PT: With the Province building bridges and widening freeways from every possible direction to the borders of Vancouver, I figured it was just a matter of time before it was argued that we need to extend the arterials into the city. After all, why spend billions to relieve highway congestion only to see it pile up again at the first stoplights inside the city?
I wasn’t sure, though, whether I’d actually be around to see an argument that we start building freeways through Vancouver anytime soon. Wrong.
The Patullo Bridge has to be replaced and the Massey Bridge needs to be built. Next up will be a new, wider Knight Street Bridge. As the Massey improves the smooth flow of traffic from Tsawwassen, the ferry and Deltaport terminals, the 99 from the US, South Surrey, White Rock, Southern parts of Langley, growing Delta, Ladner and Tilbury, the traffic feeds north towards Richmond, Vancouver, Burnaby and the North Shore. The port traffic of trucks uses Knight Street as the designated route to and from Deltaport. The Knight Street Bridge will have to be upgraded since this becomes a pollution generating bottleneck.
With the new Massey Bridge Knight Street has to become a viable branch for northbound traffic, if only to relieve Oak and Cambie Streets. The pollution generating bottleneck around 70th and Oak, where long lines of traffic stretch both westbound and eastbound along 70th Avenue, and in a long line way up Oak Street, will soon have to be relieved with an underpass system to remove completely the blockage at the traffic lights at 70th.
Similarly, once Marine Gateway is inhabited, the intersection at Marine and Cambie will have to have an underpass, so northbound traffic traveling east on Marine and westbound traffic on Marine doesn’t become blocked at the Cambie traffic light. With over a quarter of a million square feet of Class A office space there will be a couple of thousand people working here, many banks, shops, restaurants, etc., plus the thousands of residents in all the towers, just the necessary service vehicles for supplies will add substantially more traffic to this area.
By doing what has been done extensively in Montreal (the Highway 20 from the airport west goes right under the southern section of downtown, with feeder exits and entrances.). Paris has a similar system. The underpasses allow the smooth flow of traffic both too, from and through the area, while not upsetting the visual and the pedestrian streetscape the unfortunate way that the Vancouver viaducts do.