Letter writer Nancy Schatz makes a poor argument when she suggests that Surrey should in effect, pay for their own damn (Port Mann) bridge (Send Not To Know For Whom The Bridge Is Tolled, Dec. 7, North Shore News).
North Shore residents, and all B.C. residents, benefit from the Port Mann. It's how their plastic lawn chairs get from port to their fair towns and cities; it is how they, their friends and families cross the river when returning from abroad.
Any constriction of the goods and services that pass across that vital link effects North Vancouver and the Lower Mainland in general - minutes after traffic slows, let alone stops - so we should all pay our share for the upgrade. If it is not that bridge it is another, and whining about who pays for what bridge is simply insane.
In fact, that narrow-minded thinking is costing British Columbians. If the government was not having to placate us silly people, it could just have slapped a specific gas tax B.C. wide to pay for the bridge, legislated such that it would be illegal to siphon it off to general revenue. Tolling individual vehicles is grossly inefficient and probably costs 30 per cent of the toll in collection costs.
Gasoline is too cheap as it is. I would gladly pay an extra five cents a litre if I knew that it would go directly to such transportation infrastructure. In fact, I would be happy to see the price of gas go up a dollar a litre. You would quickly see the humans start acting more responsibly with the vehicles they buy and the driving they do. We need to leave some gas in the ground for our kids while they grapple with the challenge of finding something other than dead dinosaurs to fuel their lives. Unfortunately, if you bring up an increase in gas tax, the humans lose their . . . reason.
Surrey folks happen to live by the single most important transportation link in B.C., so they should pay for it? We need all citizens to dig into their pockets if we want to start to covering the actual cost of living like the resource pigs that we are.
A gas tax, paid by all users towards infrastructure, puts the cost
right where it should be. The more we drive, the more we should pay - that goes for people from Surrey to Fort St. John, including those of us privileged enough to live on the North Shore.
And by the way Ms. Schatz, we all do share the cost of water plants and other regional infrastructure. That's the way it should be.
Steve Carter North Vancouver
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