Building a good transportation system is about balance.
There are a lot of trucks and cars on our roads in some parts of the province, and we need to make sure there’s room for them. But we need to balance that pressure by using the space we have as best as possible. Sometimes we all just need a little more room! It means focusing on more opportunities for public transit and encouraging other options like carpooling.
It means building projects like the new Highway 7 high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
HOV lanes require a vehicle to have a minimum number of people (two or more in this case) before the driver can use the lane. Essentially they encourage people to take the bus or carpool with a faster, more reliable commute.
The new lane extends the existing HOV lane another two kilometers, creating a convenient, continuous commuter route between the Golden Ears Bridge and the Pitt River Bridge. And if you’d rather take the bus, there’s good news on that front, too, as new bus queue-jumper lanes have been added in both directions where the highway meets Kennedy Road. These lanes let buses get ahead of traffic that’s stopped at the intersection and makes their travel quicker and easier.
Regular and commercial traffic won’t feel left out with a new westbound left-turn lane also on Kennedy Road. Cars, and trucks coming from the intermodal yard, commonly turn left here heading to the Pitt River Bridge, and the new turn lane will make traffic flow much better.
There are also benefits for commuters who use Harris Road with the addition of a left-turn lane. The lane is a combination through/left-turn lane for westbound vehicles, and it will be HOV only (two or more occupants) during the peak hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Another upgrade worth mentioning is the new Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) that’s being rolled out on Harris Road. The ITS is a project we’ve been working on with the City of Pitt Meadows, and it better coordinates road and rail traffic to reduce traffic delays when trains go by.
It’s a lot of different developments with one goal in mind: a better balance to benefit everyone.