'Something needs to change': Fraser Valley road warrior running low on patience
Published Tuesday, January 2, 2018 4:22PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 2, 2018 4:39PM PST
As part of a series, CTV Vancouver is looking into why more Metro Vancouver residents than ever are spending large parts of their days stuck in traffic. Visit our Extreme Commutes microsite for full coverage.
Surrey resident Anne Murray’s 40-kilometre trip to work on the Trans Canada highway can take as long as 90 minutes one way.
If it's not a weekend or holiday, Murray faces bumper-to-bumper traffic during her drive from Clayton Heights to East Vancouver. She has three options to choose from on her way in, and if she chooses wrong, she faces an hour-and-a-half, or worse, stuck in traffic.
"Some days it's a nightmare," she told CTV Vancouver's David Molko as he went along for the ride one morning. The majority of her trip is along Highway 1, and while an NDP decision to drop bridge tolls is good for her pocketbook, she said she's seeing a lot more transport trucks during her commute.
Murray said she'd prefer mobility pricing: a smaller toll on all bridges to discourage truckers but keep the commute affordable.
She also feels a better monitoring of the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes might help speed up the drive.
"There's a lot of people that cheat in there," she said.
Molko asked what one thing would make the biggest difference to her commute.
"I think it would be stopping distracted drivers… People are just too self-involved and they don't care about the people around them."
She was asked, "Do you ever think, it shouldn't be this hard?"
"Every day. Every day," she responded.
For her, making the trip on transit isn't an option. While her commute can take as long as 1.5 hours on bad days, she'd spend two hours each way taking buses and the SkyTrain.
Instead Murray strategizes. She takes the Coquitlam exit, even though she's going through to Vancouver, which she says can save her as much 30 minutes.
The mother and supermarket manager said the chaos and stress of about 12 hours in traffic each week have her looking to leave Metro Vancouver.
"I would rather live in the outskirts of Kelowna and drive 40 minutes on a country road than drive 40 minutes in this," she said.
And while the trip from Clayton Heights to the Knight Street-Kingsway area would take about 40 minutes on a good day, the drive took an hour and five minutes the morning of the ride-along.
She was born and raised in the Lower Mainland, but the gridlock is motivation for her to give it all up.
Murray was asked what she'd like to tell transit officials and politicians.
"I think they all need to try the commute once in a while," she said.
"When you're sitting in traffic, going 14 km/h on a 90 km/h freeway, and there isn't an accident, something needs to change."