By Jane Seyd, North Shore News
Nov. 17th, 2017 – Traffic gridlock was the number one topic on the minds of North Vancouver’s business community as three local MLAs – Bowinn Ma, Jane Thornthwaite and Ralph Sultan – sat down to debate local issues at a chamber of commerce breakfast meeting Thursday.
Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale and parliamentary secretary for TransLink in the NDP government, said housing affordability is a key factor in traffic congestion. If housing was more affordable on the North Shore and jobs were available that paid enough for people to live here, far fewer people would be clogging the roads in vehicles, she said. Currently, “We actually have more traffic coming on the North Shore in the morning and out of the North Shore in the evening than we do the other way around” – a change from five to seven years ago, she said.
Ma said those opposed to increased density are often homeowners who already own their houses outright. But affordability still affects those people, said Ma, because “the services that they rely on are staffed with people who can’t afford to live here.”