Gas at $1.50 / litre

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Brace for 'Climate Wars' - by Gwynne Dyer

http://thetyee.ca/Books/2009/01/06/ClimateWars/

my favourites:

On whether we should at least stockpile guns and wheat:

"We won't need to do that in Canada. Frankly, I wouldn't do it anywhere. When there's a real shortage of resources, they shoot people who horde."

On firing up the spaceship, and getting out:

"Have you any idea the carbon cost of launching something?"

just to make sure we get more cars on the road---a nice new 10 lane bridge that we can fill up.

Adding more freeway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to deal with obesity.

A most excellent analogy. If you don't understand, google: "Triple Convergence Principle".

m

From the first link about "Triple Convergence Principle"

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This principle does not mean that expanding a congested road's capacity has no benefits. After expansion, the road can carry more vehicles per hour than before, no matter how congested it is. So more people can travel on it during those more desirable periods. Also, the periods of maximum congestion may be shorter, and congestion on other routes may be lower. Those are all benefits. But that road will still experience some period of maximum congestion daily.

....

Only complete expressway road pricing or higher gasoline taxes are exempt from the principle of triple convergence.

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http://www.anthonydowns.com/congestiontostay.htm

From a purely anecdotal experience, adding the third lane Eastbound reduced my commuting time from Burnaby to Port Kells (though I was always going against the rush) for getting to work. That was comparing 2000 traffic to 2006 traffic.

Matt

That would make sense, I think, since congestion and commuting time, though related, are different things after all. Of course, the target demographic is the motorist commuting with the rush, instead the one driving against it.

For the sake of clarity, I'll define "congestion" as the instantaneous number of cars per unit length of road.

If the capacity of a bottleneck is elevated, then it will probably move more cars per unit time ("vehicular flux?"), and commuting time will shorten (as mentioned in the article). In turn, people will tend to leave a little bit later to arrive at work at about the same time, and peak congestion will likely remain about the same, as per the above article.

If the objective is to reduce peak congestion, expanding a bridge will probably fail. If the objective is to reduce peak or average commuting times, the expansion may or may not fail. I would like to think traffic engineers using quantitative methods generated the plan instead of mere politicians. It would improve my confidence in the decision.

The expansion will succeed in the short term (3-5yr) but beyond that, I predict the same commute time complaints as before, barring significant change to current transit ridership (and the necessary infrastructure for it).

My opinions: A commercial vehicle only lane would certainly help (at all hours, not just night time). SOVs should be tolled more than commercial vehicles. Businesses subsidize residents with their land taxes, so SOVs should take the brunt of this cost.

Oh and mere politicians made the Evergreen vs RAV decision, and they are certainly making any and all gateway decisions.

M

"Adding more freeway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to deal
with obesity."

Actually, it's more like cashing in your kid's RESP to pay for a two week vacation. And then
duct-taping their face to an exhaust pipe for good measure.

Closer to home, please support the two lane trial on Burrard Bridge. The solution presented by
City staff makes the bridge safer for pedestrians and cyclists and has been well-researched.
The lane re-allocation is the right idea in the right place at the right time. If you can take a
few minutes to send council and area MLAs an email asking them to let the test go ahead to
settle the issue one way or the other, once and for all, then you will be doing our city a big
favour.

Link goes to blog with a FAQ that explains the rationale for supporting this temporary
measure and email addresses for City Hall politicians and the three MLAs whose ridings
surround the bridge.

A greenhouse gas analysis of highway expansion. Check it.

Personally I am not a huge fan of WWC...but this is still worth a read.

Port Mann Bridge Expansion Plan “Cannot Succeed" – report

Vancouver, BC – "The BC government’s proposed solution to congestion on the Highway 1/Port Mann corridor cannot succeed” according to a new report released today by local business consultant Evan Robinson, MBA.

When the Public-private partnership to build the bridge fell through earlier this year, Premier Gordon Campbell decided to borrow money on behalf of the province to build the bridge. Campbell claimed that the project would be revenue neutral because tolls would cover the cost within the timeline of the 40 year maintenance plan.

The report entitled The Port Mann Mega Bridge – Taking it's Toll on the Tax Payer, shows that BC residents will still be paying for the proposed new Port Mann mega-bridge even after it's older than the current 40 year-old bridge.

We took a close look at traffic and revenue projections, and it's clear we simply cannot both break even financially and reduce congestion over 40 years. The two outcomes are completely incompatible. If traffic grows enough to pay for the bridge with tolls, there will be too much traffic for the bridge to carry," said Robinson.

"We have been working with Evan and others with a background in business and economics to see if the province’s numbers add up, and we have learned that not only does this project not make ecological sense but it doesn't make economic sense either," said Ben West, Healthy Communities campaigner with the Wilderness Committee.

The Wilderness Committee along with other groups has raised concerns about increased global warming carbon emissions as the result of the Gateway project highway expansion which includes the Highway 1/Port Mann expansion. Currently 35% of BC's emissions come from automobiles, the single biggest source.

"Relying upon toll revenue builds in an incentive to increase automobile usage, but even if we double traffic over the new bridge it won't cover the cost, and doubling the traffic leaves us idling in place just like the commuters on the Port Mann do every day. This sort of investment is the opposite of what we need to do if we are serious about reducing traffic congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing our dependence upon a dwindling supply of fossil fuels," said Robinson who is a member of the Vancouver Peak Oil Network executive.

"If this project goes forward as planned we will be paying the price for decades to come in more ways than one. There's just no way it works out right," said West.

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For more information please contact:

Evan Robinson, MBA, Business Consultant 604-788-3826

Ben West, Wilderness Committee, Healthy Communities Campaigner 604-710-5340

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