Many questions about Gateway project unanswered: criticsBy Jeff Nagel
Maple Ridge News
Feb 01 2006
Key questions remain unanswered despite Victoria’s determination to twin the Trans-Canada Highway through Greater Vancouver, critics say.
NDP transportation critic David Chudnovsky slammed what he called a political announcement Tuesday that didn’t deliver a promised avalanche of studies that Gateway officials say back up their program. “Where are the answers to the legitimate questions people have about these projects,” he asked. “What we have is politics masquerading as transportation policy here.”
Chudnovsky remains noncommittal on NDP support or opposition to the project. “We want answers to the legitimate frustrations of people who live in Surrey and Langley,” he said.
Environmental impacts are also unknown, he said.
The Project Definition Report released Tuesday suggests vehicle
emissions in 2021 would be 0.1 per cent higher than if Gateway doesn’t proceed. Others have argued the freeway twinning will pave the way for intensified development of the Fraser Valley, leading to further congestion in contravention of the Livable Region Strategic Plan.
Marion Town, executive director of Better Environmentally Sustainable Transportation, said failure to provide studies suggests they don’t support Gateway’s premise. “What evidence is out there clearly demonstrates the opposite,” she said. “No city has solved their traffic congestion problems by building more and wider highways.”
Falcon said the studies will be made available and he looks forward to the response of opponents. “I can’t wait to have this debate, especially with people who are opposed to it,” Falcon said. “What they have to offer is something they’ve never offered – which is an alternative. If they just say public transit, how are they going to move goods? Because they can’t stack containers on public transit.”