LETTERS: Troubled logic over toll bridge

Editor:

Re: Massey tolls punish region; MP, mayor, Dec. 22

Editor:

Re: Massey tolls punish region; MP, mayor, Dec. 22

I read with interest that the new bridge would save commuters 30 minutes compared to travelling through the tunnel. Let’s examine this statement a little further.

This bridge is intended to better serve the needs of commuters located South of the Fraser to access Vancouver and presumably their place of work more quickly. However, remember that Vancouver is committed to reducing the number of cars entering the city; this is already in progress, with many traffic lanes converted to cycle-only lanes, not to mention the planned removal of the Georgia Viaduct.

The reality of the new bridge is that, for northbound commuters, there will be no time saved as the bottleneck will just be relocated north to the Oak Street Bridge. The saving in time will only benefit southbound traffic.

Meanwhile, TransLink is proposing to reduce service to South Surrey/Crescent Beach claiming that they need the buses elsewhere – forgetting that rush-hour commuters often have to stand all the way to and from Bridgeport Station, which is why so many have returned to their cars.

The estimated cost of the bridge is $3.5 billion, so we can assume that is a low-ball figure.

Would it not make sense to use that money to improve the currently dismal TransLink service by installing a light-rail system to serve South Surrey and have feeder buses to get people to and from the LRT station? That would get those one-occupant cars off the road and would also benefit those drivers who have no choice but to drive.

Ken Harrap, Surrey

• • •

This may sound a bit Grinch-like for this time of year, but I find two comments in the Dec. 22 edition have heightened my scepticism of politicians.

Does our MLA, Gordon Hogg (Surrey-White Rock), really believe that tolling the new Massey bridge “is the place we’re starting with” to be creditable to south of the Fraser residents? I suppose that’s the same with the Port Mann and the Golden Ears bridges, as well.

I just hope I’m around when the “starting with” ends, so I can travel to Vancouver for free.

I’m also curious no one mentions what may be another reason for getting rid of the tunnel – it will get in the way of ships transporting coal to the Surrey docks.

Funny that’s never mentioned.

I don’t know how Premier Christy Clark could hold up her head in Paris at the environmental conference.

Secondly, I’ve been trying to be open-minded about the stripping of trees from ‘the Hump’, but I find it hard when White Rock city manager Dan Bottrill says many of the problems were uncovered after the work was done (Councillor calls for parking-plan revisit, Dec. 22). This seems a bit disingenuous.

Cary O’Malley, Surrey

• • •

Boo-hoo! The whiners are at it again. Having massively rejected supporting public transit in the South Fraser region, they now object to being “punished” and want, literally, a free ride on a $3.5 billion bridge.

It must be pleasant, if not realistic, to live in Dreamland in which some one else pays for you, but you get the benefits.

Toll ‘em and toll ‘em hard – partly to pay for the continuing environmental damage of a totally automobile-oriented lifestyle.

That lifestyle will continue to have a deleterious effect on the natural world. It has already had one on what still exists of human community amongst us as we rush from place to place that looks the same. Brought about, in part, by smell, etc., it has exacted a very real toll on us – and will do so on future generations.

John Stape, Surrey

 

 

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