Thursday, October 29, 2009

Senator Greene ...

Senator Greene has dropped his personal bombshell on the port of Hailfax. Promoting Point Melford and Sydney as replacements for Halifax's container piers in order to improve downtown street traffic in Halifax makes as much sense as his support for converting the present railway cut into a truck corridor.
If the container piers are gone, who would need a truck corridor? The port of Halifax would not have enough non-container traffic to warrant such a hugely disruptive project.
Senator Green, a minor cog in the defeated former Tory provincial government, has been named to the Senate. Predictably his agenda is muddled, his facts askew and and his credibility is zero.
He has apparently concluded that a large increase in Halifax container traffic would result in traffic grid-lock in Halifax. Does he think that all those additional containers would be loaded onto trucks? Apparently so, but that would require a massive increase in locally generated traffic. Traditionally the vast majority of Halifax container traffic is sent on by rail to central Canada or the US mid-west. So a big increase in container traffic in Halifax might well result in some increase in truck traffic, but there are other solutions to Halifax traffic problems.
Railways in the US are now carrying containers on realtively short hauls, keeping more trucks off the highways. Who is to say that this would not happen in Halifax?
Short-sea shipping has been promoted for container transfers. Such services would transship containers right at the container terminal, without clogging city streets.
As for Point Melford or Sydney, they should be allowed to sink or swim as container hubs on a purely business basis, all on their own, without his or any other government's interference.
My advice to Sentor Greene is to take the big pay cheque, wait for the big pension and keep quiet. Nobody actually expects him to do anything to earn either.

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