Metro Vancouver mayors, along with the leaders of two First Nations bands, are calling on the provincial government to address “one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Canada.”
Francis Georgian / PNG
Five Metro Vancouver mayors and the leaders of two First Nations are calling on the province to address “one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Canada.”In a letter dated March 29 and released Wednesday, they pressed Premier John Horgan to take “immediate action” to solve the congestion problem at the Massey tunnel by building a new, larger tunnel within six years.The letter is signed by the mayors of Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, Surrey and White Rock, and the chiefs of the Musqueam Indian Band and the Tsawwassen First Nation.“With the timelines currently being contemplated by the province, construction on a new crossing may not be completed before 2030 – a delay that greatly impacts the lives of tens of thousands of residents who make use of the tunnel each day,” the group wrote.The group, which met on Feb. 21, 2019, said a deep-bored tunnel should include six lanes for regular traffic, two lanes for buses and space for cyclists and pedestrians.The B.C. NDP government cancelled construction of a 10-lane, $3.5-billion bridge to replace the 59-year-old Massey tunnel in September 2017. The province referred the issue to municipal leaders in Metro Vancouver, seeking a solution that could be supported across the region.According to the letter, the group has done so, agreeing that a replacement for the four-lane Fraser River crossing should be a tunnel, not a bridge, and the province should seek funding from Ottawa.“Our communities are those most directly impacted by tunnel congestion,” they wrote. “We have been successful in finding a solution that we can all support, including achieving consensus on the scale and defining parameters of the crossing. We believe only tunnel options, including a cost-effective deep bored tunnel if possible, should be considered.“Any solution must address the matter in a timely manner, hopefully with construction completed by 2025-2026,” the group wrote.They also agreed that any replacement crossing must address First Nation concerns regarding environmental effects, and Richmond and Delta’s concern about traffic at interchanges and access points.As a short-term solution, the group pressed for additional funding for “higher-frequency transit services to encourage people to leave their cars at home.”email@example.comFollow @harrisonmooneyCLICK HERE to report a typo.Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.