The recent announcement by Premier Gordon Campbell that buses would once again be returning to alleviate the Port Mann bridge congestion, actually had me thinking there was hope for Metro Vancouver – until he finished by saying it would take 6 years to do it.
Give your head a shake Premier! 6 years just isn’t going to cut it out here, not when the congestion on the thoroughfares leading up to the bridge are backed up for miles in the mid afternoon and morning rush hours . God help the people trying to get somewhere for turkey today – leave now, or go without! Weekend rush hours and congestion -all day long -are a reality for Highway 1 travellers , on both Saturday and Sunday. Why it takes 6 years to stick a few signs out, drop some benches and plan a route, is beyond me.
I often wonder why the people in charge of making transit decisions and funding allocations are the very same people who NEVER actually use it. When was the last time the premier tried to get to the downtown core from the suburbs? Never. Malcom Brodie use a bus to get anywhere ? I don’t think so.
There are massive gaps in the transit infrastructure that prevent many more thousands of people using the system everyday, and inadequacies in the suburbs that make it impossible to do anything but drive – and its getting worse, not better.
I think that extending skytrain right out over the Port Mann bridge, with stops in Guildford, Langley and out to Abbotsford, will take thousands of cars off the road upon completion. The land is there, right down the centre of the highway, for an above ground track – but no, that would make TOO MUCH sense for those in the seats of power. In addition , extending a branch right down King George highway all the way to White Rock would effectively take the burden off the tunnel resulting from the rapidly growing communities in South Surrey/Morgan Creek and Cloverdale. There are already over-burdened express buses from those areas to the downtown core that are packed every rush hour.
Its time that Translink, and the Provincial government commisioned a board of educated, professional citizens from these suburban areas to be involved in the consultation process, to ensure the right choices are being made. Short of that, I would suggest that the Translink planning board be made to actually take transit to their meetings from whatever area they live in, for a period of several months, so that they have a first hand experience with the inadequacies of the system. Might change their perspectives, more than a little. Somehow, I don’t see that happening either.
As land values increase, and more people move into our wonderful metro Vancouver area, communities are rapidly expanding further into the Fraser Valley to accomodate the demand. Going green means making some drastic and educated choices by the government and Translink. Putting the money into extensive and effective transit enhancements – rather than building more highways, is the logical choice.
“If you build it, they will come. ”
I’m Laila Yuile, and this is how I see it.