|Newsletter - 2003 Archive|
A small series of open houses regarding the future Fraser River crossing concluded Thursday Feb 13. There are two options still under consideration, one is a bridge, the other a combination of tunnel from the north side to Barnston Island and a bridge from Barnston to the south side. Either will involve public/private partnership and tolls.
Whichever option is built will replace the Albion ferry that currently runs between Albion and Fort Langley (and presumably the Barnston ferry as well if the tunnel option goes).
The bridge option includes shared use sidewalks for cyclists/pedestrians. The tunnel would have bike lanes.
These developments will impact a number of lower mainland randonneur routes, so I would like to voice a position on the options as a club.
For my own use, I would rather a bridge than a tunnel. Less noise, less exhaust fumes, better view. Either option will work though.
One concern as a cyclist stems from a meeting with Translink last year. Cycling groups stated that their preferred crossing would be a bridge with cycle lanes on both sides of the bridge deck (road surface). This was met with opposition from Translink's people in part because (we were told) as traffic volumes increased we would likely loose our bike lanes when the bridge deck was restriped to make more motor-vehicle lanes.
If that was true of a bridge, why is it not true of a tunnel?
As a resident/tax-payer/road user I am also concerned that the tunnel option would cost $100-150 million more to build and $1-2 million more yearly to operate according to figures given at the Surrey meeting Feb 13. In spite of this, rumblings I am hearing indicate a preference for the tunnel option among powers that be.
Another concern may be any agreements made as part of public/private partnership on the project. In light of the large investment involved, could guarantees made prevent Translink from implementing demand management measures that would otherwise make sense for the region?
Information is available at www.translink.bc.ca/frasercrossing. What are your thoughts and concerns? Bridge/vs tunnel, access to and from either option, elevation changes, pedestrians, safety...?
With the club's permission I would like to compose a letter to Translink, based on discussion here, stating the club's position on the options.