Stephen Rees's blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘buslane

SNC-Lavalin wins contract

with 3 comments

SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a $649,000 contract to design a buses-only lane on Highway 99 in Richmond.

The engineering contract is for the design of a lane from Westminster Highway to Bridgeport Road. Design is to be completed by this fall and the bus lane is expected to open in fall 2009.

The bus lane is intended to free northbound bus-riding commuters from traffic jams in other lanes as they make their way to Bridgeport Station on the rapid transit Canada Line, which is to open in the fall of 2009.

Just a small piece in the Sun – and that is all of it. Basically it is about restriping Highway #99 and probably moving some of the centre barrier. The right of way has room. This is actually a queue jumper needed because the Oak Street Bridge has only two lanes and the insertion of traffic from the Shell and Bridgeport Road on ramps tends to bottle up the freeway. There are, of course, no ramp meters, and the third lane north from the tunnel ends at Westminster Highway.

I am in favour of bus lane queue jumpers. This has been needed for a long time – and would have helped north bound buses trying to get on to Oak Street Bridge. But those buses are being cut back. A few minutes saved here and improved reliability will offset a little the additional penalty of the mode transfer at Bridgeport Station. But not be enough, I think, to retain every bus rider who owns a car and will now think once again of the comfort of a one seat ride into Vancouver instead of having to get off the bus, get up to the station and then try to squeeze in to a crowded train to stand the rest of the way into town.

But the important point is that this contract is being awarded by the Ministry of Transportation. Who refuse to even consider a similar solution to the problem of congestion on Highway #1 leading on to the Port Mann Bridge westbound. Because a queue jumper there would work equally well. And could get buses across that Bridge at a much lower cost than building a whole new bridge to duplicate the existing one. But of course, if they did that, it would call into question the entire strategy of freeway expansion. And the manifest falsehood that it is not possible to run buses across the Port Mann because of “14 hours of congestion”.

UPDATE June 9 In the print edition of the Richmond Review there is an interview with me by Matthew Hoekstra. I would have liked to link to it but the BC Local News web page does not have it.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 9, 2008 at 8:47 am

Posted in transit

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