Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pattullo Traffic 2013-????

Next year, the new Port Mann bridge will open. It will be tolled.

What will this do to traffic on the Pattullo - new or not?

Chances are, it will increase. Maybe not much during the rush hour, when the entire system is already plugged, and motorists might well prefer the speedier 10-lane Port Mann even at $3/crossing, but after hours when time isn't so much a concern, I expect that folks will be opting for the free alternative.

So I predict that the Pattullo bridge and the attached road system will experience rush-hour-like traffic conditions 18 hours a day. Starting next year.

Certainly something to look forward to, eh? It is no wonder that New West City Council is starting to explore "traffic management strategies". One such strategy is to call for tolling on the bridge as soon as the Port Mann tolls kick in. Of course, New West cannot implement tolls unilaterally. It requires all the mayors to agree, and then to lobby Translink and likely the Province as well, to allow implementation.  Not that doing this is making us any friends, of course. New West is already being seen as a hotbed of NIMBYism for protesting that 450,000 single-occupancy cars driving through per day is really at the limit of what we can take.

[Major Road Network in New Westminster; blue lines are at least partially funded by TransLink, the red lines are under Provincial jurisdiction. click to enlarge.]

There are, of course, other options to "manage" traffic; things like ill-timed traffic lights, barriers, more crosswalks...but it isn't clear to me that New Westminster could implement any of these along the most-affected routes. As you can see in the picture above, McBride, Royal, and East Columbia are part of TransLink's "Major Road Network". While these roads are owned and operated by New Westminster, they are at least partially funded by TransLink. So presumably any changes to their configuration would have to be done in agreement with TransLink.

So, what do you think New Westminster should do?

1 comment:

  1. I predict People will be scared out of the Patelio. Fingers Crossed that Cars will somehow dissapear before then.

    If not, media will definately publish the "18 hour traffic jams". And more blame put on Translink.

    And the media will say something like: "Carmageddon predicted for V.A.N's PMann closing" or "Roberto Luongo tells you to shop local and stay home during Carmageddon"

    And in the end, this will happen:

    So the answer to your question: New Westminster should encourage the media to brand Driving as an inconvenient and expensive task, and encourage people to hop on their bikes (if they have a bike).