Cut to the chase – past the tipping point

Comment from Voices:  This editorial in the NS News today refers some of the blame for increased traffic due to construction workers commuting to the North Shore.  We know that the City of North Vancouver grew 3% 2014/2013 according to BC Stats. This contradicts the usual statements from the Mayor that our little City is growing at 1% per year. The Mayor was quoted this week as saying “We will have to look at limiting how much growth we can accommodate”.  

As pointed out in this article http://www.nsnews.com/news/highway-1-no-longer-making-the-cut-1.1989414 –  we’ve passed the tipping point.

Cut to the chase.

A new study has found North Shore traffic woes are growing because so many people are commuting here for work.

The rules of land economics being what they are, our labour force is being chased out to far-flung suburbs where they are forced to commute long distances on a stressed road network. Whether they’re construction workers, teachers, nurses or police officers, they’re people we need on the North Shore.

It’s yet another reason government should be working to tether down the hot air balloon that is the cost of housing – it’s having a negative impact the quality of life even for those who are comfortably housed.

The study also highlights the need for collecting good data in order to hone sharp policy, rather than governing from the hip.

We’re on the verge of spending almost $200 million to redesign and rebuild the Lester B. Pearson-era bridgehead interchanges at the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, which may help traffic flow in the short term. But let’s not kid ourselves that it will solve the traffic problem. The bridge itself is at or near capacity. We cannot build our way out of congestion. We can only spend ungodly amounts of money to shift bottlenecks around.

Unfortunately, these concrete legacy projects make for the kind of photo-ops politicians love.

That’s something to think about as we gaze at the gaping bullet wounds in our collective feet, having just turned down an opportunity to invest in a transit system that would actually get people off the road. It’s time for some forward thinking solutions – not ones that will simply lead to more gridlock.


© 2015 North Shore News – See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/opinion/editorial/cut-to-the-chase-1.1989908#sthash.ZADpzP5S.dpuf

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