Monday, July 16, 2012

The Port Mann Bridge Toll A Bad Idea

One of the most travelled commuter bridges in greater Vancouver, the Port Mann, is soon to be replaced. This is a vital artery of Vancouver traffic, part of the Trans-Canada highway, and with the expanded capacity will come an expensive toll. For those of us who commute over this bridge daily and cannot afford this sudden dramatic increase in monthly travelling expenses, we will have to alter our habits to take alternate routes. This demographic is a lot of people, especially considering Vancouver motorists are already butt-f**ked by an impressive arsenal of automobile taxes.

Why do you think the BC government is spending vast sums of money trying to convince people to drive on the new bridge once it is tolled? A large proportion of traffic is going to divert to the Puttello bridge or the Alex Fraser, routes that are already under strain by the large number of people who work in Vancouver but can't afford to live in Vancouver. Those who say the solution is public transit, my daily drive of 55 minutes would take 3 hours by bus/train. That is simply not an option. Transit is not an option, an extra $50 per month is not an option, so what am I to do? The only remaining option is to divert to already over-used bridges.

The BC Liberals would be wise not to toll that bridge ahead of the next election, and the NDP would be wise to put removing the toll on their promise list. There are a great many votes to be won on this issue. Trust me, I travel this bridge on a daily basis. A lot of people are about to get very frustrated; not only the people who drive the Port Mann, but all the people who regularly drive the alternatives. They have spent considerable time and money expanding the highway capacity leading up to the Port Mann bridge, which they aren't even going to need if a chunk of existing commuters choose alternate routes. My guess is that the government realizes the cluster f**k they are about to create, which explains millions spent on ads begging people to take the new toll bridge.

The BC Liberals have basically destroyed themselves. The NDP will form the next government of British Columbia. I'd put the NDP probability of victory around 90% if I were taking bets on it.

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