Thursday, September 6, 2007

The 'We need everything' message spreads

It's nice to see more and more people--both leaders and common folk--coming to the same realization we have. The Lower Mainland, especially south of the Fraser, is horribly underserved by roads, bridges, and transit. We need Gateway, we need Evergreen, and we need light rail.

Former NDP Premier (and Vancouver mayor) Mike Harcourt said just that in today's Vancouver Sun:
Like Cameron, Harcourt says the region is at a crossroads now.

He is more positive than Cameron about Gateway. "Why punish people in cars?" says Harcourt. He says peoples' fears that more roads will create a flood of sprawl in the valley ignores reality.

"Those people are there already," he says. Now planners have to figure out how to make their lives easier.

But he does emphasize that for Gateway to add to the region's success story, and not detract from it, that means doing it right. That means making a huge investment in transit.

"I think we should go big and bold and quick -- proceed with the Evergreen line this fall and get it built by 2011, do the Millennium line by 2013, proceed with the extension of the Expo line, get a fast bus to Cloverdale and Langley."

And it also means using the new capacity for many modes of transportation. Yes, some for the car. But not just the car.

Well said, Mr. Harcourt, but I challenge you to go even further. Don't just settle for buses in Cloverdale and Langley--build a light rail loop across the Golden Ears Bridge.

I also love this post over at PelaLusa (an auto-less Vancouver resident!):
There's a small but vocal group of environmentalists in Vancouver who think they speak for everyone but truly only represent a tiny elitist minority of the population. Such groups include this one and this one. Their latest raison d'etre is a ridiculous campaign to stop the twinning of the 43 year old Port Mann Bridge.

Their biggest talking point is "we don't want to have an L.A.'fication of Metro Vancouver". This makes for a great bumper sticker, but let's analyze it a little more thoroughly. What they're essentially saying is that the transportation infrastructure decisions made 40+ years ago should last us for eternity. They loathe and frequently condemn anyone who lives in Surrey or further east in the Fraser Valley and has to commute into Vancouver to work.

How dare they! Unlike these self-centered snobs, not everyone can afford to live close to Vancouver and bicycle in to work. These critics are NIMBYs of the very worst kind and absolutely disgust me.

Here are a couple of facts you should know about me: I live in the heart of Vancouver. I willingly gave up my car almost 5 years ago and walk, bicycle, and take transit to get around. I have absolutely no bias on this matter except for the God given right to use my common sense!

We need it all, folks!


At September 7, 2007 8:40 AM , Anonymous said...

There seems to be one thing environmentalists and anti-gateway folks constantly seem to forget or refuse to admit:

When a city's worth of cars constantly start and stop at traffic lights, increase and decrease speed, more pollution is created than a free-flow of movement.

To travel down Russ Baker Way in Richmond during rush hour is the perfect illustration of this. You have two lanes bumper to bumper all the way from 2 Road to the Lange Bridge -- its not because of volume -- its because of stupid planning. You have 4 sets of lights backing up traffic, then 2 lanes feeding into just one to get on the bridge! Its crazy. If there were another lane without lights and another lane on that bridge traffic would flow!

It seems people in Vancouver look the other way and refuse to acknowledge these issues. Buses and Canada line won't resolve them either.


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