Letters to the Editor re: Car-Free Commercial Drive Festival
Port Mann critics blind to commuter reality
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Citizens Concerned with Highway Expansion should concern themselves with helping and understanding others who want to get home and have quality time with their loved ones.
They might also consider supporting less congestion and pollution by removing the necessity of sitting idle on a bridge that can take 20 minutes to cross.
How many of the people signing that petition on Commercial Drive over the weekend have ever dealt daily with the Port Mann Bridge?
While it's nice that these Vancouverites can afford their housing in the confines of the city, that is not reality for most people.
Don't these people and bridge commuters have a right to their dreams of being able to live where they can afford and work where they choose, without being punished for it by a daily bridge-crossing nightmare?
Until this spring, I faced that horrible bridge for 12 years. It has been increasingly worse in the last three years.
© The Vancouver Province 2005
Highway Expansion Threatens All Communities
What the recent Drive Fest has demonstrated is that Highway 1 expansion is of concern to a great many people in the Lower Mainland. If the Gateway Program is allowed to go forward our region will be locked into an unsustainable, car centred, pattern of development that will not only bring more vehicles into residential neighbourhoods but will result in increased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. We are at a point in our history where we face our greatest challenge; change our carbon heavy lifestyle choices or face irreversible climate change. Commercial Drive is not alone in celebrating progressive values that will help us create a clean and healthy future and everyone is invited to join the party.
Member of Citizens Concerned with Highway Expansion
In his June 22 letter, Toni Stewart attacked our group for not respecting people who cannot afford to live in Vancouver, and therefore get stuck in traffic on the Port Mann Bridge.
Citizens Concerned with Highway Expansion is opposed to expanding the #1 Highway from Langley to East Vancouver. Instead, we are proposing alternatives such as the expansion of cost-effective public transit throughout the region. For example, trains on the Skytrain line to Surrey are overcrowded because TransLink only owns 1/3rd of the cars the line is designed for -buying the full complement of cars would move as many more people as adding 16 lanes to the freeway. Bus service could be
improved and fares reduced to make it practical and affordable to ride transit.
Spending $1.4 Billion expanding the freeway will destroy our East Vancouver communities, increase smog and greenhouse gas pollution, and cause years of construction-related traffic delays. Expanded freeways always become congested again within a few years. $1.4 Billion spent on cost-effective public transit would reduce traffic congestion on the Port Mann, and save money and time for those who choose to ride transit instead of driving.
Our website www.stophighwayexpansion.ca includes more alternatives to freeway expansion.
Citizens Concerned with Highway Expansion, East Vancouver
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