Traffic congestion is the number one local issue in North Vancouver, reflecting the impact it’s having on the local economy and everyday life across the North Shore.
The problem seems to have become worse quickly. Could we have seen this coming?
Traffic studies are required with all major developments. I looked at many of these reports when I was on Council. A developer will hire a consultant to estimate the impact of their project on the alleyways, streets and intersections adjacent to the proposed development. There was no consistent effort to track the cumulative effects just inside the City, never mind a coordinated effort to track cumulative effects across all of the North Shore.
I have heard planners and Translink representatives say “density needs to come before transit”, but that was not the case for the Skytrain extensions to Surrey nor when the Evergreen Line was extended to Port Moody. Or for that matter, to the west end of Vancouver which is getting an extremely expensive subway.
From the outside, one cannot help but think that the North Shore is not fairly treated by Translink. If elected to represent you, I will find out why other regions of MetroVancouver appear to be higher priorities and what we can do about it. What we have been doing so far has not been working.
We need to take responsibility for our role in creating the problem. There is no doubt that lack of coordination in transportation management and development planning between the City and District has contributed. We can do better.
I will propose that, as part of a joint review of all development with the District government, there will be a particular focus on the impact on transit and transportation of projects that have been approved to date. If we have to pause further development until infrastructure catches up, so be it.
That may sound like just commonsense to you, but it won’t happen unless there is a real change in direction at City Hall.
ps. It’s ironic that in 1906, the year before the City was carved out of the District and only about 2,000 people were living here, a street trolley car system took passengers from the foot of Lonsdale west to Capilano River and east to the end of Lynn Valley road. So much for ‘density before transit’!