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Author Topic: British Columbia's Highways  (Read 4672 times)

jakeroot

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2021, 03:19:17 PM »

BC government chooses the tunnel option for the George Massey Tunnel replacement. 6 GP lanes, 2 bus lanes, to open by 2030.

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/george-massey-tunnel-immersed-business-case

If they decided to stick with with the 10 lane bridge plan the previous government had, we could have had a better crossing for less money that probably would have been completed by now (or in a year or two). Plus we would have a vastly improved freeway on either side, complete with a stack interchange at Steveston Hwy, instead of keeping the far too narrow and shitty 1950s-60s "freeway" that exists currently (the only "upgrade" is wider shoulders / bus lanes).

Near / inside the Massey Tunnel, with the counter flow lanes that have been active since the 1980s (meaning the off-peak direction has ONE lane, undivided from oncoming traffic, on a fucking major FREEWAY in a major city by Canadian standards in the year TWENTY FUCKING ONE), if you're driving in the peak direction, you still have three lanes. There will be a new bus lane, but who the fuck is taking a bus from DELTA, the super-burbs.

The newish BC NDP government seems to be pretty popular, partially due to the BC Liberals that governed from 2001-2017 (despite the name, they are centre-right) being corrupt af, but every news website / Reddit comment section I have ever seen about the Massey Tunnel Replacement is overwhelmingly critical towards the NDP's decision on this crossing, and their decision on the Patullo Bridge, where they decided to replace a 4 lane bridge with a 4 lane bridge and not build proper connections to Highway 17 which it passes over.

This is yet another example of BC underbuilding highway infrastructure that they will shortly be regretted.

Highway 17 (the SFPR) opened not very long ago (2012 I believe). Not even 10 years later, we're upgrading numerous signalized intersections to interchanges and dealing with the fallout of numerous trucks tipping over due to building the road to an 80 km/h "signalized divided rural arterial standard" with numerous sharp curves (sharp for trucks, totally ok for a passenger car to take at 110 km/h) instead of building the road to a proper freeway standard (this is the BC Liberals' fault) for far more money that it would have cost to do it right the first time.

Highway 91, which is a complete freeway now (FINALLY), had signalized intersections until about 2-3 years ago when the 72nd Street interchange was completed. When the road opened in ~1986, the Alex Fraser Bridge had four lanes (with the capacity for six). It was expanded to six lanes a year later (and expanded to 7 lanes 2ish years ago through narrowing shoulders, lane widths, and the lowering the speed limit). It also had signalized intersections on either side of the bridge, but that was such a disaster that they build interchanges a few years later.

Even Highway 1 through the Vancouver area wasn't even a full freeway until the mid-1990s.

BC's highway system is pretty sad honestly.

I don't know if I would take as critical of a stance, but I think I understand where you are coming from.

British Columbia, in some ways, is actually quite impressive. Their ability to go from concept to full production for public transportation is mighty impressive. Road projects such as Golden Ears Bridge, new Pitt River, Pattullo, and Port Mann bridges, and indeed the SFPR is a pretty good indication that BC hasn't exactly given up on building new infrastructure, and in some ways can get it done pretty fast.

But then, as you point out, there are more than a few examples of things taking forever. The 72 St interchange was completed almost 40 years after the Kittson and Nordel interchanges, which is just insane. The massive interchange gap in White Rock/South Surrey took way too long to fill as well (trying to get onto southbound 99 was very nearly an exercise in futility until the 16 Ave interchange finally opened). And the SFPR was both poorly built and underbuilt for the traffic that everyone knew it would handle. I knew right away when it opened in 2012 that it would not take long for it to be upgraded.

I am still not totally sure why the George Massey "bridge" was canned; it would have been consistent with other crossings of the Fraser and certainly would have been tall enough for even the largest boats to pass beneath. It would have provided spectacular views as well. It had excellent capacity and involved significant upgrades of nearby interchanges. Plus, the environmental work was already complete. It was literally shovel-ready. Like every major project, it had its detractors, but overall it seemed that most people supported the project. Particularly some Americans who normally use it to reach Vancouver. I have a feeling it was largely political, which is a shame.

Still, credit where credit's due: the new tunnel doubles the capacity of the current crossing, and more closely resembles the existing design of Hwy 99 north and south of the river (requiring less money spent on interchange upgrades and the like). But then that does seem to the be the apparent issue with Hwy 99: a bit underbuilt. More lanes may encourage more people to defer to the new tunnel rather than the Alex Fraser, but then that opens additional capacity on that bridge and would allow for growth along both corridors. Truly a win-win. No doubt traffic will eventually settle back into stop-and-go after a few decades, but eight lanes of stop-and-go is still moving more cars than four lanes of stop-and-go.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 03:21:36 PM by jakeroot »
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TXtoNJ

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2021, 07:33:42 PM »

The big problems with the bridge are the neighborhoods and farms next to the river crossings. A large structure like a bridge casts large shadows, which can severely impact yields and quality of life.

Since the sun in BC is low in the sky to the south, and the growing season so short, the effect of bridge shadows are exaggerated compared to more equatorial locations.
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kphoger

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2021, 07:39:22 PM »

The big problems with the bridge are the neighborhoods and farms next to the river crossings. A large structure like a bridge casts large shadows, which can severely impact yields and quality of life.

Since the sun in BC is low in the sky to the south, and the growing season so short, the effect of bridge shadows are exaggerated compared to more equatorial locations.

Wouldn't the benefits of having riverfront farmland more than compensate for the detriments of having bridge shadows moving across the field?
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TXtoNJ

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2021, 07:54:26 PM »

The big problems with the bridge are the neighborhoods and farms next to the river crossings. A large structure like a bridge casts large shadows, which can severely impact yields and quality of life.

Since the sun in BC is low in the sky to the south, and the growing season so short, the effect of bridge shadows are exaggerated compared to more equatorial locations.

Wouldn't the benefits of having riverfront farmland more than compensate for the detriments of having bridge shadows moving across the field?

Not if there isn't a bridge right now, and they can get the province to rebuild the tunnel instead.
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jakeroot

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2021, 08:16:52 PM »

Shadows and light would have been part of the environmental review. Not sure it would have actually been a big problem for at least a couple reasons: (1) long shadows are not a significant issue during the primary growing seasons (spring, summer, early fall); as well, (2) the bridge would have cast most of its shadows on Deas Island and the river, not farmland (I suspect the affected farmland would have been small portions south of the River Rd/60 Ave junction in Delta, and small portions of property north of Rice Mill Rd east of Hwy 99 in Richmond).

TXtoNJ

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2021, 10:36:09 PM »

Shadows and light would have been part of the environmental review. Not sure it would have actually been a big problem for at least a couple reasons: (1) long shadows are not a significant issue during the primary growing seasons (spring, summer, early fall); as well, (2) the bridge would have cast most of its shadows on Deas Island and the river, not farmland (I suspect the affected farmland would have been small portions south of the River Rd/60 Ave junction in Delta, and small portions of property north of Rice Mill Rd east of Hwy 99 in Richmond).

Not a big problem for the public, sure. For the property holder, though? From my understanding, the cities of Delta and Richmond were the primary block on the bridge plan. That suggests property owners (specifically, the Country Vines Winery that would have been impacted by an extended elevated structure) didn't agree with the environmental review.
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dmuzika

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2021, 10:48:04 PM »

I recently drove between Calgary and Victoria. The need for the Trans-Canada Highway to be twinned through the Interior has been well documented, so I was wanted to talk distance signage. Overall, it’s pretty good but I think some improvements that can be made east of Kamloops, especially when compared with other highways in through the province.

Westbound TCH 1
Generally, BC does a pretty good job of signing westbound communities. Kamloops is the control city west of Golden and there are 2-3 towns listed. The only (minor) improvement is that between Revelstoke and Sicamous, there’s inconsistency between Sicamous/Vernon/Kamloops and Salmon Arm/Vernon/Kamloops. There’s room for an argument that Vernon doesn’t need to be listed, but it’s also signed on Hwy 23 south of Revelstoke (the alternate route), so maybe four locations should be listed – Sicamous/Salmon Arm/Vernon/Kamloops. Alberta only lists Canmore/Banff west of Calgary, and there might be a case to have a second sign that lists some major BC destinations, such as at the Hwy 22 junction.

Eastbound TCH 1
I think this could use some work. According to BCMoT’s Manual of Standard Traffic Signs & Pavement Markings (2000), Calgary should be a control city along the Trans Canada Highway east of Kamloops (see page 141 of the pdf); however, it’s not listed at all except for east of Field which is under Parks Canada jurisdiction. Banff is used sporadically east of Kamloops, despite being used as the control city at the Hwy 5 north jct., and consistently east of Revelstoke. Further to that, there’s usually only two locations listed, and the control city is simply the next location. Field, which is used as a control city for westbound traffic within the national parks, is never mentioned – at best it should be listed east of Golden. BC should consider having a minimum of three locations listed on its eastbound signage, with Calgary being the control city. East of Monte Creek, there could even be two signs – Chase/Salmon Arm/Revelstoke and Banff/Calgary. BC uses out of province control cities on other routes, such as Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway and Jasper on the Yellowhead Highways (both 5 & 16), and even uses two Alberta locations where appropriate, such as Grande Prairie/Edmonton on Hwy 2 east of Pouce Coupe and Jasper/Edmonton TCH 16 east of Tete Jaune Cache.

Banff/Yoho (both directions)
This needs its own category. Parks Canada does not sign the locations beyond the national parks well in either direction, especially when compared to TCH 16 in Jasper National Park. They replaced the signage in Banff a few years ago and went with two locations – the next two locations, which is great for tourists but not so great for travelers heading beyond the parks. For example, beyond Banff, it’s Lake Louise/Field, Field/Golden past Lake Louise, and only Golden past Field. Compare that the TCH 16 west of Jasper, which uses Kamloops and Prince George. Parks Canada installed a three-location sign for eastbound traffic at Field, and that standard should be adopted in both directions through the park, with Kamloops and Calgary being the respective control cities. While we’re at it, they could also continue the exit numbers in Banff National Park. Once the Kicking Horse Canyon is completed, that would be a good time to upgrade the signage.
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traffic.lights.vancouver

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2021, 03:14:14 AM »

Hey there, I'm new to this forum, I was just curious if we could post traffic signals from BC here, or do we have to create a new section/topic?
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cbeach40

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2021, 10:48:34 AM »

Hey there, I'm new to this forum, I was just curious if we could post traffic signals from BC here, or do we have to create a new section/topic?

I'm not a mod, but my own 2 cents is that seems like a large enough topic to warrant its own thread. BC has some interesting signal treatments so that would be cool to see them together like that.
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jakeroot

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2021, 02:01:04 PM »

I would have quite a few contributions to a "BC Traffic Signals" thread.

BC has some interesting signal treatments so that would be cool to see them together like that.

I agree with this. There are so many unusual things in BC that it almost certainly warrants its own discussion.

hurricanehink

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2021, 01:30:30 PM »

How much of the TCH is left to be twinned between Vancouver and Calgary?
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Kniwt

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Re: British Columbia's Highways
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2021, 01:50:44 PM »

How much of the TCH is left to be twinned between Vancouver and Calgary?

Here's a good update on BC, with lots of pics:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation-projects/highway1-kamloops-alberta
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