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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Third Bridge...

I have no intention of making this blog a breaking news forum, but I just heard that the Halifax (HRM) City Council is at this hour considering a presentation about building a third bridge (or a tunnel) between Halifax and Dartmouth. This is necessary because our existing bridges (7 lanes in total) are reaching capacity. Once again, it would appear that rather than figuring out how to manage and reduce traffic and carbon emissions, our planners are ignoring the environment in favour of adapting to higher levels of traffic.

Don't ask me where the increased traffic is supposed to park.

The problem with growing your traffic infrastructure to meet increasing demand is that demand will eventually grow to fill the increase in capacity. What next? A fourth bridge? Why not actually address the underlying issue: people need to find a way to get to work. It should be cheap and convenient. It should be comfortable and accessible. It should get you to where you need to go, including being able to do the things you'd normally do, like stop for groceries on the way home, or hop cross-town for a meeting in the middle of the day. A good transit system with lots of capacity can do that. Why don't we grow that infrastructure?

Metro Transit is pretty good. I rode to work and back today, in roughly the same amount of time it would have taken me to drive - about 25 minutes.

At the risk of becoming VERY unpopular, perhaps HRM should consider closing a bridge to single car traffic. Allow carpooling, allow buses and taxis. Instead of a new bridge, let's put some good parking and some express buses at the bridges heading toward downtown. That would fix the traffic problem and save us the tens or hundreds of millions needed for a new bridge.

Time for a reality check.
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