Frequently asked questions and suggestions.
What is INSTPP?
The Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project is a cross-jurisdictional and collaborative forum initiated to provide an integrated transportation approach that is environmentally progressive, values safety, improves the movement of people and goods, and respects First Nation's interests.
Who is on the INSTPP Steering Committee and Staff Working Group?
The Steering Committee and Staff Working Group includes representatives from all levels of government on the North Shore, TransLink, and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. More information on INSTPP partners can found here.
Can we adapt the CN Rail bridge to include transit, walking and cycling?
The CN Rail Bridge cannot be used for buses or bikes because part of the bridge raises and lowers to accommodate marine traffic; it is also most often in the raised position. Future planning to replace the CN Rail Bridge should address the potential for transit and multimodal transportation, in addition to rail transport requirements.
Can we create a bus-only lane on the bridges?
Dedicating a lane on one or both bridges would increase congestion more than it relieves it. Our analysis shows that delays are primarily due to bottlenecks at the bridgeheads rather than on the bridge decks. Improving transit priority and access at the bridgeheads, where feasible, will significantly improve transit reliability and travel time. Improving incident response and management on the bridges will also help to reduce traffic delays. Any future plans to replace or widen either of the bridges should consider the opportunity for dedicated bus lanes.
Can we build gondolas between Phibbs Exchange, Capilano University and Maplewood?
While gondolas can play a role for transportation in cities, especially where there are difficult physical barriers, our analysis shows that the costs of this technology would be high compared to buses. The analysis also showed that a gondola would not create considerable travel time savings compared with using buses on the existing roads, and it would require an additional transfer for most customers. This idea could be reviewed again if the road reliability in the area deteriorates significantly.
What role could mobility pricing play?
The Mobility Pricing Independent Commission submitted its report on regional mobility pricing in May 2018. This study, along with our modelling and analysis, identified pricing as a highly effective tool to reduce congestion to/from and on the North Shore. We recommend the North Shore partners work collaboratively to participate actively in ongoing discussions about the future of mobility pricing for the Metro Vancouver region.
What if rapid transit to and in the North Shore was provided?
Rapid transit is being implemented starting in 2019 with the new Marine-Main B-Line rapid bus service. Additional B-Lines services are planned for the North Shore in the Phase 3 Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision. Success of the B-Line services and associated ridership growth will lay the foundation for higher levels of rapid transit. Higher levels of rapid transit were examined for two main corridors:
- Rapid transit crossing Burrard Inlet in the vicinity of Second Narrows to connect the North Shore with SkyTrain in east Vancouver: Our analysis showed that ridership would be low on a rapid transit line connecting to the area south and east of the Second Narrows Bridge because of the dispersed development it would serve.
- Rapid transit crossing Burrard Inlet in the vicinity of the SeaBus route to connect Lonsdale City Centre with SkyTrain in downtown Vancouver: Our initial review indicated this connection would provide more transportation choice and attract more transit ridership. Some of the new transit ridership would come from a shift from automobile use, but most of the increase would be from new trip patterns. For example, a North Shore resident who shopped locally might shift their activity to downtown because of improved transit accessibility and vice versa. While rapid transit would offer more choice for people, it may have little impact on bridge congestion. Additional benefits could, however, result from combining rapid transit with incentives to change travel patterns – leading to increased use of transit by existing commuters, particularly people travelling to the North Shore by car for work each day. Municipal partners have stated a preference for ‘rail’ rapid transit. Additional study on the benefits and impacts of rapid transit – including how to cross Burrard Inlet – will be considered in the Regional Transportation Strategy, currently being led by TransLink.
Can we run passenger ferries between more places?
This idea was studied in 2004 and it was found that there were few places where ferries would be feasible. Ferry service works best when crossings serve water-facing land use and are not parallel to the shore or duplicated by a bridge. The study identified a number of key challenges, including high costs for fuel, development of suitable docking facilities, poor connections with existing transit service and lack of compatible land use along the waterfront. Municipal partners expressed interest in exploring the idea of expanding the use of passenger ferries to provide more options for crossing Burrard Inlet, particularly in the event of incidents that preclude the use of the bridges. It was noted that other coastal cities successfully utilize waterways for transportation. The INSTPP recommendation is to update the 2004 study to reassess the feasibility of additional passenger ferry service to get people to, from and across the North Shore.
Can we add more lanes to our existing bridges?
The feasibility of expanding either of the Second Narrows Bridge and the Lions Gate Bridge has been evaluated by the Government of BC. Neither bridge can be expanded due to structural limitations, and there are also no immediate plans for replacing either bridge. Any future plans for bridge replacement will need to address the transportation benefits, opportunities for dedicated bus lanes, and the impacts on adjacent communities.
Can we replace one of the existing bridges with a wider bridge?
Building a new wider bridge to replace one of the existing bridges would help relieve congestion in the first few years of operation but would ultimately increase congestion because more people would use a car to travel to and from the North Shore. It would also require an expansion of the road network to connect to a wider bridge with more traffic lanes, resulting in potential impacts to the livability of nearby communities. Bridge replacement may be considered in the future, and the potential change in capacity will need to be evaluated along with additional transit and road network improvements, the best allocation of capacity to different modes and potential socio-economic impacts.
See our Truth or Fiction report for more information on frequently suggested ideas and options.