In thinking about North Vancouver’s traffic situation, consider this:
The Ironworkers Memorial bridge opened in 1960. Since then, North Shore population has more than doubled and commercial/industrial operations have grown substantially larger. In addition, the Howe Sound corridor road was established in the early ’60s, first as a basic gravel road and today, it’s a major highway.
Forty-eight years ago, the Horseshoe Bay to Langdale ferry route used an ancient 45-car ferry and the Nanaimo route had two ships each carrying fewer than 100 cars. There is more than three times the ferry capacity today to Nanaimo and about seven times to the Sunshine Coast.
In 1960, there were 4.5 lanes of traffic crossing Burrard Inlet in each direction. Fifty-eight years later, there remain 4.5 lanes of traffic crossing the same waterway and politicians are determined to add no more, at least in the next dozen years.
North Shore population has more than doubled since 1960 but outlying areas – the Sunshine Coast, Bowen Island and Howe Sound – have grown from almost nothing to more than 50,000. All contribute private and commercial vehicular traffic to North Vancouver.
Meanwhile, TransLink prioritizes billions of dollars in spending for a subway to Arbutus and Broadway and developers want to add more than 12,000 housing units in the District of North Vancouver alone in the next few years. The City of North Vancouver has thousands more housing units approved or proposed.
North Shore citizens might be right if they feel like they’re being ignored and abused by decision makers. The last few years have been profitable times for developers and they’ve been assisted by compliant council members. Before ballots are cast, residents should look at the voting records of incumbent candidates. Pay less attention to what they now say and more to what they did when faced with a choice to approve or delay large scale construction projects.
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