Originally Posted by agrant
It might be nice to have a little sub grade freeway to connect downtown to the HWY, but I have my doubts as to how much it would actually improve people's lives. And for what? About 10 billion dollars??? It is maybe a half hour drive at most, probably less outside of rush hour. So... big deal. Btw - going the North Shore route... you have to contend with another problem - the Lions Gate Bridge traffic. Sometimes it can take 20 minutes just to get onto the bridge. The Los Angeles way (or in your case, Boston's big dig way) simply isn't Metro Vancouver's way. I keep going back to the stats that show Vancouver's commuting times being on par, or less than other major cities in Canada... How that works, I have no idea. Maybe there is something to having a multi city centre system.
Yeah, it would be far too expensive to look into doing now, and 10 billion dollars for land expropriation and the like sounds pretty reasonable.
There is something with urban roadways that is somewhat interesting, it's called critical mass.
If Vancouver had 16 lane highways criss-crossing the region, they'd be JUST as congested as they are with 6 lanes. More lanes, mean it would be easier to drive, more people driving, congestion returns until it gets so bad no more people chose to drive rather than take transit.
Toronto widened the 401 from 4 to 16 lanes in the 1970s. Didn't take long for traffic congestion to take just as long on the old 4 lane highway compared to the new 16 lane highway.
Therefore, in Metro Vancouver, where there is great transit available for those who choose to take it, the widening to 4 lanes each way (1 being HOV) is appropriate. However, I'll still argue that widening east of Surrey into Langley through Abbotsford should be done, because there is no decent transit alternative available, and likely there won't ever be something there for decades that would compare to driving.
There's something normal about being stuck in traffic in an urban area, but when you're in a rural location (hello Highway 1 & 232 Street), nothing bothers me more.