Responding to today’s release of a report outlining solutions to reduce traffic gridlock in Metro Vancouver, BCFED President Irene Lanzinger says she supports efforts for continued action by local governments to solve transportation congestion problems across the region.
“The completion of the work of the mobility pricing commission is an important first step,” says Lanzinger. “But the heavy lifting to fix the problem is just starting.”
“What we need is for local politicians to foster an expanded, long range public dialogue about the impacts of congestion and the changes that need to take place to reduce it.”
Lanzinger is reassured that affordability and equity are among the key principles that will guide policy discussions about any future road pricing or toll system measures.
“If the financial costs of a toll or road pricing system are unfairly levied on working people, then both will be non-starters,” Lanzinger says.
“Likewise, if the imposition of tolls or distance charges are viewed as a tax grab, then the public will understandably oppose any change.”
Congestion hits working people disproportionately hard, Lanzinger says. From transporting goods to emergency responders, hundreds of thousands of workers drive every day in ever-increasing congestion to earn a living.
And to get to and from work, Lanzinger says workers are forced to drive longer distances because of the high cost of housing.