A Liveable Region Coalition Initiative
Where is this Expansion taking place?
Minister Falcon’s freeway expansion project for the Highway 1 corridor will see at least 8 lanes of traffic running from 200th St. in Langley to 1st Ave. in Vancouver. This project includes the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge, an element which will greatly facilitate the flow of traffic from the auto-dependant suburbs into the densely populated Burrard Peninsula. Most traffic on this route will eventually find its way into the many communities which lie along the freeway, communities which are already overwhelmed with traffic.
Some communities are particularly vulnerable to more traffic on the highway because they already have congested arterial roads running through them. For example Maillardville (Coquitlam) and Sapperton (New Westminster) are directly connected to the freeway via Brunette Ave. and United Blvd. Burnaby has several interchanges feeding traffic into its neighborhoods, and the communities of East Vancouver receive freeway traffic from the heavily used arterials of Grandview Hwy, 1st Ave and McGill St. As the traffic again fills up on Highway 1 there will be pressures on these communities to expand their road systems to handle the increased volumes of traffic. This will result in demands to expropriate land for roads, as well as reduced property values, even more traffic, air pollution and risk to residents in their own communities.
Even the Surrey neighborhoods near collector roads east of the Port Mann Bridge will suffer consequences due to increased volumes of traffic accessing the more attractive freeway. When the freeway again fills up, these neighborhoods will return to a situation where drivers are cutting through residential streets to bypass the plugged freeway collector roads. However at that point there will be many more such drivers.
Perhaps the communities which will experience the greatest impact from highway expansion are the rural communities of the valley, such as Aldergrove, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack. Many residents have chosen to live in these areas due to their pastoral and quiet settings. Minister Falcon’s highway project will undoubtedly lead to rapid development of these areas, as they become convenient bedroom communities for people who find they can easily commute in to their jobs in the city.
A Livable Region Coalition initiative