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North Shore News

September 21, 2018 06:00 AM

North Vancouver-Lonsdale NDP MLA Bowinn Ma spearheaded the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project, or INSTPP, earlier this year. After months of planning, a 35-page report was released Sept. 13. photo Lisa King, North Shore News.

Jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s the mantra they teach you on your first day in politician school. To the extent they can take credit, our North Shore politicians must be doing a bang-up job – with 2,900 more people employed here since the last census period.

But the number of working-age people who live here only went up by 900 in that time. Therein lies the source of our daily traffic problems. We’ve lost the ability to house the people who work here, forcing them to commute on clogged roads and inadequate transit.

North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma’s Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project is our new road and transit map for us to start tackling the problem.

It’s true the report lacks a lot of new ideas. And it largely rejects the flashy and expensive ones a lot of people might be clamouring for like new bridges or a North Shore SkyTrain line.

But it’s a start. When it comes to solving our transportation problems, there is no silver bullet. (The Silver Bullet, incidentally, would be an excellent name for a new high-speed rail link over Burrard Inlet.) Most appealing to us was the notion of “workforce housing.” Allow people to live close to where they work and you solve the problem of traffic at its source.

While we’d love to see more ambition, political commitment and funding coming our way, we must commend Ma for getting this process started. Co-ordinated transportation planning may be a half measure compared to amalgamation but it’s the next best thing and it’s the only hope we’ve got for solving the problem. Every candidate running in this municipal election should read the INSTPP report and commit to seeing it through to completion.