Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)

Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

The days of gliding along Greater Vancouver highways without a trace of congestion, typical of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are in the rear view.

Expressways are becoming more clogged as traffic approaches levels last seen at the start of 2020.

According to traffic data provide by TransLink – which owns the Golden Ears Bridge – March 2021 saw the highest average weekday bridge volume since August 2019.

An average of 67,174 vehicles crossed the Fraser River overpass during an average weekday in the month, compared to 55,696 last March, and 64,136 in March of 2019.

TransLink spokesperson Dan Mountain said, based on the data from three bridges the transit authority monitors, traffic congestion is near pre-pandemic traffic levels, while transit ridership is only at 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

“This suggests that driving has been recovering faster than transit in the region, he said. “TransLink is concerned about the possibility of increased congestion levels region-wide based on this trend.”

READ MORE: Golden Ears Provincial Park sees 10,000 vehicles over Easter

Mountain said TransLink has teamed up with municipal and provincial government partners to study traffic volume on the key corridors leading to the Golden Ears Bridge to better understand congestion patterns in the area, and to see what solutions are available.

“Through the study, we are measuring traffic volumes, travel-time data, and historical collision statistics at 12 key corridors near the Golden Ears Bridge,” he said.

“That data will then be used to inform recommendations from Parsons, an independent engineering firm specializing in infrastructural mobility solutions, on improvements that could be made to improve congestion and safety in the area.”

The study will conclude later this year, he added, at which time TransLink will review the results with municipalities to see which recommendations can be implemented.

Mountain said TransLink will continue to ensure transit is a safe and efficient alternative to driving for commuters.

“TransLink encourages anyone following public health guidelines and restrictions to use transit,” he said. “To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board our system and we are keeping customers as safe as possible through a number of measures outlined in our safe operating action plan.”

Some of the measures mentioned include: enhanced cleaning protocols, enforcing a mandatory mask mandate, and keeping space for customers to physically distance by maintaining service levels at-or-near pre-pandemic levels, despite a 60 per cent drop in ridership.


Have a story tip? Email: ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LangleyMaple RidgePitt MeadowsTraffic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Chilliwack Chiefs played their 2020-21 BCHL season finale Sunday against Prince George at the Chilliwack Coliseum. The junior A team will open 2021-22 with an American Hockey League team calling Abbotsford home. (Darren Francis photo)
Chilliwack Chiefs viewing Abbotsford AHL arrival as an opportunity

The junior A BCHL club hopes to strike up a friendly relationship with the unnamed Canucks affiliate

Chilliwack’s Allie Thiessen enjoyed a productive season for the Central Washington Wildcats women’s softball squad, and earned GNAC All-Academic status. (Central Washington U graphic)
Chilliwack’s Allie Thiessen earns All-Academic status in Great Northwest Athletic Conference

The women’s softball star at Central Washington University had one of the highest GPAs on the list

Trina Hunt’s remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Trina Hunt’s family appeals to killer to step forward after remains found in Hope

Cousins also ask Hope residents to think back to weekend Port Moody woman was in the area

Chilliwack real estate may finally be moving towards a buyers' market, according to the local real estate board. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack real estate sales forecast to see the highest increase in B.C. in 2021

BCREA second quarter forecast predicts 51.6% jump in sales this year, 20% rise in prices

Corey Neyrinck was sentenced on Jan. 19, 2018 to seven years in jail for sexually touching two young girls and creating child pornography. He was released on Dec. 4, 2018. As of May 11, 2021 he faced two counts of failing to comply with a prohibition order. (File)
Chilliwack man sentenced to 7 years for sexually touching underage girls back in custody

One-time school board candidate Corey Neyrinck charged with violating internet prohibitions

Still from a video of a townhouse fire on South Sumas at Vedder Road in Chilliwack on May 9, 2021 before Chilliwack Fire Depatment crew arrived. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Grass fire leads to townhouse blaze in Sardis on Mother’s Day

Chilliwack Fire Department warns that matches and lighters can have ‘devastating’ effects

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read