Today I decided to get accurate figures on the time saved by the 8th Street Bridge.
With my spouse driving, we started at the “top” of the bridge on Pacific Avenue. Our route was west on Pacific until we reached 18th Street, north onto the bridge, east onto Maple, south on 17th St N, and then east on Stickney Avenue to the northern foot of the bridge. Our return trip was west on Stickney, north on 19th St N, east on Maple, south onto 18th Street, over the bridge, right on to the Pacific loop that goes under the bridge, and finally east on Pacific to the top of the bridge again.
Today’s weather was less than ideal, with light flurries and somewhat icy streets. At no time did she get over 40km/h during the trip. Being around 11:20 AM it was also getting somewhat busy.
Our trip north took us about 4 minutes and 10 seconds. Our trip south took us about 5 minutes and 30 seconds. I’m fairly sure that under better weather conditions, that this trip would have been much closer to the 3 minute mark. Also, less traffic on the Daly Overpass would have sped us up on the return trip. The only way you get less traffic on the Daly Overpass going south is if you move the traffic elsewhere, since we already have two southbound lanes. This supports my argument of paying more attention to the west side of the city.
Later, in the spring, I am going to drive the route again to see what we get.
Regardless, even if it took as much as 6 minutes to get around, the time savings is not worth upwards of $34,000,000.
Do you think that the taxpayers of Winnipeg or Vancouver would find it fiscally responsible to spend this many millions to save maybe 200 people a 5 minute commute?
I think not.