Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Are more roads needed to accommodate density?

The following letter-writer to the editor in the Burnaby NewsLeader is bringing a new twist to the density debate.  Garth Evans is suggesting that further high-rise construction should not be allowed until road capacity is expanded.

It appears that Evans' reasoning is based on the unsustainable status quo of road expansion that has been occurring over the past 75 years.

While he argues that more roads are needed before further development in Brentwood occurs,  Evans completely ignores the need for increasing and improving pedestrian access in our growing town centres as larger numbers of people will be walking and cycling to carry out their daily activities as density will bring a greater variety of amenities closer to their homes.  Evans' focusing on the "plight' of drivers that have had an easy, subsidized ride for the past 75 years of road building rage, and his ignoring the needs of pedestrians, is typical of someone that envisions a car-centred world.  I am afraid to imagine exactly what Evans envisions since we already have a car-centered world .

I believe that the approved widening of Willingdon Ave to add another lane there is an example of road expansion.  I also believe that the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and expansion of lanes along Hwy 1 currently being done is also an example of the road expansion that he talks about.  Why is Evans lamenting that we need more road expansion while ignoring the need for other forms of transportation when we have seen disproportionately more road expansion than any other form of transportation in not only in Metro Vancouver but all of Canada? Only he is able to answer that question.

Here is his letter to the Burnaby NewsLeader:

Burnaby NewsLeader - Letters to the Editor
Curb Burnaby development until a plan to expand roads is in place
Published: February 21, 2012 4:00 PM 

Recently Burnaby City Council has approved a number of new residential high rise buildings in the Metrotown area, including two of 45 and 46 storeys. Similar development is taking place in the Brentwood area.
I am concerned this new high density development is taking place without proper infrastructure planning. The traffic around Brentwood and Metrotown is a nightmare, and will only get worse as this new development comes on line.
Regardless of what anyone thinks, most of the new residents will want to travel by automobile and I don't think our road system will be able to cope with the additional demand. The road system can barely cope with existing demand in those areas and I haven't seen any plans from the city to deal with the resulting increase. No more such high density development should be approved in the Metrotown and Brentwood areas until the city comes up with a viable plan for expanding our road infrastructure to cope with the increase in demand.
Garth Evans

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