Project BackgroundStop the Highway 1 expansion!
The BC Ministry of Transportation is planning to spend over $2 billion to widen Highway 1 from Langley into Vancouver and twin the Port Mann Bridge. Currently, up to 73 percent of the bridge traffic is made up of single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) and only 8 percent is for goods movement. What we have is not a traffic congestion problem but a crisis of SOVs.
Freeway expansion never solves traffic problems, it just makes them worse. We can make better use of road space and maximize transit to reduce road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
Freeway expansion will:
- Increase automobile dependence
- Encourage sprawl
- Lead to more childhood asthma due to increasing air pollution
- Produce more greenhouse gas pollution that is destabilizing our climate
- Divert badly needed funds from our overcrowded transit system
- Threaten green space and agricultural land
Five reasons why freeway expansion is a bad idea:
- No Money: Publicly recognizing that the bridge twinning is “not essential” to the Asia trade agenda, the Federal government still refuses to provide funding for the bridge twinning and freeway expansion. The Premier admits that the funding will have to come from taxpayers, a private company and from bridge tolls (P3).
- No Sense: The cost of construction has risen by 27 percent since the $1.5 billion project was announced according to a survey of Canadian and American road projects. We can buy enough transit to solve the problem today for $300 to $500 million (see below).
- No Proof: Highway expansion has never solved a congestion problem anywhere—it makes it worse. Experts from around the world have condemned this project, and the province has not produced any evidence to support its claim that, ‘this time, it’ll be different’.
- No Support: The GVRD, representing 2 million people, has voted to strongly oppose the project. A recent opinion poll found that 73 percent of British Columbians support re-allocating Gateway Program money for expanding public transit to fight climate change.
- No Time: People want real solutions to climate change and traffic congestion now. The bridge twinning project will take until 2014 to be completed, worsen traffic jams with years of construction and increase greenhouse gas pollution by 31 percent.
Things You Can Do To Help
- Join the Livable Region Coalition (LRC)
- Follow Gateway Sucks
A Real Solution For Real Change
SPEC and the Livable Region Coalition have produced a smarter, cleaner option for the Port Mann corridor that relies on proven and cost effective solutions that can be implemented in as little as 2 years at 1/3 the cost of freeway expansion.
Rapid transit can not only reduce traffic congestion and air pollution but also supports better land use practices.Highlights of the proposal include:
- Expanded Rapid Transit Network
- Surrey-Coquitlam Bullet to connect Surrey Skytrain with Coquitlam Town Centre using a bypass lane to use the existing Port Mann Bridge.
- King George Busway to serve South Surrey and connect to SkyTrain, the Coquitlam- Surrey Bullet and other important transit routes.
- 44 new SkyTrain cars should be purchased as soon as possible, up from TransLinks plan to purchase 34.
Download SPEC Reports on Gateway: