TransLink referendum is one of the most unrealistic and irresponsible infrastructure projects I’ve ever heard of in my entire life. It’s poorly thought out, out of touch with reality, shady, and deceitful.
It plans to build a new 4-lane Patullo bridge, build an LRT in Surrey to Langley, increase Seabus service by 50%, add more B-Line bus service from West Vancouver to all over Metro Vancouver, add more frequent peak-hour bus service, add 2,700 cycling and walking trails, and other nonsense. And to pay it of, a 0.51% sales tax increase … (cough).
The planned Massey bridge is a Provincial project and has nothing to do with the Mayor’s pet projects. And that’s the ONLY item in the referendum that makes a lot of sense.
I’m just speculating here, but perhaps this is payback to his cronies for backing his re-election campaign, ya know … contractors and developers. They would love a transportation angle to future condos in Surrey.
It’s really difficult to look at this project without going ballistic. It’s outrageous! The new 4-lane Patullo bridge is laughable, it’s pretty obvious they want a new bridge so they can toll commuters because they gravely miscalculated traffic on the Port Mann bridge. People avoide it. They have to pay it back somehow. We’ve all heard about it on the news … the miscalculations. Experts, they say.
Increasing seabus and bus service won’t fix anything. It’s a band-aid solution. Ever commuted from Park Royal to downtown Vancouver? Yeah, Marine Dr. from West Vancouver all the way to Lions Gate bridge is a nightmare! Traffic is horrendous. With just one lane each direction, a stall anywhere in that span will cause an immediate gridlock. That bridge needs help. It’s a tiny artery pumping high traffic. Do the math. Then we have the Iron Worker’s Memorial bridge, the four-lane bridge is easily crippled whenever there’s a traffic problem on Marine drive exit, and it’s the only driving or bus alternative to the Lions Gate bridge going south … you could take the bus or swim, your choice. Then we have the Vancouver-Blaine Highway from the Massey tunnel to the Delta/Hwy 17 exit … that stretch can easily turn into a parking lot on normal peak hours.
And finally, the downtown Vancouver mess. They want to improve commerce and the transport of goods, sure, that’s great. Highways in Surrey and Richmond, via Highway 1, 91, 1, 1A, etc. are more than enough to allow smooth flow of heavy traffic. The problem is their destination, Port Metro Vancouver, its route is smacked right in the middle of residential area in Vancouver and between heavy arteries, Highway 99 and Highway 1. So you have tons of big rigs rushing through traffic side-by-side with regular vehicles, motorcycles, cyclists, skateboarders, pedestrians, and panhandlers. Clark drive, Dunbar between Nanaimo and Powell, and McGill and Commissioner easily gets congested … not to mention dangerous for commuters. Ok, the port existed in that area since the colonization period, fine, but things needs to change. That place cannot be considered industrial area anymore. It’s more residential. The ports are better of relocated to Richmond. This IS the 21st century, I don’t think England will be sailing ships to English bay anytime soon to trade beaver pelts. The port needs to move! It’s a health and traffic problem.
The newly constructed Powell overpass is awesome. Thanks. But driving (or commuting by bus) from Powell to Vancouver can easily turn into a nightmare as soon as you reach Main street. Powell needs to connect to some sort of circumferential road away from an area with heavy foot traffic. I’m sure the Mayor don’t want tourists to get run over. Highway 99 from Marple is fine, but as soon as you reach Vancouver, it’s like … fucked. West Georgia needs to connect to a thorough lane from the Lions Gate bridge to a major highway away from the city, 1A or 99, take your pick. Then instead of making sure there’s enough lanes for buses and vehicles, the Mayor decided to allocated one full lane for bikes. Nice work Einstein, that really eased up traffic! If you can’t tell that I’m pissed writing this, I’m telling you now, I’m pissed.
Then there’s Highway 1 exit to 12th avenue. By the way, Highway 1 from Hastings to Broadway is cool, thanks. That helped alleviate traffic. Especially the Willingdon overpass, it’s awesome. Unfortunately, you have heavy traffic being forced into a shared 4-lane busy street, 12th street. It gets bad immediately after Boundary heading West. And the streets become narrower the further you head West. This cuts through residential, school, and shopping areas. Poor pedestrians and cyclists. Kingsway is another problematic stretch, though, it seems to be a little manageable for now, only a little.
So you want to spend more money on bike lanes and walking trails huh? Sure, next time Port Metro transports a huge container, tell them to use a 5-speed bike. That should do the trick!
Lastly, our beloved TransLink. You can widen the streets, add more schedules, and provide as many dedicated lanes to your heart’s content. But if your culture doesn’t change … the culture of unreliability, unprofessionalism, and lack of respect for its commuters … guess what, NOTHING will improve. You post signs about passenger rules to protect your drivers, let’s reverse role for a minute. I’ve witnessed drivers barking at seniors for no reason, drivers who socialize while driving, stopping in the middle of the street to pick-up friends, dropping off friends on undesignated stops, waiting for a hot chic to board, driving off and leaving a passenger who’s 3 seconds away, I could go on and on. Fact is, TransLink drivers are overpaid entitled jerks. To be fair, I know some who are great people. In fact, I know some personally who are really good. But that’s a minority. Buses are so unreliable on some routes, on the Gilmore route … check it out, up to 30 minutes late … consistently. That’s why I opt out and drive. Because commuting just won’t cut it. The only thing people can really count with TransLink is annual fare increase. By the way, at least your social media team is doing a great job. The rest … I can’t.
TransLink Referendum … it’s funny, no, it’s actually not….that the only thing that’s been said about paying it is the 0.51% increase in sales tax. You guys conveniently left out that you’ll increase that the following year … and up to 2.5%. Do you have any idea the ripple effect a tax increase has on … EVERYTHING? What’s the minimum wage? Are you planning on helping citizens or sucking their blood bone dry? Like I said, irresponsible!
How did I came up with this illustration? Did I hire any “experts”? No, I just live here. I experience this week after week … day in, day out. Yes, I travel to the US frequently and I go through this mess. So if you have a lot to say and don’t live here … sit down and be quiet!
The Mayor downplayed polls that showed dismal support for the referendum, below 40%, he said that polls don’t reflect what’s happening on the ground. And he’s absolutely right, it’s actually worse than that. I for one have not heard anyone, aside from your PR team online, who is in favor of this shenanigans. Students and some government institutions maybe, but what do they know? Even your so-called “experts” don’t know crap.
Don’t take your citizens for fools.
TransLink Referendum, TransLink Plebiscite …
I’m not going to proofread this because I’m too pissed.