skytrain viaduct based rapid transit network isn’t necessarily better than, a surface based LRT right of way. Especially in an area prone to earthquakes.This is one of the many reasons everyone, wants to live in Vancouver, thus making the road traffic worse. Cities that don’t have traffic issues are that way usually because there aren’t a lot of reasons people want to live there.

  2. Major Hoople says:

    $30 billion may seem to be a large investment, but it has been spread over 40 years and seems consistent with other cities with equal populations. The problem Vancouver has is that the transit lines have been built to suit politcal ambitions.

    This trend also happened on our side of the pond until taxpayer’s literally revolted. Munchen is a prime example: when the right wing party is in power subways are built and extended and when a left wing party is in power tramways are built and extended.

    The big difference I see is that German transit manager are far more people oriented and try to provide the best sort of transit that the public wants and will pay for.

    When we were in Vancouver bidding on what is now called the Canada Line, TransLink’s managers did not care what the public wanted or would use and instead took their orders from the premier of the day.

    We offered, at a cheaper price, a much larger tram network for Vancouver and Richmond but the government wanted a light metro in a subway. We were told “If Toronto and Montreal have subways, so shall Vancouver.”

    As I see over and over again with your posts that the Canada line has poor capacity, no real opportunity for expansion and it is correct to say it is a classic transit White Elephant.

    We see no benefit for the current expansion program and the use of a proprietary light metro will come back to haunt planners and politicians much sooner than one thinks.

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