Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thoughts about the Port Mann Bridge

A few years ago Kevin Falcon spoke to a professional group I belong to. He explained that the main purpose of the bridge was to facilitate truck traffic leaving the Port of Vancouver and venture out to the rest of North America. This is not a "sexy" issue that most British Columbians care much about though . . . no matter how much new income it might bring into the province.

As for the toll, it is just sooooo typical of Canadians to want something for nothing, isn't it? Falcon also said to our group that the primary reason for the toll is to lengthen the usable time of the bridge before congestion clogs it up too. This fact of life is yet something else that the average person does not appreciate.

To make everyone happy though, I have a suggestion: A 10 lane bridge will mean 5 lanes each way. Make 3 of them Express, which will be electronically tolled, and 2 of them will be free. Allow people access to the Express lanes several kilometres back in both directions. Provide angled cut-ins - only from the free lanes to the toll ones - every 500 metres or so. If people still want to wait 30 or 60 or more minutes for the free crossing, that's their prerogative.


Anonymous said...

There shouldn't be tolls on the Port Mann Bridge until there are tolls on the Sea to Sky Highway.... One is a vital artery in the lower mainland and the other is a highway to help the rich get to Whistler faster

Pelalusa said...

There's a big difference, of course: The Sea to Sky Highway is the only [practical] route to get up to Squamish & Whistler.

With that said, I would have no problem adding a toll to the Sea to Sky as well, perhaps though waiving it for people who have to commute on it on a regular basis and make less than 'X' per year.

Anonymous said...

How does adding a large increase in truck traffic help ease congestion over the Port Mann... isn't that a direct contradiction to the reasons we are told this is happening on the news?

Interesting that he told your group that the project was intended to help the flow of truck traffic not cars.

Pelalusa said...

I think you're putting the cart in front of the horse. Here's why: Are you aware that China has been building a huge number of new ports, to increase shipping traffic to North America? They have and it is quickly increasing.

Isn't it in the best interest of the economy of B.C. to get more of those ships to come to the Port of Vancouver?

When they do, if the trucks can't quickly and efficiently get out of the Lower Mainland, that's not good, is it?