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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for December 6th, 2007

Delta’s top prize goes to man who won’t quit

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Greg Hoover leads battle cry against ‘Falcon’s Folly’


Brian Lewis, The Province

Published: Thursday, December 06, 2007



To its credit, this year the Delta Chamber of Commerce decided to recognize efforts on behalf of the community — whether or not those efforts ultimately resulted in success.

For the past five years, Hoover and fellow Tsawwassen resident Olav Naas have been trying to convince the B.C. government that there is a far more viable route for the South Fraser Perimeter Road than the $1-billion proposal which Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon and the bureaucrats at the Gateway Project are now relentlessly pushing through the environmental-approval process.

Which is a very welcome acknowledgment of citizen activism. But I have a much greater objection to the South Fraser Perimeter Road – and the port expansion that is said to make it necessary.

I don’t think we need either.

Additional berths will not be needed in future as I do not expect the recent trend of rapid growth in trans-pacific container will continue. I think Prince Rupert will be a much better choice – if not the North West Passage and the Panama Canal. Both of which will drain trade from west coast ports. But mostly the existing Deltaport has room to expand on the exiting causeway and could be run much more efficiently with greater utilisation of its existing facilities.

I think is is quite clear that there is room for two or three more tracks in the existing yard. There is also unused space on the left of the road. But mostly the container trucks can only be seen here Monday to Friday during business hours. This suggests to me that there could be quite a significant increase in utilization by going to round the clock, every day working

Yes I take my hat off to Messrs Hoover and Naas to their commitment. I wish there were more citizens like them. But I would much rather see the whole nonsense of the Gateway stopped dead in its tracks.

Written by Stephen Rees

December 6, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Gateway

South Fraser Mayors Reject Transit Plan

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Chantal Eustace, Vancouver Sun

Published: Thursday, December 06, 2007

So far as I am aware this is unprecedented. All five mayors have rejected the plan – because it was inadequate.
There have been plans before that did not do very well – including one memorable occasion in White Rock when the population revolted and the whole plan had to be scrapped within days of its introduction – and that planner still works at Translink in a senior position. But this is the first time that I can recall that all the mayors have acted in unison and said, very firmly “This is just not good enough!”

The plan focused too much on trips to destinations outside of the south-of-Fraser region, despite the fact that 80 per cent of trips don’t cross the river, Watts said. More transit connecting the region internally is needed, she said.

“The draft plan doesn’t really focus on what our needs are,” said Watts.

“It’s very frustrating.”

Surrey Mayor Diane Watts – who will be Translink’s Chairman next year – or rather Chair of the “new, improved” SoCoBiTCA – who will have to ride shotgun on the new “professional” board to try and get some more out of the service planners. Despite sitting on a pile of cash at present, the staff at Translink are worried that the long term commitments they have entered into will start having to be paid for soon, so do not expect that all of a sudden the financing taps can be turned on.

By the way, have I missed something? Who is going to be on this new Board? Shouldn’t we know by now? Well, only in theory. Actually they are still taking about it in camera. I came across this over lunch in a discarded tab.

And did you also notice that “80% of the trips” bit – doesn’t that rather weaken the claim that the Golden Ears Bridge and the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge are high priorities?

Written by Stephen Rees

December 6, 2007 at 9:33 am

Posted in transit