Pitt Meadows mayor wants tolls cut on Golden Ears Bridge

Worried that tolls are putting traffic along Lougheed Highway

A Pitt Meadows resident still bothered about noise from expansion joints on Golden Ears Bridge.

If the province pares down the tolls for the new Port Mann Bridge while the Patullo Bridge undergoes repairs, TransLink might as well trim the tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge.

Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker says it would be a good time to lower the tolls to see if that would increase traffic across the span linking to Surrey and Langley.

Becker, along with Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore and Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read, discussed the topic at a recent dinner. Becker followed up with a May 5 letter to both cities, seeking their agreement to unite and lobby the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, as well as TransLink .

Transportation Minister Todd Stone is being urged to reduce or eliminate tolls on the Port Mann Bridge while maintenance work restricts the use of the nearby Pattullo Bridge for months or even years.

Currently, motorists with a Treo decal, good for both bridges, pay $3.05 every time they cross the Golden Ears. That’s due to go up by a nickle on July 15.

For Becker, the tolls on the Golden Ears are impeding traffic to the north side of the Fraser River.

Meanwhile, he says it’s increasing traffic along the Lougheed Highway through Pitt Meadows, as motorists seek to get to Vancouver and Coquitlam using the untolled Pitt River Bridge.

“The region is facing some critical transportation infrastructure decisions with respect to use and costs of infrastructure as it is replaced and tolling is expected to be used to offset the costs of construction,” Becker said in a letter to Read.

“The concern, of course, is the continued increase in traffic on untolled roads as commuters choose travel routes that avoid tolls.”

But he said there are no statistics on that, saying it’s a council initiative.

But logic says, if you toll two bridges, people will use the untolled bridge.

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, however, traffic on the eastern part of Lougheed Highway hasn’t increased since the opening of the new tolled Port Mann Bridge in 2012.

In 2010, a daily average of 38,266 vehicles crossed the Mission Bridge in both directions – compared to 38,787 vehicles in 2013.

The bridge connects Abbotsford to the Lougheed Highway.

The Pattullo is supposed to be the free alternative to the Port Mann, but it will become more difficult to use if there are frequent lane closures during next year’s planned $100-million upgrade, said the Surrey Board of Trade.

For 18 months, likely beginning next April 2016, the already heavily congested bridge will be reduced from four lanes to two on weekdays – one in each direction – and heavy trucks will be banned, along with cyclists and pedestrians.

The seismic rehabilitation and deck replacement of the 76-year-old bridge was expected to begin early this year.


Just Posted

Homes found for abandoned hedgehogs in Maple Ridge

Lucky new owners picked up their pets on Aug. 20

Lock your car doors, brush your teeth

Ridge Meadows RCMP give safety tip

Have fun, but keep river clean, says City of Maple Ridge

Message out to pack out litter, after visiting South Alouette River

Letter: Bigger issues in Maple Ridge than train horns

Loves to hear the sound, part of our history

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

IHIT confirms male arrested in connection with Paul Prestbakmo’s death no longer in custody

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience the ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Most Read