|FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND OTHER RELATED POINTS|
Q- Why should the highway be dedicated to trucks, why not let cars and traffic from the ferries use the same route.
A- If the same route was just another highway it loses both of the main objectives of our proposal. Having segregated the trucks, allows by use of the road configuration, to stop the truck traffic from using the north bound tunnel. If the highway was open to the public, its configuration would allow the trucks access to the northbound tunnel, and would defeat one of the greatest advantages of our proposal. Even more important is the safety issue. Having the trucks and the trains restricted to this route, with no interaction with the driving public, completely eliminates the possibility of accidents between port bound trucks and the driving public in South Delta. Zero accidents is one of the things we are most proud about our proposal, and losing that would defeat the entire purpose of what we are trying to accomplish. We would also remind the reader that putting all ferry traffic on a direct road from the Terminal to somewhere else, would be a great loss for local business. Hotels, restaurants, service stations, even roadside vegetable stands would lose. The completed SFPR will have this effect, as tourists in cars and motorhomes will fly through Delta and not contribute to the local economy.
Q-The addition of a new highway should provide an alternate route for motorists when the existing roads are blocked, why doesn’t your proposal allow this.
A- We looked at this problem another way, and asked ourselves “why do local roads become impassable?” Local experience over the last few years tells us that the roads only become impassable when accidents occur that involve big trucks. Because of their size, their load, and the carnage they cause when they wreck, the effect on traffic is much more serious than even the worst car wreck. So our proposal, by greatly reducing traffic on local roads takes away the cause of local road blockages, instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce their effect.
Q-Why should the truckers and the shipping companies be restricted from driving north through the Massey Tunnel, and therefore have longer travel times?
A- There are several reasons;
1/ Any large private development in Canadian cities must go through the permitting process. This includes a Development permit prior to a Building permit. The Development permit, among other things, requires the developer to compensate the city for additional costs the city will incur because of that development. The most obvious and immediate need that the expansion at Delta Port will make necessary, is an upgrade to the Fraser River crossing at the Massey Tunnel. But because the Port is a Federal entity it does not require either a Development permit or a Building permit, however it is still severely altering traffic patterns and volumes. In our opinion the Port and the governments that control it have two options, change the tunnel to accommodate the load you are creating, or don’t use it. Pick one!
2/ The residents of West Vancouver complained about truck traffic going through their area, so the government and BC Ferries moved heavy truck traffic to Tsawwassen. If a trucker in North Vancouver wants to take a load to Nanaimo they must go through Tsawwassen. That delay is accepted!
3/ The city of Nanaimo was not happy with the heavy trucks using the ferry in the city of Nanaimo, so the government and BC Ferries built a major interchange on The Island Highway, 14 kilometers of 4 lane highway, a major bridge and several overpasses, plus a brand new ferry terminal at Duke Point …….all to serve one ferry that arrives every 2 hours with 150 cars and trucks. That delay and major expense is accepted!
4/ Last but most important, the trucks from the Port, have and will continue, to kill and injure people in South Delta. With the predicted volumes from the future Port expansion, the safety of the traveling public must be a paramount consideration and the tunnel cannot safely accommodate that volume. So why should the residents of South Delta put their well being at risk to accommodate the needs of the Port? Our opinion is they shouldn’t, and the trucks should take another route that can handle them safely.
Q-Why should those who use the Alex Fraser bridge be asked to accommodate the additional trucks that would otherwise have used the tunnel?
A-The first answer to that is that the tunnel will be 90 years old before it is upgraded in any way. To ask the people of South Delta to live with 5000 semi trucks a day is bad enough. However to ask them to share the tunnel for 40 more years, which is only one lane north and one lane south for much of the business day, with these trucks is unconscionable! No traffic planner would ever expect a population to accept those conditions. Unfortunately the only other option to cross the river is the Alex Fraser Bridge, and although it may be busy, at least it has 3 lanes north and south, 24/7. There is no other option that can be considered.
1- We understand that Delta Port has had negotiations with the Tsawwassen First Nations about the possibility of stacking empty containers on their land. If that happens the truck traffic carrying empty containers into Tilbury will probably be reduced, but that must be considered against massive stacks of boxes along the Delta Port Way on First Nations Land.