Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pattullo Bridge - Update 1

Traffic is still pretty heavy since the Pattullo Bridge closed last weekend. Apparently the bridge might now be open in two weeks time due to some spare bridge structures that were used during the Canada Line construction. It is good to see that this work will be done sooner than later, but I wonder if two weeks is enough time for people to adjust their mobility habits as I blogged about yesturday.

I have been working evening shifts this week and I take transit in Vancouver from Langley, so I haven’t been able to see what the rush hour is like on-the-ground. According to my co-workers, SkyTrain has been busier then normal. Also, it is take 50% longer to go through the George Massey Tunnel. According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, there is still major congestion on the roads that lead to Highway 1 in Surrey. Traffic was in better shape on Tuesday and there was some evidence that people are changing their habits.

But Nichole Williams, dispatcher with Surdel Taxi, said rush hour was quieter than expected. "It was chaotic on Monday as everyone panicked, but today people seemed to get over it, figure things out and traffic was moving much better," Williams said.
It also appears that the peak demand is moving earlier in the morning as people start adjusting. It might be a better idea for some people to leave home later to avoid the earlier peak.

The New Westminster News Leader has an article about the changes in that community. It was good to hear that the City of New Westminster was flexible with their work schedule.

New West's manager of engineering operations told me it took two hours to get to ork from Newton on Monday morning. He opted for the Alex Fraser; others get the joy of the Port Mann. That's perhaps contributed to his decision to give fellow south Fraser-living employees in his department the opportunity to work a 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. shift "when we can accommodate them." Some staff are being shuttled from the SkyTrain station to the works yard, and Jon said he's basing one crews at Queensborough so they don't have to worry about traversing the bridge during the day in all this mess.
This kind of scheduling is something that all employers should consider all the time. Staggering start time, by even 15min, can make a huge difference for traffic load. Anyway, I will continue to monitor this situation...

No comments: