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

Archive for March 25th, 2009

Want One Port Mann Bridge, or a Light Rail Metropolis?

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The Tyee

When I spoke in Surrey recently at the NDP/ Bus drivers’ union transit forum, I did not use PowerPoint. But there was one image I wanted to use and this is it

 region could be transformed for $3.1 billion

region could be transformed for $3.1 billion

The diagram was created by Patrick Condon and Kari Dow, and it shows the amount of light rail system you could buy for the same price as the freeway widening and the replacement Port Mann Bridge. (By the way the province just gave itself an environmental certificate for that project on the grounds that “there will not likely be any  significant adverse effects”)

If half of the roughly 40 million annual trips anticipated for the new bridge were shifted to such a tram system, it would amount to a reduction of the roughly 10,000 metric tons of GHG per year, a reduction equivalent to taking more than 21,000 cars off Lower Mainland roads completely.

…while building a bigger Port Mann Bridge reinforced commuting patterns in the region, building a robust light rail network likely would change how development occurs in the region, eventually shortening commutes as businesses elect to locate at various new public transit nodes.

“The Port Mann project is propelled forward by assumptions that are 20 years out of date. Commuting patterns are changing rapidly. The commute from Surrey to downtown Vancouver is relatively rare and getting even rarer each day. Jobs continue to move closer to housing all across the eastern part of the metropolis. What is needed is a system that gets us out of the car and serves our emerging complete communities, not guts them,” said Condon.

Written by Stephen Rees

March 25, 2009 at 8:26 am

Posted in Gateway, Light Rail