Saturday, October 14, 2017
Tunnel fear mongering is false
Yesterday the Vancouver Province printed a letter from a paramedic who lives in Vanocuer and is familar with the George Massey tunnel. He wanted to dispel some of the falsehoods being spread in the media about the tunnel.
"As a paramedic, when I need to move time-sensitive patients through the Massey Tunnel, I use the emergency lights and sirens and the carpool lanes or shoulders any time of the day or night to get to the tunnel entrance quickly where traffic is flowing as often as it does on a bridge. If there is a crash in the tunnel, blocking it, I confirm that traffic is stopped and use the emergency lights on the ambulance again and drive in from the opposite direction of traffic flow — no cars! — to get the patients and leave."
"In the rare event of a fire in the tunnel (traffic isn’t moving that fast, high-energy crashes are rare, hence few result in fires or serious injuries), then people can move to the adjacent tunnel using the emergency exits. None of the recent public fearmongering justifies the outrageous outlay for a new bridge that my grandchildren will be paying for. There isn’t an infinite pot of taxpayer money."
Since traffic patterns have changed after the NDP lifted the tolls on the Port Mann bridge, there isn't a need to build a third bridge crossing on that side of the Fraser river. The NDP just saved us 2.5 billion tax dollars through fiscal restraint. So now the corporate campaign contributors are spreading false rumors about the tunnel claiming it needs to be replaced. Building an additional crossing like the Alex Fraser bridge is an entirely different matter than getting rid of a useful functioning tunnel. If you get rid of a functioning tunnel you have to build a bridge twice as big to make up for it which of course costs more money. As does demolishing a perfectly good tunnel.
Even Richmond city council is opposed to replacing the tunnel and they are the ones that have to live with it. The real reason they want to get rid of the tunnel is so they can load more coal onto the cargo ships at the Fraser docks. Once again it has nothing to do with traffic flow or fiscal responsibility. The whole thermal coal exports out of that dock is still before the courts.
As one blog reader pointed out, at least the tunnel works in the winter and doesn't have falling icicles crashing into cars whenever it freezes.