“Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon has still to make a case for twinning the Port Mann Bridge and expanding Highway 1 into Vancouver,” said Vancouver COPE Councillor David Cadman.
“I have yet to see any real evidence that building more highways will solve the region’s traffic congestion problem.”
Falcon first announced his expansion plans in 2004. At that time the Mayors of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster raised serious concerns about the rationale for the project. Falcon is now scheduled to announce further details of the plan at 8:30 am, on Tues, Jan 31, at a meeting of the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce at the Hyatt regency
Environmental and community groups, transportation planners and health professionals have criticized expanding the highway as a solution to congestion. More highways, they say, simply leads to more congestion. And more vehicles feeding into local streets of Burnaby, New Westminster and East Vancouver will only add more hazardous air pollutants into residential areas.
“I would ask Minister Falcon to explain how this project fits the priorities of the GVRD’s Livable Region Strategy, TransLink’s Transportation Plan or Vancouver’s Climate Change Action Plan,” asked Cadman.
“Nor has Falcon shown how spending $1.5 billion on twining the Port Mann will impact on transit infrastructure that we are already committed to, or that is now under construction.”
Cadman also pointed out that there has been no public consultation or any discussion with local municipalities on the impact and repercussions of expanding Highway 1 through the Lower Mainland.