Queue jumper lanes and express bus service needed now in the Highway 1 corridor.
For immediate release
November 4, 2005
Queue jumper lanes and express bus service needed now in the Highway 1 corridor
The Livable Region Coalition (LRC) is calling on the Province and TransLink to accelerate a proposal, already in TransLink's 10 year plan (and currently scheduled for completion in 2007), to create transit queue jumper lanes at the Port Mann bridge and to immediately start planning and budgeting for an express bus service to connect Langley to the SkyTrain Millennium line. Queue jumper lanes are essential for a reliable bus service on Highway 1 to circumvent the congestion leading up to the bridge.
Gateway Project executive director, Mike Proudfoot recently announced that the plans for twinning the Port Mann Bridge and expanding Highway 1 from Langley to Vancouver have again been delayed, putting its delivery date sometime well after 2010. “That’s far too long to wait,” said Deming Smith, Policy and Communications Manager at Better Environmentally Sound Transportation. “People and goods are sitting, stuck in traffic, for hours every day. We need solutions that can be implemented now.”
The Livable Region Coalition believes that current levels of congestion on the Highway 1 corridor can be reduced for much less money, and much more quickly than the Highway 1/Port Mann project could be completed.
At least a portion of the Port Mann Bridge congestion problem can be attributed to the fact that there is no public transit service on the Highway 1 corridor. People travelling that corridor across the Port Mann have no choice but to drive. Transit solutions need to be implemented – now.
The LRC also suggests that congestion pricing be discussed as a way to ensure that adequate traffic service levels are maintained after transit alternatives have been introduced. Congestion pricing has been a dramatic success in places such as London England, which introduced the charges 3 years ago, and has achieved a 30% reduction in traffic travelling throughout the City core and a significant improvement in travel times. The LRC proposes that any monies raised from such a charge go directly to improving transportation options for commuters along the Hwy 1 corridor.
“While the LRC recognizes that not everyone can or wants to take transit, we know there are many who would if they could. There are many people who would appreciate the option of not driving in rush hour traffic and not having to own and operate a 2nd or 3rd family car. Others would jump at the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact in the region. Currently commuters along the Hwy 1 corridor do not have this choice” said Karen Wristen, Executive Director of SPEC and also a spokesperson for the LRC.
The Livable Region Coalition (http://www.livableregion.ca/) is a group of Lower Mainland citizens and sustainable transportation advocates.
For more information:
Deming Smith - 604 669-2860
Karen Wristen - 604-736-7732