While there was a steady stream of sunshine across the province last week, there was also constant flow of transportation news afoot. Faregates were put in place in Metro Vancouver, safety improvements began at Sayward Road, and the Abbotsford Airshow got official. In the northern region of the province, plans were unveiled to upgrade the Hagwilget Bridge near Smithers and Coleman Creek Road north of Dawson Creek. A report outlining the findings on the BC Transit Independent Review was also released. Sometimes, when it rains transportation news, it pours transportation news! What was the scoop and what does it mean to you? Glad you asked.
Fare(gate) and square
The first SkyTrain faregate was installed this week at the Marine Drive Station in Metro Vancouver. Faregates are part of the overall strategy to reduce fare evasion and increase security on Metro Vancouver’s transit system. The new gates will be installed at all Canada, Expo and Millennium line stations and SeaBus terminals. Following a testing period, customers will begin transitioning to the faregates system in late spring 2013 with the entire system in service by fall 2013. Did you know that all Evergreen Line stations will have faregates when the line opens in summer 2016?
After hearing a number of safety concerns from the local community, the RCMP and others surrounding the Sayward Road Intersection, we are happy to announce that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will be working to improve safety at this important intersection along Highway 17 near Victoria. The first work involves the installation of a new overhead “congestion ahead” warning sign being installed this week and will also include: northbound acceleration and deceleration lanes, the relocation of the northbound bus stop with a transit queue jump lane, and improvements to the southbound bus stop.
Fifty isn’t old if you are a tree (or the Abbotsford International Airshow)
Fifty isn’t old if you are a tree, or the Abbotsford International Airshow. Along with the arrival of the 50th anniversary of the show, the Government of B.C. officially declared the week of August 6-12, 2012 as “Abbotsford International Airshow Week”. Celebrating what the young and the young at heart have always known, the announcement also confirms the province’s commitment to support the growing aerospace sector and have fun doing it.
Helping out the Historic Hagwilget Bridge
The Hagwilget Bridge has a long history and in order to keep that history alive, an announcement was made this week that the ministry will be rehabilitating the bridge over the coming months. This historic, single-lane steel suspension bridge is located on the Hazelton High Level Road, about two kilometres north of Highway 16 at New Hazelton. It is a busy crossing for commercial vehicles, residents and tourists travelling over the scenic Bulkley River Canyon and provides access to the Kispiox Valley.
Keeping Traffic Moving at Coleman Creek Road
Coleman Creek Road, north of Dawson Creek is currently undergoing a number of improvements which will help improve travelling safety for motorists in the area. Some of the work being done includes strengthening, widening and resurfacing the nine-kilometre road, and will be done by local contractors as a part of this year’s South Peace highways program which places a priority on creating jobs for local workers.
Final report of BC Transit Independent Review released
And last, but not definitely not least, the ministry released its final report on the BC Transit Independent Review this week. After listening to the concerns of some mayors and other locally elected officials about performance and operations, Minister Lekstrom called for an independent review of the crown agency.
The report lists 18 recommendations stemming from 25 meetings with 40 local governments and 30 written submissions. In addition to consulting local government and BC Transit, the panel met with private transit operators, the Canadian Auto Workers, the BC Transit Board of Directors and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. The final report is being posted online to give local governments, BC Transit and the provincial government time to consider the panel’s recommendations.
Well, we have reached the end of the ride for this week and until we connect again for the next weekly review of B.C Transportation news, safe travels! And if you can’t wait until then, subscribe to our paper.li, new editions arrive every Tuesday.