Massey Tunnel Fox Trot

More fallout from the Premier’s announcement about the bridge replacement for the Massey tunnel.

Richmond Mayor, Malcolm Brodie, demand for a mini-metro instead of light rail has condemned Richmond of any chance of having “rail” transit extended in his municipality. It has been said that it would be cheaper in building a completely new LRT line from Vancouver to Steveston and Ironwood Mall, that extending the present Canada Line.

The good mayor should also understand that the forced transfer of bus customers from South Delta and South Surrey, deters many from taking transit. In fact, bus service from South Delta has reverted back to pre Canada Line days, due to projected new transit customers not materializing.

It is a sad commentary but hypocrisy reigns with both civic and provincial politicians.


Metro Vancouver mayors question Massey bridge plan, Victoriaai??i??s transit priorities

A proposed bridge over the Fraser River to replace Massey tunnel — shown in this rendering — is proving controversial among Lower Mainland mayors who have been told their funding options must go to referendum.

Several Metro Vancouver mayors say Victoriaai??i??s demand for a referendum on TransLinkai??i??s funding options is hypocritical given the recent announcement of a bridge to replace the Massey tunnel ai??i?? without similar public consultation.

In a meeting this morning, the mayors will ask Transportation Minister Todd Stone to explain why the government has foregone a referendum for the Massey bridge.

The mayorsai??i?? council, which approves TransLink funding and shapes the regionai??i??s long-term transit plans, is opposed to the referendum announced by Premier Christy Clark during the election campaign.

The mayors see the referendum as another example of the provincial government overriding the work of long-term regional transit planning. Successive NDP and Liberal governments have jumped the queue to launch highway improvements and rapid transit lines of their choosing.

Several mayors say Clarkai??i??s Massey bridge announcement last Friday was the latest in a string of unilateral government moves that have hamstrung their municipalities, who are dealing with a regional transit system that is ai???busting at the

The mayors argue the provinceai??i??s proposed referendum for TransLink, slated for the 2014 municipal elections, would not give the public the whole picture of the transit situation or identify appropriate sources of funding, and would be divisive to the region.

ai???You can certainly say the referendum is a hurdle to moving forward and providing the transit people want in the region, whereas the bridge is announced four years from now as a fait accompli without even any discussion as to how itai??i??s going to be financed,ai??? said North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton, chairman of TransLinkai??i??s mayorsai??i?? council. ai???Transit is considered much less important and essential to the economy than extending the (Fraser) river crossing.

ai???From our point of view ai???Well, show us the business case and what are the rules?ai??i?? ai???

Metro Vancouver board chairman Greg Moore said the bridge and major improvements to the road network didnai??i??t trump new rapid transit in Surrey and along Vancouverai??i??s Broadway corridor in the boardai??i??s regional growth strategy. The tunnel is one of the regionai??i??s largest choke points for traffic and there is no guarantee that the new bridge would be approved in a referendum involving voters from across Metro Vancouver, he added.

The mayorsai??i?? council has long lobbied for more control over TransLink, saying they have been backed into a corner to raise taxes for bridges, roads and transit, but have no control over transit priorities. Instead, decisions are often made in secret by the appointed board or imposed by the provincial government.

Before their re-election, the Liberals promised Metro Vancouver residents a referendum vote on any major transit projects in their communities.

Stone was unavailable for an interview, but spokeswoman Kate Trotter emailed a statement that said the bridge was a ai???significant election issue and we were very clear about our

The statement said that public consultations clearly showed the public wanted the bridge and that the business case for it, as well as its technical design, is now underway.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the Massey tunnel could be significantly decongested by putting more money into a system of buses that get commuters out of their cars as well as opening Port Metro Vancouverai??i??s facilities 24 hours every day to spread out the commercial truck traffic.

ai???You donai??i??t need to build a new bridge to decongest it,ai??? Brodie said. ai???If all youai??i??re doing is to speed the traffic along, so they can get over this brand new bridge, so they can get to the traffic jam that much earlier, what have you accomplished?

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