Government has "tunnel vision" when it comes to commuter needs:
Picket planned for Ministry of Highways open house Saturday in Tsawwassen.
Delta BC: The Council of Canadians Delta/Richmond Chapter calls for improved transit instead of building a multi-billion dollar replacement for the Massey Tunnel.
"We want transit not tunnels" says Cathy Wilander of the Delta/Richmond chapter of the Council of Canadians. "We need to make transit an accessible and convenient mode of commuting instead of spending our public money replacing the tunnel". Pointing to figures from the B.C. Government website, she continues "Right now 1 percent of passenger vehicles using the Massey Tunnel are buses. They carry 26 percent of the people heading in and out of Delta on highway 99. At the same time single occupancy vehicles account for 77% of usage. We have to get people out of their cars. This is particularly relevant to our community as global warming from carbon emissions is here and our community, a flood plain, is particularity vulnerable to rising sea levels.”
Improving transit is one of the most important ways to reduce emissions, and to give commuters a way to avoid congestion. Numerous studies and long experience shows that highway expansion just creates new bottle necks and wider traffic jams.
"Replacing the tunnel also plays right into the hands of the Port Corporation who want the tunnel replaced to enable Port expansion and the use of larger ships on the Fraser River. A new tunnel or a bridge would allow much larger ships, including oil tankers and coal ships, to dock on the Fraser. There has been opposition to Port expansion since day one in this community and this opposition continues to grow. You have to wonder who this proposed tunnel replacement really benefits, our community and the needs of commuters or the Port Corporation?" asks Wilander
The group plans to picket and leaflet the Ministry of Highways’ Delta open house on the Saturday March 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn 1665 56th Street, Delta, B.C.. “We invite others who don't want this tunnel replacement to join us" states Wilander.
The province’s proposed replacement of the Massey Tunnel is expected to cost in the neighbourhood of $3 billion dollars. "TransLink has cut bus service to save a few million, meanwhile the province is spending billions on freeways which increase our dependency on cars and tarsands oil," explains Bob Ages of the Council of Canadians Delta/Richmond Chapter. “1950’s thinking won’t solve the problems of the 21st century."
"We must stop spending public money on making the climate crisis worse, and shift the money to solutions like public transit and electric trains" says Eric Doherty with the Council of Canadians Vancouver / Burnaby Chapter. “It’s time for all concerned people to take a stand against these freeway projects that are cooking our planet.”
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