Originally Posted by Stingray2004
Just because one looney tune municipal party in another Canadian city is promoting the idea of increased city freeways doesn't mean it'll be any good for Vancouver. In Monteal there's also a lady running for mayor
who plans to make downtown more livable by building more parking garages and expanding the freeways leading into the city. Make no mistake, this lady is BAT SH!T crazy and has no chance at all of being elected. Montreal has absolutely no lack of freeways going downtown and within the city, and has an excellent metro system. The plan is absolutely denounced by all who actually have a shot of being elected mayor. So being crazy might get you heard, but doesn't make you anywhere near having good ideas.
The viaducts in Vancouver were part of a plan to build freeways to the east. For better or worse, those freeways never got built. Now, all they do is encourage people to drive between downtown and the East side and points beyond, dumping traffic on surface streets. The traffic on the viaducts will only increase when the Gateway Project allows more people to commute by car to the city.
I suspect most who support keeping the viaducts do so because:
a) They give Vancouver a 'big city urban feel'
b) They enjoy driving fast
Now don't get me wrong, I love to drive fast, and have done so countless times along the viaducts. There's no question about it, seeing how fast you can get a car to travel on the viaducts is one of the best things ever. But, while this is fun and all, it still doesn't change the fact that the viaducts contribute greatly to the gaping void between Expo Blvd and Main street. The speed limit has nothing to do with this. It's all in the design speed.
Roadways that encourage speed-induced vehicular adrenaline do not make a city better or more livable.
Vancouver made the decision to not build freeways in the 1950s and 60s, focusing instead on improving public transit and not widening roads. The idea was good and all, but with no freeway system, and only a semi-complete grade-separated transit system across the city, it's still not fast or easy to get around with or without a car. Unless you intend to travel down a skytrain line, or drive from Commercial to downtown on the viaducts, mediocrity is the word. Ripping out the viaducts and expanding skytrain down Hastings to the PNE and down Broadway to UBC would send a clear message about the direction the city wants to take, and force the issue of higher transit use. This would bring the city closer to the ideals envisioned in the 1950s when they protested freeway construction in the first place. Also, it would give Vancouverites some actual
clout when as they are awarded things like "most greenest city in the world ever" status by fawning American planners. Of course the viaducts could be incorporated into this transit vision, but without their removal or a vast overhaul, the message sent would be vastly less clear.