Friday, November 23, 2007

What will Victoria do?

The Vancouver Sun reports that various mayors are busy bending the provincial governemnt's ear on transit improvements and strategy.

Langley Township mayor Kurt Alberts and the other members of the Livability Accord communities (Surrey's Dianne Watts, Abbotsford's George Ferguson, and Coquitlam's Maxine Wilson) met with the Premier earlier this month. His recipe for attracting provincial transit dollars was simple: density, density, density.

That sounds good in theory, but here is my concern. Port Moody just cooked up a batch of that same recipe by densifying their community. They had been promised rapid transit, and it still hasn't materialized. Gridlock is so bad there now that Port Moody's mayor votes against further development. They have the density, but no rapid transit.

I'd be a lot more comfortable with high densification if the Premier proved out his commitment by funding the Evergreen Line in Port Moody and Coquitlam. I'd also love a written commitment from the Premier stating the exact level of density he wants/needs to see in order to trigger these provincial investments. Right now, we're being asked to densify without a nickel of provincial transportation dollars to support it. All that will mean is training a generation of high rise dwellers to drive everywhere (Remember--Langley isn't scheduled to get north-south rapid bus service until 2031). And that means gridlock.

As Get Moving BC has been saying all along, we need investment in both roads and transit. We need it all!

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