I was out driving about yesterday. Something I seldom do. I went out to Lion’s Bay to look at a property (Gosh, that building was in awful shape) and I had to come back into Vancouver. Usually I take the Second Narrows, but I had to get to West Broadway to pick something up.
The sign on the Trans-Canada Highway said a 15 minute delay for traffic heading onto the bridge. Sure enough, Taylor Way and Marine was all snarled up with traffic. I slowly queued up for the on-ramp for the Lions Gate. There are 3 lanes on Marine Drive heading westbound from Park Royal. The two rightmost lanes are for queuing up for the bridge. The far left lane is for traffic heading into North Vancouver AND for buses to bypass the queue and head up a bus bypass lane. I saw at least two buses pass by me and queue up in front of me and get onto the bridge.
Kevin Falcon has said that transit has not been able to use the Port Mann Bridge for years because there is no way for buses to make it across the span in reasonable time. However, the North Shore does continue to run buses across the Lions Gate with the assistance of a bypass lane. Looks like a cheap effective alternative to get buses moving a little quicker. They could even have some bus lanes leading up to the on-ramps in Surrey.
This idea isn’t new. It’s been promoted for a long time by Gateway opponents like the Livable Region Coalition for a long time. We have examples in the Lower Mainland that work already, but the powers that be are focused on some very big pet projects that are going to cost us in our tax dollars and our environmental legacy.
Here’s a YouTube video of how a bus bypass lane could be implemented for the Port Mann Bridge: