October 6, 2011

Montreal’s Bridge to Nowhere

By admin

The Conservatives announced a mega-plan to connect Montreal to the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

What a wonderful gesture.

Ooops.  The Conservatives are involved.

“This project will be funded if it’s a P3 project,” they all declare, thumping their chests with great pride with the way in which they’re helping their local construction buddies make billions on the project.

Ooops.   They may have forgotten one simple thing:  a bridge is just a wee tad different than a road.

I can bypass a road any time I want when additional costs or user-fees are involved.  I can take a different route, I can bike through the woods, or I can hike along a new trail that doesn’t include private ownership of commuting channels.

But a bridge.  Can I drop a boat in the water to bypass the bridge?  Can I swim across?  Maybe I’ll haul out my handglider and drift across the mighty St. Lawrence every morning on my way to work.

In other words, forcing the good people of Montreal to be subject to a road toll or private toll booth amounts to forced extortion endorsed by the very government that is trying to help them.

Don’t let the Cons tell you this project has to be a ‘P3’ project and that it has to have tolls unless they figure out productive ways for public transit and HOV users to bypass these costs.