A plan by City of Vancouver engineers to widen Grandview Highway, by adding high occupancy vehicle lanes, is the first step in implementing the province’s controversial Gateway highway project.
“This is just Gateway through the back door,” said COPE Cllr David Cadman. “Last June, Council passed a number of unanimous motions opposing Gateway, and the twinning of the Port Mann bridge and widening of Highway 1. Yet now a plan is coming to us that is the first step in turning Grandview into ‘Grandview Freeway’ to accommodate Gateway and an expanded freeway into Vancouver.”
An Engineering Department report, going before Council on October 18, calls for adding two high occupancy (HOV) lanes on Grandview Highway from Boundary Road to Skeena Street. Cost of the widening would be “coordinated with the design of the Ministry of Transportation’s Gateway Program.”
A number of community groups and local residents have been vocal in their opposition to Gateway and any widening of Grandview which they say is being done to accommodate traffic from freeway expansion.
In a letter to Council, the Grandview Woodlands Area Council indicated they are “opposed to City proposals to add any additional lanes of car traffic on Grandview Highway including HOV.”
The Area Council further “resolves to call on the City of Vancouver to bar any use of city resources to further the Provincial Gateway Project or to accommodate any additional traffic through Vancouver.”
Meanwhile the Livable Regional Coalition (LRC), that includes former city councillor Gordon Price, is encouraging supporters to attend Council’s October 18 meeting so “we can stop the proposed widening of 12th Avenue, if enough of us speak out.”
In an email to Gateway opponents, LRC spokesperson Eric Doherty says “this report does not even mention the City of Vancouver’s climate change policies – the widening of 12th Avenue for so-called HOV lanes clearly contradicts these policies.”