There is some talk that there is a rush towards LRT and that the examination of alternatives is not being considered. The two competing options that are often discussed are HOV lanes and bus-rapid transit (BRT).
One of the most overlooked issue of any transportation project is disruption during construction. More specifically, the BRT and LRT may potentially have the same disruption, but LRT does not reach capacity within the short term.
The disruption during construction for HOV lanes are not as significant as for BRT and LRT, but the point at which overcapacity is reached is much sooner. More specifically, we could then potentially face going to BRT and LRT and each time incur similar disruption to service we are currently experiencing with the upgrades through View Royal.
We need to move toward decreasing our dependence on the automobile and offer people choices.
We should be able to choose to drive rather than be forced to drive to conduct our daily activities. We need to create compact communities where we can offer choices: Walk, cycle or use the automobile, even a huge SUV when required.
It’s all about choices to create mobility and eliminate impediments to the movement of people and goods and services.
We need to begin to understand that traffic congestion is not just a environmental issue, it is more importantly a huge impediment to productivity.
More specifically, we are talking about the staggering loss of productivity from people idling in their vehicles and the inability to use existing road capacity more efficiency for trucking.
There is the August 2010 example in China, where a critical highway for goods and services movement was congested for nine days. Truckers camped in their cars.
However, by December 2010 (3.5 months later) the Chinese government fearing the loss of productivity and a decreased rate of GDP growth enacted measures restricting car registrations for Beijing and other major cities in China.
The Chinese government realized that they need to use existing road capacity for goods movement and minimize single occupancy vehicles — it realized in less than a year, what we failed to learn in 50 years.