Letter: Transportation cash best spent on ’burbs

Dear Editor,

British Columbia should be attempting to impress the world by making its main economic engine – the Metro Vancouver region – hospitable and attractive, from a long-term perspective, to prospective corporate and individual investors.

Not replacing the for-over-20-years obsolete and outrageously lacking in vehicle capacity George Massey Tunnel will continue to have exactly the opposite effect.

Provincial and federal politicians and officials should be collaborating to expeditiously replace the George Massey Tunnel with an architectural and engineering award winner: A world-beater, cutting-edge technology bridge that has sufficient vehicle- and bicycle- capacity to comfortably meet the region’s needs to at least 2060.

Another top priority for B.C. and federal government representatives should be identifying a legitimate “rapid transit” technology that must be used by the extensive commuter rail network that is proposed for Surrey and Langley (if it is to be eligible for federal/provincial funding).

The as-cheap-as-possible, human-driven “buses-on-rails (on already-overcrowded roadways)” technology that several of Surrey’s less far-sighted politicians are recommending would automatically be disqualified by such a process.

For many years, when compared to most of Metro Vancouver’s 20 other member municipalities – the city of Vancouver has had a disproportionately enormous rapid transit infrastructure.

But, unlike geographically much larger cities – such as Surrey and Langley – Vancouver has negligible available land to accommodate future population growth and industrial developments.

City of Vancouver: 44.3 square miles; population: 642,000;

City of Surrey: 122.1 square miles; population: 526,000;

Township of Langley: 119 square miles; population 144,600;

Federal transportation infrastructure monies for B.C. should be targeted at Metro Vancouver’s member municipalities other than Vancouver – in particular, the long neglected south of the Fraser cities of Delta, Surrey and Langley – to enable:

a) rapidly replacing the George Massey Tunnel; and

b) the development of a legitimate rapid transit network in these cities that is, at the least, equivalent to, and preferably better-than the three computer-driven, above-the-roadway rapid transit lines that have criss-crossed Vancouver for most of the last three decades.

Roderick V. Louis, White Rock



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