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The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby Keith Duhaime » Sep 13th, 2017, 12:19 pm

Dizzy1 wrote:But we shouldn't be held accountable for that :biggrin:


A central plank of NDP philosophy; Why should you be responsible for your own stupidity when we can rob...err...tax someone else to pay for your mistake.

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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby Glacier » Sep 13th, 2017, 12:27 pm

I have a theory at tolls. I think that every highway and bridge should be tolled, but only if it's a divided freeway. This would incentivize the province to build proper highways. Lame-aZZ highways with 60 lights over 180km (that's 3 every km) like highway 97 down the Okanagan would not be subject tolls.

If they could turn 97 into a freeway (ie. eliminate lights from 97C to Kelowna), then a toll would be warranted, but if not, no toll. $0.10 per km of freeway with a minimum of 25km.

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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby twobits » Sep 13th, 2017, 4:35 pm

Glacier wrote:I have a theory at tolls. I think that every highway and bridge should be tolled, but only if it's a divided freeway. This would incentivize the province to build proper highways. Lame-aZZ highways with 60 lights over 180km (that's 3 every km) like highway 97 down the Okanagan would not be subject tolls.

If they could turn 97 into a freeway (ie. eliminate lights from 97C to Kelowna), then a toll would be warranted, but if not, no toll. $0.10 per km of freeway with a minimum of 25km.


Calling the road between Peachland and Lake Country a highway is a joke. It is nothing but a commuter collector road. It is a consequence of extremely poor planning for the predicted growth of the region. Secondary access roads should have been mandated by the Ministry of Transportation as a requirement to development minimizing Hwy access points to maintain a reasonable flow of traffic on what should be a Hwy. As it stands now, one car wanting to cross the Hwy, triggers an asphalt sensor and an entire immobilization of dozens to hundreds of cars. It's just plain stupid.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby maryjane48 » Sep 13th, 2017, 4:40 pm

start tolling cars in that area. if you drive a gas powered car then add extra 100 to buy that type of car :smt045
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby alfred2 » Sep 13th, 2017, 5:19 pm

maryjane48 wrote:start tolling cars in that area. if you drive a gas powered car then add extra 100 to buy that type of car :smt045

that is just dumb, it is :cuss: discrimination, also how do you plan to charge all these cars without site c. :130:
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby 36Drew » Sep 13th, 2017, 6:31 pm

rustled wrote:I fully admit I'm not well-versed in LM traffic patterns. Is Westside Road a reasonable comparison for commuters there?


Fancy that - trying to argue points without understanding what you're arguing.

No - Westside Road is a different animal. Many on this forum have suggested that it's okay to have a steep toll on the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges because there's alternative toll-free routes (ie., Patullo or Alex Fraser). Ignore the Patullo for the moment, as it was overloaded due to people avoiding the tolls, and was slated to be replaced with a toll bridge. The suggestion that valley commuters could reroute themselves and travel toll-free across the Alex Fraser would be akin to asking West Kelowna drivers to divert up Westside Road and back down 97. It's not a viable alternative.

Again - I'm not against having the bridges tolled. I think the cost of the tolls was excessive. Speaking with some co-workers, I may have been wrong in my calculations. They were suggesting (at least on the Golden Ears) that a round-trip would cost $12, not $6. I'm not overly in-tune with what the charges were as I don't need to cross any of the bridges to get to work - my tolls were limited to crossings related to travel and entertainment.

As the tolls were excessive, there were a large number of commuters that were diverting through Surrey and across the Patullo bridge - putting excessive strain on not only the Patullo, but also the municipal roads in Surrey and New West. Translink and Treo had constantly stated that the number of bridge users (of the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges) was significantly lower than projected and therefore toll revenues were well below target (by 50%). Guess where those bridge users were going (hint: Patullo). I can tell you that the bridge users numbers for the former toll bridges is now where they were projected to be, and the Patullo bridge now has significantly less traffic crossing it. Perhaps we don't need to replace it as quickly, and certainly don't need to build the larger bridge that was being discussed in recent times.

My real complaint with Westside Road is that the province is spending tens of millions on upgrading it - to service the small community of La Casa. I understand that Okanagan Resort and Fintry would benefit - but in the nearly 20 years I lived up there I didn't hear much complaining coming from either of those communities save for the desire for potholes to be fixed. The La Casa developers should have been charged a princely DCC for road upgrades. But the Okanagan municipal governments often make hand-wavey motions and DCCs go *poof*.


rustled wrote:Here, if traffic had the choice of using a properly upgraded Westside Road to bypass Kelowna when heading to Vernon or beyond, or a second crossing to get to Rutland, or an upgraded route from Penticton to Rutland, I'd be absolutely alright with a toll.


So you'd be alright with paying a $6 toll for each crossing of the WR Bennett bridge if you had an alternative route from Penticton to Kelowna? You have two. You can detour up Westside Road, or you can go up highway 3, and then back down highway 33. The $6 toll will save you a couple hours a 200km.

rustled wrote:I'd expect there to be a cap for those who are commuting daily


The Libs promised a cap. I'm certain that if they did implement the cap, we'd still be here today having this very same argument. You would feel slighted because more of your tax dollars would be going to pay for a highway system you don't use. Again - I think all this new-fangled shiny infrastructure should be tolled - including your own bridge and even the coquihalla. I just think the tolls here should have been significantly lower. Like a buck each crossing. And keep them there.

rustled wrote:but honestly, IMO, everyone should fully consider the extra strain they're putting on infrastructure by living in one community and working or educating their children in another. Our actions have consequences.


Yet it sounds like you commute 60km from Penticton to Kelowna for work, and require the use of the WR Bennett bridge as well as the upgraded highway between Peachland and Summerland. That's roughly the same distance from Abbotsford to the Cassiar Connector in Vancouver (the tunnel before the Iron Workers' bridge). Those commuters probably commute for roughly the same reasons that you do. There just happens to be a lot more of them down here because, well, there's roughly 65% of the BC population living in southwest BC. If you feel that strongly about living where you work, then step up.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby rustled » Sep 13th, 2017, 6:41 pm

So you're saying to avoid the toll bridges at the Lower Mainland, the majority of commuters there would have faced the equivalent of using Westside Road to get from West Kelowna to Kelowna (or vice versa)?
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby 36Drew » Sep 13th, 2017, 6:59 pm

rustled wrote:So you're saying to avoid the toll bridges at the Lower Mainland, the majority of commuters there would have faced the equivalent of using Westside Road to get from West Kelowna to Kelowna (or vice versa)?



You seem a little dense - so let's just spell out some facts and let you put the pieces together.

1 - The BC Libs planned to replace the Patullo Bridge and toll it.
2 - The BC Libs planned to replace the George Massey tunnel with a 3.7 billion-dollar 10-lane bridge (unnecessary, btw), and toll it.
3 - That would leave the Alex Fraser bridge (Annacis Island) and subsequently the Queensborough bridge (same route) as well as the Mission Bridge the only non-toll options to cross the Fraser river.

While you may think it unsubstantial for a commuter from, say, Langley to divert and cross the non-toll option - it would add 90 minutes to their morning and evening commute with today's traffic. It would be significantly more if everyone were to do it.

So while it's not the same distance - the travel time is, in fact, substantial.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby rustled » Sep 13th, 2017, 7:43 pm

36Drew wrote:
rustled wrote:So you're saying to avoid the toll bridges at the Lower Mainland, the majority of commuters there would have faced the equivalent of using Westside Road to get from West Kelowna to Kelowna (or vice versa)?



You seem a little dense - so let's just spell out some facts and let you put the pieces together.

1 - The BC Libs planned to replace the Patullo Bridge and toll it.
2 - The BC Libs planned to replace the George Massey tunnel with a 3.7 billion-dollar 10-lane bridge (unnecessary, btw), and toll it.
3 - That would leave the Alex Fraser bridge (Annacis Island) and subsequently the Queensborough bridge (same route) as well as the Mission Bridge the only non-toll options to cross the Fraser river.

While you may think it unsubstantial for a commuter from, say, Langley to divert and cross the non-toll option - it would add 90 minutes to their morning and evening commute with today's traffic. It would be significantly more if everyone were to do it.

So while it's not the same distance - the travel time is, in fact, substantial.

You've made some interesting assumptions about me and about what I think.

Currently, no one in my immediate family has to use a vehicle to commute. That hasn't always been the case. I realize not everyone can choose, although I do think there ought to be reasonable incentives to choose wisely, rather than putting additional strain on the infrastructure for which we all pay.

Yes, I certainly am dense (and not just a little!) when it comes to understanding the usual commute for those using the tolled bridges on the Lower Mainland, hence my questions. Thanks for answering them. Although I'm not sure I understand correctly (no, there's no need to continue to school or scold), it seems from what you're saying that people wouldn't have had to go as far out of their way to avoid the tolls as someone in the Okanagan would have to go out of their way to avoid using the Bennett bridge, but it would have taken them just as long?

We had some experience with "going around" when the rock slip happened during the 4-laning a few years back. It's interesting to contemplate what choices we might have made if there were different options, each requiring varying amounts of fuel and time and wear and tear, versus paying a crossing fee.

I think you are quite correct that the size of the tolls for LM commuters (and transport companies) was a large part of the problem. Easier to collect a small amount of money from a large number of commuters, and easier for them to pay if the cost to cross wasn't a lot different than the fuel cost to go around, right? The majority of tolls we've paid were quite a bit smaller than $6, but this was in areas where the tolls were applied in rapid succession (northern U.S. cities to the east) and they did add up for a single trip. As I recall, the tolls we paid in Ontario were smaller and fewer.

It's a challenging problem to provide necessary infrastructure without encouraging people to adopt lifestyles that require ever-heavier infrastructure investments.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby 36Drew » Sep 13th, 2017, 8:22 pm

rustled wrote:it seems from what you're saying that people wouldn't have had to go as far out of their way to avoid the tolls as someone in the Okanagan would have to go out of their way to avoid using the Bennett bridge, but it would have taken them just as long?


Yes. There's almost 3 million people living in the lower mainland. That's 60+ percent of the BC population (and some estimates are higher, encroaching on 65% - but we can go with 60%). The Port Mann bridge was handling between 100k-130k daily crossings (pre-toll-removal). It's gone up by about 26%. Traffic patterns down here can fluctuate wildly. I live 15km from where I work. If I drive there right now (9pm at night), my time will be 15 minutes from the time I start my vehicle to the time I pull into the underground parking. At 8:30am in the morning, that same commute can take anywhere from 25-45 minutes. I don't cross any bridges. I live *almost* in Burnaby, and work near BCIT.

If there's an accident on the freeway (hwy 1), a lot of traffic will divert from the freeway to major arterial streets - Canada Way and Lougheed. I usually avoid the freeway drive during rush-hour as it tends to be much slower (it narrows from 5 to 4 to 2 lanes between the bridge and the Hastings exit - leading to a nice back-up from Hastings through to Willingdon).

That's just this side of the river, in the city.

I used to enjoy Cultus lake. It's an 80km drive for me from where I currently am. It's a straight-shot down highway 1. It should take me about an hour. The last time I made the drive out, on a Saturday, it took nearly 2.5 hours. There's always congestion just after 200th street (the freeway narrows from 4 lanes to 2). A single accident along that corridor will slow traffic by more than half, just with weekend traffic. Imagine the morning or evening rush.

I hate going to Cultus lake now.

The oft-suggested thought of diverting oneself from the highway 1 corridor to cross the Alex Fraser just to avoid a toll would cause panic in the most seasoned of drivers who already have a 60 or 90 minute commute from up the valley. It would double their commute time.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby rustled » Sep 13th, 2017, 10:59 pm

I know there's no one-size-fits-all answer, but generally speaking, why do so many folk live on the opposite side of the river from where they work? And with those volumes, what would transit have to do to make it work for more of them? (Not suggesting you should have all the answers, just figure you probably have a more accurate idea than I would.)
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby 36Drew » Sep 13th, 2017, 11:26 pm

rustled wrote:I know there's no one-size-fits-all answer, but generally speaking, why do so many folk live on the opposite side of the river from where they work? And with those volumes, what would transit have to do to make it work for more of them? (Not suggesting you should have all the answers, just figure you probably have a more accurate idea than I would.)


Because $500k buys a lot more house in Abbotsford or Langley than it does anywhere over the bridge. It's exactly the same reason that many choose to live in West Kelowna or even Vernon and commute to Kelowna - just on a much larger scale.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby Keith Duhaime » Sep 14th, 2017, 4:56 am

36Drew wrote:Because $500k buys a lot more house in Abbotsford or Langley than it does anywhere over the bridge. It's exactly the same reason that many choose to live in West Kelowna or even Vernon and commute to Kelowna - just on a much larger scale.


That will change somewhat as arbitrage takes effect. Current homeowners in Abbotsford and Langley will see the elimiination of tolls get capitalized into their property values (effectively a wealth transfer from the rest of us courtesy of Horgen and company). New homeowners going forward will effectively see the money they would have paid on tolls if they were commuting now going into their mortgages.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby rustled » Sep 14th, 2017, 8:46 am

Urban sprawl, then? This has been a problem for decades, and I don't think we'd see as much of it if we didn't have the convenience of using personal vehicles for daily commutes.
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Re: The NDP's anti-Environmental Move

Postby 36Drew » Sep 14th, 2017, 8:47 am

Keith Duhaime wrote:That will change somewhat as arbitrage takes effect. Current homeowners in Abbotsford and Langley will see the elimiination of tolls get capitalized into their property values (effectively a wealth transfer from the rest of us courtesy of Horgen and company). New homeowners going forward will effectively see the money they would have paid on tolls if they were commuting now going into their mortgages.


Barely. You can't buy a patch of dirt, for $250k, to put a porta-potty on west of the river. You can buy a decent apartment or townhome for that in abbotsford. That same Apartment in the eastern-most quadrant of PoCo will cost you north of $550k.

You sound like you maybe need to get out of town a little more and see what the world is like beyond the borders of Kelowna.
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