Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another paper calls for more roads and transit

Good on Frank Bucholtz for standing up for the south Fraser in this Langley Times editorial:
Several Vancouver media outlets are focusing on travel, transit and traffic congestion this week, as summer holidays are over and workers and students are once again travelling.

It is unfortunate that, in these timely discussions, so many of these same media outlets seem blissfully unaware of the very real traffic challenges faced by people who live south of the Fraser River.

On Tuesday morning, traffic to the Port Mann Bridge was backed up past 200 Street. This is often the case during the fall and winter months, as the number of people travelling across the bridge far exceeds the bridge’s capacity.

Yet most Vancouver media outlets either take a stance against any bridge expansion, or give far more space or airtime to opponents of the bridge twinning project than they do to those who support it.

The Times supports bridge twinning. It also has called for an expansion of rapid transit into the Fraser Valley as part of the twinning, to ensure that there is a viable alternative to single-occupancy vehicle traffic, which clearly is expensive, environmentally unsound and causes congestion.

The B.C. economy cannot grow to its full potential when commercial goods sit tied up in trucks for hours, as drivers try to get across the bridge. The waste of people's time and resources each day is unacceptable. The air pollution caused by idling vehicles is also unacceptable.

Many of those who oppose bridge twinning have never spoken in favour of major improvements to transit service in Langley and other areas of the valley. With a lack of transit alternatives, people have no choice but to drive.

TransLink has made some improvements to transit in this area, but the transit offered is minimal when compared to that enjoyed in Vancouver.

Bridge twinning, which includes major transit improvements, will not only serve to ease congestion, it will be good for the economy of the entire province. That includes the City of Vancouver, and those media outlets which are so negative and one-sided about the project.

When a region is as underserved by road and transit infrastructure as we are, we need more of everything!

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