Estimates to make the dangerous Malahat safer are approaching $250 million, and climbing. Except the solutions only consider making it better for more cars, not the much easier and cheaper method of reducing the traffic.
More than 95 per cent of cars travelling that highway contain only the driver. Instead of sitting in a smoking traffic jam, most of them would be a lot happier and safer on a train. If only a hundred people took a train it would go a long way toward reducing accidents.
Over $14 million to upgrade the railway has already been committed by federal and provincial governments. The tracks belong to the Island Corridor Foundation of BC. The only obstacle is US-owned VIA Rail, which wants the tracks kept free for their freight hauling business.
Canada has at least two international rail-building corporations, Bombardier and SNC Lavalin. I’d much rather pay one of them to build a light-weight commuter rail system than rebuild highways that will only become more congested.
If the city of Shanghai had gone with highways instead of public transit in the 1980s, they would need 17 lanes of highway both ways today.