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Golden Ears Bridge traffic tips for the opening week

The Golden Ears Bridge opens Tuesday, June 16!

The Golden Ears Bridge opens Tuesday, June 16!

We’ve just sent out this press release and I wanted to make sure you all saw it!

TransLink’s new Golden Ears Bridge is expected to open sometime in the early hours of tomorrow morning when the barriers come down on all of the entrances and exits. By the morning rush hour period, the bridge will be handling regular commuter traffic between Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows and Langley/Surrey for the first time.

Motorists are advised to expect traffic delays for the first few days as commuters get accustomed to the new entrances and exits and as sightseers take advantage of the 30 day toll-free period to make their first trips over the Golden Ears. TransLink has arranged for additional police traffic management to assist motorists as they sort out their new travel patterns. Traffic engineers will be monitoring the bridge and the road system to see if any adjustments to signals or wayfinding are needed.

Based on the overwhelming public interest on Sunday at the bridge completion celebration, TransLink is asking motorists who don’t necessarily have to travel in peak commuting times to shift their trial runs if possible. All drivers headed to the bridge are advised to listen to radio traffic reports for updated information.

Motorists wanting to be among the first across the bridge are advised that it is not expected to open right at midnight tonight.

In the weeks to come, those who expect to use the Golden Ears on a regular basis should either register their vehicles or order a transponder to qualify for a lower toll charge. TransLink recommends ordering transponders on-line or by phone rather than going to the QuickPass offices. With the next 30 days toll-free, there will be lots of the transponders to arrive in the mail. Links and phone numbers are available at www.translink.ca.

Operations staff at the Golden Ears Bridge would also like to advise motorists that there is still some completion work underway that could result in some short term lane closures over the coming weeks.


5 Comments

  • By Mike, June 15, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

    A couple notes for those navigating the bridge and its associated roads:

    1. You must signal on approach to a roundabout and before you exit it. This is part of what makes a roundabout safe and efficient. Moreover, this is LAW. It is highly irritating to have to stop unnecessarily because most people do not thoughtfully signal their intentions.

    I’m unsure if there are any multi-lane roundabouts as part of the Golden Ears project but if there are, remember not to drive on the inside lane next to a truck. A large truck requires both lanes and possibly the apron to make his turn.

    Inside lanes have priority over the outside lanes. Vehicles in the outside lane MUST yield and stop if necessary when a vehicle in the left lane signals its intention to leave.

    If an emergency vehicle approaches the roundabout, do not enter the roundabout (Unless to get out of the way of the vehicle). If you are in the roundabout, proceed as normal to your exit and pull over as normal.

    2. 200 Street and 201 Street are one-way streets. Turning left onto a one way street from both one way and two streets alike on a red light (but NOT where it says “Left Turn Signal”) is perfectly legal after coming to a full stop and yielding the right of way to all pedestrians and cross traffic. This is legal at all such intersections in B.C. except where a sign prohibits such a turn.

    In other words, don’t get excited if the car in front of you waiting to turn left from 96 avenue on to 201 Street northbound does so on the red. It’s perfectly legal!

    Drive safe out there!

  • By ;-), June 16, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

    Any ideas when Google maps will stop telling me to take the Port Mann?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 17, 2009 @ 6:40 am

    Let me ask the powers that be.

    Edit: Just got the answer. Here it is:

    For Google, it is up to TeleAtlas as they provide the basemap. A request has been made but they will not say when it will be updated. It is the same for the other major supplier of basemaps, Navteq. Users are encouraged to visit teleatlas.com and navteq.com to report changes to encourage them update the basemap sooner rather than later.

  • By Harry, June 19, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

    Why are there cracks on the bridge structure and concrete road surface when the bridge is just open to traffic? Should the builder and contractor be responsible to re-work the concrete before Translink accept the project?

  • By Mike, June 19, 2009 @ 9:53 pm

    I’m a little curious myself. It appears to me that they were running heavy machinery over the concrete slabs. It does look a little ugly.

    While Vancouver hasn’t had much success with roundabouts, Edmonton’s roundabouts, placed on busy roads (not unlike Main Street) are a resounding success. Here’s why: Driver Education. Put a few signs up and things will change.

    Given how terrible people here are at signalling when dealing with roundabouts, it’s a shame TransLink can’t put up a couple signs to get people’s attention. Something along the lines of “Roundabouts: Signal in, Signal out!” or “Roundabouts: Does everyone know where you’re going? Signal your exit!”

    Such non-regulatory signs are already posted at quite a few school zones; the one on Dewdney Trunk Road just past the Pitt River Bridge seems to do a great job at getting people’s attention and having them slow down there.

    If things are this bad already, it’s going to be an absolute gong show when more people start using them.

    Another thing that should be pointed out. The speed limits on Golden Ears Way is a recipe for disaster. Why did they put four different speed limits for the bridge? By changing the speed limit multiple times, the 85th percentile rule never really gets established as people will be going all sorts of different speeds over there with particular volatility around the speed limit signs as drivers have to pay more attention to signs and changing speeds over and over. That’s the sort of thing that leads to tailgating and rear enders.

    Golden Ears Way appears to be built for 80kph throughout. Having drivers drive 60kph on what appears to be a divided highway is absolutely painful. It seems the local RCMP know this too, as they’ve been nabbing people on that particular stretch of road. I wonder what’s going to happen when the South Fraser Perimeter road gets built and connected to Golden Ears Way? The design speed for that road is projected to be 80kph!

    While the bridge is fantastic, these are concerns that can’t be ignored for the short-term as traffic begins to use the bridge.

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