Highway Update - 12 April 2005
Good morning Concerned Citizens -
Just a few items to bring to your attention. For more news and updates, visit our website at www.stophighwayexpansion.ca. The headlines appear first, and you must scroll down below for the details. There are 6 updates in this e-mail.
1. **Traffic Jam! A festival with a political message: Stop #1 Highway Expansion! Saturday, 30 April from 1-4 at Trout Lake Park**
2. **Become a Saturday Afternoon Activist! Cross-Walk action along First Ave from 1-2pm (meet at 1710 Victoria to pick up signs) and pamphleting at 1st and Commercial from 2-4pm (meet at the intersection, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org)**
3. **We're in the media! To note this morning - Dave will be on the Bill Good show at 9am. CKNW is trying to line up Falcon to be there, too. Listen in and call - the open line number is: 604-280-9898. A media summary appears below.**
4. **Brainstorming a Federal approach. The province needs federal dollars to make this project go ahead, and several of us are interested in putting efforts into pressuring the feds to fund only sustainable transportation projects. Write to email@example.com if you are interested in helping to lay the groundwork for a federal approach.**
5. **Road Hockey Game - the Second Period: pamphleting opportunity. The Cross Pedestrians organizers have invited us to have a table at the Sunday, 24 April hockey game. 1-2pm at Charles and Commercial. We'll be there, just show up to help spread the word.**
6. **More updates/Comments/Suggestions/Questions? Please be in touch by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.**
1. **Traffic Jam!** We will need a large number of volunteers to make this a success. Let us know if you would like to volunteer leading up to the event (postering, joining the organizing team, advertising, donating money) and/or on the day of the event (set-up crew, runners, crowd marshals, activities coordinators, roadies, first-aid, take-down and clean-up). We're working on a separate page on the website devoted to Traffic Jam, so keep an eye there for updates. www.stophighwayexpansion.ca.
2. **Saturday Afternoon Activists** We had 40 volunteers out to use the cross-walks along First Avenue last Saturday. What an impact! Five cross-walks, between Woodland and Templeton were used for an hour to put out our 'Stop the #1 Highway', 'Look at Options', 'Listen to Citizens' message. Photos are up on the website. Come out and join us this and every Saturday leading up to the election! Pamphleting followed at 1st and Commercial between 2-4pm, also with good response! More volunteers needed to keep the energy up. Write to us at email@example.com to volunteer.
3. **Media Summary** [start of press release summary] 11 April 2005 - Citizens Concerned with Highway Expansion released figures today that challenge the Provincial Government's rationale for expanding Highway #1. The figures demonstrate the basis for developing realistic alternatives to highway expansion.
Volunteers measured the use of the #1 Highway at the Port Mann Bridge by counting the numbers of vehicles during rush hours and weekends. Counts indicate that 930-1200 vehicles use the #1 Highway at the Port Mann Bridge every 15 minutes during rush hours. An additional 840 vehicles travel the route every 15 minutes on weekends.
Of these vehicles:
- 65-73% are single-occupancy vehicles on weekdays;
- 28% are single-occupancy vehicles on weekends;
- 12-13% are commercial vehicles.
No public transportation options exist for crossing the Port Mann Bridge – not a single bus crosses the route. Between Surrey and Vancouver, the Sky Train currently operates at approximately 33% of its designed capacity.
There are feasible options for reducing congestion without building new bridges or expanding highways:
- One bus carrying 50 passengers every 5 minutes would reduce congestion by 12-18%. That's a reduction of 600 cars every hour;
- If 10% of Port Mann motorists would car pool, even with only one other person in order to qualify them for the High-Occupancy Vehicle lane, congestion could be reduced by 370 to 480 cars per hour [end of press release summary]. The full media release is available from the website (www.stophighwayexpansion.ca)
With this release, we were on the regular news cycle on CKNW and Dave Fields had a 5 min. interview on The World Today which included a sound bite from Kevin Falcon. Dave will appear this morning with some members of LRC on the Bill Good Show at 9 AM (please call in with supportive comments- 280-9898) and Kevin Falcon is expected to be on as well. We were on the front page of the Westcoast section the Vancouver Sun on 11 April. Attending the news conference at the Port Mann Bridge on 11 April were: The Province, CityTV, CTV, Ming Pao, Sing Tao, World Journal, plus an interview with the Vancouver Courier. This is pretty spectacular, and it will be interesting to watch how this issue gets handled as the election heats up. Well done media group!
4. **Brainstorming a federal approach**. We are in good position to inform the debates around the provincial election, and now we would like to take a look at a federal approach...especially with a federal election looming! If you are interested in joining a group to work on a federal strategy, please write us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no way the provincial government can carry this project to completion without a very significant infusion of federal dollars - and we need to remind them why that would be a bad idea in light of their Climate Change initiative, among other reasons.
5. **Pamphleting at the Cross Pedestrians Road Hockey Game: Second Period** Come out and help spread the word about the #1 Highway Expansion plans while enjoying a road hockey game on Commercial Drive! Even though we've been at this for a few months now, there are plenty of folks out there who haven't heard about this issue or how it will impact our communities. The game will take place from 1-2 at Charles and Commercial. Visit the Cross Pedestrians website at http://www.dotank.org/crosspedestrians/
6. **Your Updates/Comments/Suggestions/Questions are welcomed! We are a small group of people doing a large amount of work, so more input is welcome. If you would like to get more involved (now that term papers are written, or whatever else has been holding you back so far), let us know! If you've been working in your community to spread the word, let us know! It's encouraging to hear that there are others out there working on similar issues.