Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for January 28th, 2009

Agreement in Principle on Port Mann Project

with 4 comments

Press release from MoTI

Kevin Falcon’s on again, off again announcement turns out to be a bit of damp squib. Given that there is only one bidder – and that it is in deep financial trouble – the famed P3 that was going to pay for it all has now been turned into a 1/3 – 2/3 split – with the taxpayers fronting one third of the funds. Somehow all the costs – which have ballooned since  the idea was dreamed up – are still going to be paid back at $3 a car. Note too that it’s title has been shortened. Because the freeway expansion that goes with the bridge twinning and ensures that the traffic congestion we have now will be twice as bad in future is not being given much prominence.

By the way, only the traffic that crosses the bridge pays the toll. All the other freeway trips will be free

And finally the release states

“The Port Mann / Highway 1 project will reduce congestion and travel time, improve safety and accessibility, and allow buses to travel over the Port Mann Bridge for the first time in over two decades. It will save valuable time for truckers, expand lanes for HOV, cyclists and pedestrians, and will also accommodate potential future light rapid transit.”

Normally you expect statements like this to have some foundation in reality. Not one of these statements has any foundation in fact.  But then that is the first principle of propaganda – lie and make the lies grandiose. Big lies – repeated often enough – will be accepted as truth.

The reason the consortium cannot raise money is not that they are asking for too much. It is because the financial markets have been burned rather a lot lately – and therefore they are not keen to get burned again. Real questions remain about the viability of this project – and Kevin Falcon has no answers. So in the current spirit of bailing out the biggest losers (banks, automobile makers) Falcon is just throwing money at the problem. Our money.

And, of course, we are still a couple of months away from the recently extended deadline.

It looks even less like a Done Deal to me

Written by Stephen Rees

January 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Posted in Transportation

Burrard Bridge Open House

Posted at the request of Richard Campbell
Please come out and show your support for the Burrard Bridge Trial at the City of Vancouver’s open house. After 15 years it is time to settle the debate once and for all. The trial is the only way to do that. We need to make Burrard Bridge safer to walk and cycle over now.
A two lane trial is needed so there can be a barrier between cyclists and the high speed traffic on the bridge and so faster cyclists can past slower cyclists on the long uphill sections. It will be a bridge that everyone from eight to eighty will love cycling over. A one lane trial would only have a narrow bike lane that would not be separated from traffic and would not have passing space. It would likely be worse than riding on the sidewalk and not attract new cyclists.
With the bike lanes between the sidewalk and the traffic and no bikes to worry about, Burrard Bridge will be a joy to walk over and enjoy the great view.
Open House: Burrard Bridge Bicycle Lane Trial

Come out to an open house to discuss a trial re-allocation of one or two lanes on the Burrard Bridge to create improved cycling and walking facilities on the bridge:
Saturday, January 31 from 2 – 5 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre, Great Hall Pacific Boulevard and Davie Street.
The council minutes:
The Burrard Bridge Two Lane Trial Facebook Group
Show your support for the trial, Join the I Support The Burrard Bridge Two Lane Trial Facebook group:
FAQ From the Friends of Burrard Bridge

Burrard Bridge Two Lane Trial FAQ:

Written by Stephen Rees

January 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Posted in cycling