Oct 18 2006
The proposed Gateway Project and in particular, the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road, a new four lane highway on the environmentally fragile banks of the Fraser River and bordering on the Burns Bog is not a sustainable solution for moving goods and commuter traffic.
We need to insist on alternatives to the South Fraser Perimeter Road.
Movement of goods: Use upgraded existing highways 10 and 15 as a more effective focus of development for east/west traffic on the south side of the Fraser River.
If the provincial government insists on building a new highway, the negative environmental and social impacts must be reduced by a tunnel from Elevator Road to Nordel Way and an east/south alignment around Burns Bog.
Commuter traffic: We must focus on increasing rapid transit capacity to address commuter congestion throughout the Lower Mainland. The present provincial government addresses commuter congestion by focusing on highway construction that without tolling of new bridges will recongest the area in less than five years.
Environmental stewardship: We must say no to nearly a century of car and truck-oriented planning, development and culture that is unhealthy, impractical, unaffordable, and unsustainable. These reforms will only come about when voters require accountability from elected officials (and media) who are heavily lobbied by car and oil-related interests.
Economy: We must insist on sustainable economic alternatives for our communities. The proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road is a gateway through Delta. According to Delta municipal staff figures, local municipalities receive the least in revenues from our ports. Ottawa collects about $400 million annually; Victoria receives roughly $280 million. The BC municipal take is $80 million and Delta’s share of this amount is $2 million, or just over one-quarter of one percent.
I encourage residents in the Lower Mainland to insist on alternatives to the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road.
Sylvia R. Schmidt