Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for May 7th, 2008

The message seems to be getting through

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The LRC has been running polling questions on the issue of the bridge twinning freeway widening gateway progran since 2005. the graph bekow shows that some progress in moving opinion has been made.

I expect that there will be more on the LRC blog when this appears [I am using a WP feature to delay publication until Wednesday]

VANCOUVER – A new poll shows 69 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents support redirecting money away from road expansion projects toward a better public transit system.

The Synovate poll, conducted for the David Suzuki Foundation and the Livable Region Coalition, also showed 60 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents would choose rapid transit to Coquitlam, expanded bus and rapid transit service in Surrey and rapid transit out to UBC over twinning the Port Mann Bridge and widening Highway 1.

“The poll clearly shows there is a real need and a desire for better public transit across the Lower Mainland,” said Ian Bruce, a climate change specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation. “Investing in public transit will help make our transit system faster, more convenient and more direct. Widening highways and bridges simply puts more cars on the road, and makes the current traffic congestion problems worse.”

The poll comes at a time when drivers in the Lower Mainland are seeking relief from painful prices at the gas pumps. It also comes during a push by the provincial government to cut B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions 33 per cent by 2020.

But, in direct contrast with its plan to go green, the province wants to twin the Port Mann Bridge and widen Highway 1.

Experience from around the world has shown that building more highways can actually lead to longer commutes, more sprawl and more time spent in cars, and eventually worsens traffic congestion instead of relieving it.

“Public transit is a critical part of a long-term sustainable growth strategy,” said David Fields of the Livable Region Coalition. “Investing in public transit will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, ease road congestion, reduce commuting time and municipal infrastructure costs.”

Written by Stephen Rees

May 7, 2008 at 9:00 am

Posted in Transportation