Monday, January 8, 2018

New map shows removal of tolls increased congestion in Langley, Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows

In December, TransLink released data about the increase in vehicle traffic across the Port Mann Bridge and Golden Ears Bridge since the provincial government removed tolls on those crossing.

As I posted about in December, traffic was up about 30% on both the Port Mann and Golden Ears. Traffic was down on the Pattullo Bridge, Alex Fraser Bridge, and George Massey Tunnel. Overall, there was an 8% increase in traffic across all river crossings. This is significantly higher than normal growth in traffic.

What does this mean for commuters in Langley and Surrey? More time stuck in traffic. The following map from TransLink shows the impact of the toll removal on the major road network in our region in the peak afternoon travel period.

Toll removal has mixed effects on peak pm period speeds. Red = Slower; Green = Faster; Grey = Minimal Change. Select map to enlarge.

Along the Highway 1 corridor, traffic congestion has increased in both the Burnaby Lake area and through Langley. Congestion has also increased on Highway 15 and 152 Street which connect to Highway 1.

While congestion has reduced on the Alex Fraser Bridge, congestion has increased in the peak travel direction on approaches to the bridge. While congestion has decreased along the north section of the SFPR, it has increased along the south section.

Interesting enough, the Highway 99 corridor has seen a significant reduction in congestion which further calls into question the need for a replacement crossing.

Another positive is that traffic is down through New Westminster which should be a welcome relief for residents in that community.

While people are no longer paying a cash toll on the Port Mann or Golden Ears, they are now being tolled with longer commutes and increased fuel costs due to stop and go traffic.

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