Stephen Rees's blog

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

‘Total gridlock’ without more bridges

with 6 comments

The Province

The BC Liberal’s puppet pressure group makes some incredibly silly and easy to refute claims.

For what it is worth I sent the following – but I will be very surprised if it appears in print. Also worth of note is this nonsense gets the front page – something that cannot be said for anything that has ever been said about the opposition to these crazy notions

The claim by the BC Liberal front group is completely without substance.

There is not a city in the world that has managed to control traffic congestion by adding roads. In fact one of the best documented phenomena in transportation is that traffic expands to fill the space available. Of course, the Province of BC ignores this as the regional transportation model assumes that the total number of trips made in the region by each person is fixed. They assume that traffic is simply a function of population. Every behavioural study of trip making shows this to be false.

It is also incredibly stupid to be proposing more capacity for cars which will still mostly be running on fossil fuels for decades to come. We have to get serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that means providing people with alternative ways to get around that are more fuel efficient. The same amount of money spent on transit would not just be more effective, it would also greatly improve the sustainability of our development pattern.

And by the way “gridlock” is very rare and at best a transient occurrence. Nobody is stupid enough to make a trip on a road that they know is going to be blocked.

And the same story is in the Sun too – but on page 3 with this information

[Jordan] Bateman [the spokesperson for “Get Moving BC] is a Langley township councillor with strong ties to the B.C. Liberals. He served as vice-president of Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman’s Fort Langley-Aldergrove riding association and was communications director of Coleman’s last re-election campaign.

Bateman described his organization as an “ad-hoc” group of six residents living south of the Fraser, with a variety of political stripes.

And anyway who thinks that we should try to be more like Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Saskatoon?

Written by Stephen Rees

September 15, 2008 at 8:50 am

Posted in Transportation

6 Responses

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  1. No wonder Canwest is also known as “Canned Waste.” To give such prominence to an organization stacked with political apparatchiks and five amateur citizens is amazing. That should give you an idea of the credibility of what’s written in their papers. Perhaps that may be a reason why people are flocking to alternative media online.


    September 15, 2008 at 10:39 am

  2. One wonders if these guys have ever researched the the problems of transit and transportation? Build more bridges, build more highways, is their clarion call, but what will be the result? Massive gridlock, leading for calls for more new bridges and highways, which will mean even greater gridlock!

    Malcolm J.

    September 15, 2008 at 1:14 pm

  3. In the Vancouver Sun, they showed a chart from Get Moving BC, listing the 10 most crowded bridges in Western Canada. Shockingly, 8 out of 10 were in Metro Vancouver.

    Is there a correlation between lack of bridges and constant freeway gridlock? Seems obvious, but I know some folks make the counter-intuitive point that a lack of transportation freedoms translates into more people riding their bikes, skateboards etc to work.

    49 bus rider

    September 15, 2008 at 2:35 pm

  4. Obviously, the twinning of the Port Mann is quite divisive on both sides of the issue. So why doesn’t the provincial govt make it a referendum question during the next election? That would settle the issue for once and for all.

    49 bus rider

    September 15, 2008 at 2:36 pm

  5. Gridlock. To quote _The Princess Bride_ – “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” 😉


    September 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm

  6. It seems odd to me that The Province also seems to support rail out into the valley.


    September 15, 2008 at 10:10 pm

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