Anyway, I decided to take a few pictures of the road for your view pleasure. Enjoy!
Nathan Pachal of South Fraser OnTrax said building more bridges won't help get people out of their cars, and it won't help most commuters.
"It doesn't help the majority of people who stay in the South Fraser," said Pachal.
He noted that any new bridge is likely to cost about $1 billion - the Golden Ears Bridge is budgeted at more than $800 million - and that the money could also easily give Langley a community rail link to Surrey, with plenty left over for more buses.
He also said he was “really impressed” by the generous paved shoulders on both sides of most of Portland’s highways and freeways and the fact that there were usually a minimum of three lanes in each direction, with more lanes, sometimes up to five lanes, at on and off ramps. Portland’s on and off ramps, he said, also tended to be long and smooth and extended for a considerable distance (often with two full lanes available), which stands in stark contrast to the dangerously short stretches of road allocated for merging on and off of the Trans Canada Highway. “Now that’s infrastructure,” he wrote in one email with reference to Portland.Now traffic congestion is a real concern and dangerous infrastructure like the Pattullo Bridge needs to be replaced, but we know the following: gas is going up in price, 30% of green house causing gases come from transportation, people are looking for alternatives to the auto, cities are trying to building around people and transit. A far more reasonable approach would be to build transportation alternatives out in the South Fraser which currently don't exist. Restore the Interurban, build light rail on King George Highway and 104th Avenue, build streetcars, build complete roads, and implement congestion tolling. After doing all that, let's revisit the new bridges question.
The old Interurban corridor connects all the major urban centres (the Valley was settled around the Interurban) as well as many of the post-secondary institutions.
It is a practical solution for residents of the Fraser Valley that would provide an alternative to driving and yet authorities continue to pussyfoot around the issue.
A study on transit options for the South Fraser region is promised, but not to be delivered until after the provincial election.
Abbotsford council will be issued with a report on the feasibility of passenger rail in October. Let's make sure this issue doesn't get stalled any longer and use the upcoming elections, municipal and provincial, to elect politicians with vision. Vote for people who understand the long term and immediate benefits of re-activating the Interurban corridor."Why is it that the average person on the street that I speak with all the time, fully understands that light rail transit is exploding across North America as a development magnet and people-mover? Yet after almost 70 years of preserving the interurban right-of-way and running a little freight traffic on this line, our leaders are still talking about expensive studies, outdated bus speak, and rapid bus in the very distant future. A rapid bus system that would see us creating massive and expensive tunnel infrastructure for, but has already failed TODAY to attract "choice riders" in 13 communities across North America.
Adam Giambrone, the city councillor who chairs the TTC and also sits on the Metrolinx board, said yesterday he had not seen a copy of the plan. But he reiterated the TTC's objection to a subway along Eglinton, which he said is not warranted given the projected ridership numbers and would cost as much as $10-billion compared with a light-rail line with an estimated $2.2-billion price tag.It looks like the full report of Toronto’s transportation future will be released this month for public consultation.
He warned it would also take much longer to build, meaning it might not happen at all - the fate met by the last subway planned for Eglinton, upon which construction had already begun before it was cancelled in 1995 by the newly elected provincial Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris.
"We're seeing all-time records in transit ridership already, at 1.8 billion trips a year," said Steve New, who chairs the Canadian Urban Transit Association. The survey showed:
- There's massive support (81 per cent) for using more of the federal gasoline tax revenue for public transit.
- Four in 10 Canadians believe cars and trucks are the country's main source of greenhouse gases.
- Twenty-one per cent said gasoline prices are their biggest financial worry. That's the top personal finance issue in the country, followed by the cost of housing and food.
Last week I had a private meeting with City of Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender. For some time now I have been attending meetings and watching Langley City's redevelopment Master Plan with excitement and enthusiasm. I watch such events as a person that is interested in smart development, a transit and density advocate, a long-time real estate investor, a property owner (both City and Township), and engaged citizen.
The face of our Langleys are in the midst of change and progressive leadership is vital to ensuring that our communities grow properly and smartly. I am personally encouraged and excited by the vision for a new City of Langley and the political leaders that have gone out on a limb to bring that vision forward. Its bold and its the right thing to do. While South Fraser OnTrax is a non-partisan society, we can acknowledge, appreciate and respect the initiatives of our current elected officials. South Fraser OnTrax therefore wishes to thank Mayor Fassbender, Francis Cheung, Chief Administrative Officer, the sitting City Council, Gerald Minchuk, Director of Development Services & Economic Development and City Staff for their efforts.
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of good smart growth strategies and creation of walkable neighbourhoods to the building of communities around people, and for the ultimate provision of transportation solutions that serve the people. I’m pleased to report what I already knew and that is that Mayor Fassbender understands these concepts. International travel goes a long way in educating people and opening new schools of thought. I’ve always said that my many years of living and working overseas have allowed me a perspective and vision that is not always apparent to my North American friends and family. Mayor Fassbender is well-traveled and I was excited to hear about his take on Transit Oriented Development, densification, mixed-use and creative mixed-use. He mentioned that mixed-use need not always be a storefront per say, but could be a London style townhouse unit with what could be a public access workroom on the ground floor with an internal staircase to living accommodations above. In Asia they would be known as shop houses. The point is that the mayor has traveled extensively Europe and Asia, and is allowing himself to be open to these possibilities in Langley City. This adds a whole new dimension to the City of Langley’s Master Plan.
Is this plan all roses? Of course not. There are significant challenges to overcome. Things like aging infrastructure, willingness of landowners to sell or redevelop, developer will to invest in the city, and the list goes on. But the mayor and his staff are proactively engaging in meetings and calls to developers and land owners every week. I like that. We like that as a group! This is progressive leadership.
I encourage each and every one of you to look at the City of Langley brochure and full Master Plan. Read it, get excited about it, and most importantly please let these local leaders know that you fully support their efforts. For our part at South Fraser OnTrax, we will keep you updated on all the happenings with these plans. We will also continue o write letters and encourage the city to keep the mixed-use, TOD strategies in the forefront of all that they do. I invited Mayor Fassbender to speak at the South Fraser OnTrax October 9th meeting that will take place in the Township’s Nicomekl River Meeting Room (4th Floor). The mayor will speak on his view and vision for Langley and Langley transportation, with an eye on the region and how Langley fits into that region. I very much look forward to the mayor’s wit and wisdom.
Lastly, our municipalities are full of many unsung heroes that work diligently each day for our benefit. One such trooper is Debra Joyal, Administrative Assistant in the Mayor’s Office at the City of Langley. I am in regular contact with Debra as she helps me distribute research reports to mayor and council. I enjoy the same ultra-professional assistance from Cindy Savoy over that Mayor Kurt Alberts office in the Township of Langley. Exceptional people like Debra Joyal and Cindy Savoy will rise to the top of any organization they work in, as their skills and professionalism shine bright. On this Labour Day I'd like to thank you ladies for all that you do for us and our community.