Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Golden Ears Bridge

I missed this opinion piece last week in the Langley Advance, but I thought it was worth a mention. Called "Coming into its own", Monique Tamminga speak about the impact the Golden Ears Bridge has had on travel patterns in its short one year life.
While it always seems to be smooth sailing across the bridge, even at the height of rush hour, it’s being used more than many of us realized. When it shut down, traffic to get onto the bridge on both sides of the river backed up for blocks and blocks.

Choosing to take the Port Mann bridge as an alternative lead to absolute gridlock on the freeway, even before rush hour.
I've talked about this before, but this is another example of the gaseous nature of transportation. If you build more travel facilities like new or expanded roads, separated bike lanes, or rapid transit you actually end up creating new trips. The Albion Ferry carried 4,500 vehicles per day while the Golden Ears Bridge now carries 22,300 vehicles per day with a toll. People will change their travel patterns based on the travel options provided. The Golden Ears Bridge has created many new economic opportunities since its opening and it's likely that the South Fraser Perimeter Road Freeway and expanded Highway 1 will have a similar effect in our region. The question remains: what are we doing to incentivize public transit in the South of Fraser? With the current funding issues at TransLink, I fear that we are encouraging more auto use not less.

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