Friday, May 04, 2007

Reducing Commute Times for Families.

A recent opinion piece tried to make the argument that we need to twin the Port Mann Bridge to give people more time with their families.



The MacPhee, Collins and Smith study found that travel time by a light rail transit system from Abbotsford to Coquitlam would be about 40 minutes as opposed to the 1.5 to 2 hours in the article's scenario.



Evidence from across North American suggests that adding freeway lanes (especially just one in each direction) reduces congestion for only short periods of time (sometimes only a few months). After which people would be back to the 1.5 to 2 hour commute.



So if we really want to give people more time with their families why not implement the best solution NOW? Why implement a very expensive short term fix that has all the associated problems with pollution and global warming?





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3 comments:

Budd Campbell said...

"The MacPhee, Collins and Smith study found that travel time by a light rail transit system from Abbotsford to Coquitlam would be about 40 minutes as opposed to the 1.5 to 2 hours in the article's scenario."

What is the MacPhee, Collins and Smith report?

An LRT service cannot possibly make it from Abbotsford to Coquitlam in the 40 minute time you describe. It takes Skytrain over half an hour to go from Waterfront to North Surrey. What might be a better bet would be a heavy rail solution such as the West Coast Express, especially with track improvements and running priorities.

But that would be a good, high speed service and would be opposed by groups such as SPEC and BEST who put the interests of Vancouver property owners first, and regard any public service that benefits suburbanites as a wasteful tool of urban sprawl.

Rob said...

The MacPhee, Collins and Smith report can be found at:
http://www.livableregion.ca/pdf/FVLR_Alternative_to_Gateway.pdf

I didn't do the research in the report but the 40 minutes doesn't seem too unreasonable. The distance is only 40% more than the expo line length. And they based the line on having only half the stations that the expo line does. So only a 30% increase in travel time might be posible.

Yes, heavy rail might be a better bet.

I have spoke with repersentatives of both SPEC and BEST and they both very strongly support either heavy or light rail in the Fraser valley.

Since they are member-based organization you might want to consier joining them and electing a borad that continues to support rapid transit expansion in the valley.

Rob said...

Ironically enough just today SPEC announced an advertising program to promote rail in the Fraser Valley. Listen to it at:
http://www.cleanairradio.ca/carcasts/Next_stop_langley.mp3