Posts Tagged ‘Richmond’
A guest post from Susan Jones of Fraser Voices
Public support new crossing of Fraser but not the planned bridge
Environmental Assessment: 96% of submissions opposed the bridge
Metro Vancouver: 21 of 22 Mayors oppose the bridge[i]
BC Minister of Transportation, Todd Stone, has been misrepresenting public opinion of the planned new bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel. In January, 2017, former BC Premier Mike Harcourt claimed it would be a better idea to build another tunnel.[ii]
Minister Stone replied that another tunnel was more expensive and that Mr. Harcourt’s claims do not reflect the opinions of thousands of people who participated in the public consultations.[iii]
In fact, a review of the public consultations reveals that Mr. Harcourt’s comments do reflect public opinion which is strong opposition to the bridge.
Respondents to four consultation periods showed support for:
- another tunnel
- retention of the existing tunnel with upgrades
- rapid transit
- protection of farmland
Respondents expressed concerns about:
- costs to taxpayers
- plans to pay for the bridge with user tolls
- increasing number of trucks
- plans for LNG vessels on the river
- large shipping vessels on the river carrying jet fuel and coal
- lack of integrated regional transportation plan
- impacts of construction over several years
- destruction of habitat
- air pollution
The last opportunity for public input was the Environmental Assessment of the planned bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel. (January 15, 2016 to February 16, 2016)[iv]
Of 446 written submissions, 22 offered comments without showing support or opposition to the planned bridge. Of the other 424 submissions, 96% expressed opposition to the bridge. Only 4% supported the bridge.
There were three earlier consultation periods. The first phase (November-December, 2012)[v] sought information from the public on usage of the tunnel. 16 written submissions were thoughtful comments about transit, environment and integrated regional planning. Many urged retention of the existing tunnel.
The second phase (March-April, 2013) offered 5 options but the feedback form did not provide opportunity for fair comment. The report of phase 2 claimed high support for a new bridge but there was no evidence to support the claim.
The information provided at the Open Houses and meetings was incomplete. Facilitators told attendees that a bridge is cheaper than a tunnel but did not provide evidence. One facilitator told the public that “only 2% of respondents in Phase 1 wanted to keep the tunnel”.
Many of the written submissions offered the same concerns as documented in the first phase. A number of written submissions opposed the bridge (21/47) while a small percentage expressed support (7/47).
The Third Consultation Period (December, 2015-January, 2016) occurred after the announcement of the bridge. The results of this phase were documented in a report prepared by Lucent Quay Consulting. The Report documented numerous issues raised by the public. There was considerable concern about costs and tolls.
Palmer: Liberals claim support for bridge tolls[vi]
March 31, 2016 7:22 am
VICTORIA: “The B.C. Liberals are claiming the latest round of public consultations has confirmed “strong public support” for their plan to replace the George Massey tunnel with a toll bridge.
But the summary report on those consultations, released Wednesday, tells a different story.
Those who commute through the often-congested tunnel on a daily basis likewise support the prospect of getting to and from work more quickly.
But there was precious little support for the more controversial aspects of the project.
Only 24 per cent of those responding via a publicly distributed feedback form made a point of saying they were “generally supportive” of the overall scope of the tunnel replacement plan. A further 31 per cent expressed conditional support for some aspects of the project as outlined on the feedback form.
But that was far from constituting an unqualified endorsement for the plan to remove the existing tunnel, replace it with a high-level 10-lane bridge, and reconstruct adjacent connecting roads and intersections at a combined cost of $3.5 billion.
Even more misleading was the government characterization of the survey’s findings on tolling.
Respondents were told only that the “province intends to fund the project through user tolls and is working with the federal government to determine potential funding partnerships.”
Most supporters of the bridge serve vested interests. The over-sized, over-priced bridge does not have public support.
Comments will be available on this page until March 15, 2016 and after this date all posted comments will be available through the EAO electronic Project Information Centre (ePIC) application
This document library includes information on all the phases of public input except the environmental assessment which is reference #iv
Every Friday WordPress posts a single word prompt for a photo. Today’s is Graceful
The sculpture is called “Olas de Viento” and was installed in Garry Point Park in the City of Richmond BC by the Vancouver Biennale. The photo was taken in December 2009. I was very taken by the subject and made several images at that time. The City decided not to buy it and by March 8, 2012 it had gone.
The name translates as “Wind waves” and the sculptor is Yvonne Domenge from Mexico
It is now installed at Herman Park in Houston, who clearly have much better taste than the Mayor and Councillors of Richmond.
I am not an engineer or a geologist. But I do know that soil liquefaction is a huge problem for structures in earthquake prone areas, like the one we live in. When the shaking starts what seemed to be solid ground is actually waterlogged sands and similar material – the result of millennia of silt being deposited by the Fraser River as it slows on its way to the sea – starts to move. The damage to buildings in San Francisco in its famous quake was due to similar soil conditions. They still cause issues there: a high rise called Millennium has piles that do not reach bedrock and it is both sinking and leaning.
When the Massey crossing was first contemplated it was these soil conditions that caused the engineers to reject the idea of a bridge and chose a tunnel instead. Those conditions have not changed since. The Geological Survey of Canada in 1995 reported that bedrock is around 1,970 to 2,300 feet below where the new bridge is proposed. More recently B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure had two holes bored to 1,099 feet “without tagging bedrock” – not really a surprise since there was another 1,000 feet to go.
We know that Greater Vancouver is going to experience a major earthquake since there has not been a major shift in the tectonic plates since European settlement started, but there was apparently a “big one” which was recorded as a tsunami that hit Japan. These events are hard to predict with any accuracy but many seismologists think it is “overdue”. No-one has ever built a cable stayed bridge of this size in these kind of conditions. Indeed it is very hard to think of why anyone would propose taking such a risk – anyone who has the imagination to envisage what happens to two massive towers unsecured to bedrock but linked by cables and a bridge deck when the soil beneath them liquefies and shakes.
“I think people tend to focus on the Big One. If you’re looking at the statistics there’s a one in 10 chance that it will happen within the next 50 years. I think of those as fairly high odds. If we had a lottery with that kind of probability you’d probably buy a ticket,” she said.
The “she” quoted is Earthquake Canada seismologist Alison Bird
Ask yourself, as Premier Christy Clark wants you to buy a bridge, do you feel lucky?
I have been seeing links to this report in various places. But not, so far anyway, this map.
So just to let you know, I got the information about this map from Next City. And after I got a download of the screenshot above this communication from climatecentral.org came by email
- photo-realistic sea level images that you can easily embed on your site, or broadcast, with attribution. Or download the same hi-res images via this page
- Google Earth ‘3D fly-over’ video tours showing effects of sea level rise on global cities under contrasting warming scenarios
- our global report with statistics for cities around the world, including analysis of population on implicated land
- interview clips with lead scientist Dr. Benjamin Strauss
If you do so, we simply ask that you provide a credit to Climate Central, and include a link to us (sealevel.climatecentral.org) when posting online.
So, having done that I think I have fulfilled any obligation I incurred. I am a bit surprised, and disappointed, that there does not seem to have been much take up of this information by the mainstream media. And that some of the links I have followed that seemed to address the report did show just how so much of Metro Vancouver is going to be under water. So I hope that this posting will inspire some better efforts by the people who read this blog.
The subject matter has, of course, been covered here in the past. And my frustration that, when I lived in Richmond, there seemed to be such a complacent attitude towards sea level rise.
That has been my view for a long time – but the title is taken from a “Friday Feature” in the Richmond News. Although I no longer live there, I still find that I go there quite a lot. The airport, picking up parcels from couriers who did not find me at home, car servicing, the doctor … the list is quite long. I have not tried to get there by bike. Though it would be straightforward enough, and with bike racks on buses, easy to avoid Vancouver’s hilly bits. But if I am going to use transit anyway, why hamper myself with a bike? We also still like walking on the dyke. And at one time we used to put the bikes on the car rack and go further. I am not sure why that has not been happening of late. I feel a Bicycle Diary coming on but I will leave that for later.
Richmond ought to be great for cyclists as it is as flat as a billiard table. There has long been a cycling committee there – and I am afraid that they have not achieved very much. If you remove the use of the dyke – which is much more about recreation than transportation – then there is actually not much cycling in Richmond. It is still very much a car oriented suburb and what facilities there are, were grudgingly conceded. Or pushed by the availability of funding from Translink or extracted from developers. Few bike lanes – lots of sharrows. And one or two paths shared with pedestrians and unpaved.
There is a pretty fair summation in the News piece. It would not have gone amiss to have pointed out that the No 3 Road lane was separated and raised – for some of its length, but ruined by incompetent paving and never corrected. The best example of arterial road reorganization is still Williams Road. For much of its length the traditional four lanes of traffic has been reduced to two with a centre turn lane and bike lanes each side. This gets altered at intersections, with no priority for bikes, and actually improves traffic flow, just as separated bike lanes have done in Vancouver. It also should stop on street parking – but is not well enforced.
The biggest issue for me is that after twenty years of “demonstration” it has not been replicated and should have been. Critical intersections like Granville at Garden City, or Shell at Hwy 99 remain diabolical for cyclists.
The News does not expect much to change any time soon and I think they are right. The City Council is very secure and is unlikely to face any great challenge at the ballot box, so smugness rules. They will not change and no-one seems likely to make them.