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Opinion: New West station users fed up with pigeon ‘poopocalypse’

Visitors ask for action to reduce pigeon population

People are always advised to go outside in order to get some fresh air.

Well, for people who are immunocompromised, being outside can also be dangerous when that outside area is filthy with excrement.

I’m talking about the area in and around the New Westminster SkyTrain station, which includes shops and walking areas on multiple levels.

Since taking over at the Record three years ago, the most complaints I receive about dirty areas in New West are about the main drag of Sapperton and this SkyTrain station.

Just in the past week, two separate people contacted me about the New West transit station, with a particular focus on the pigeon poop situation.

“The place smells and always looks filthy,” said Sandra. “The worst part is all the bird poop. It’s a pigeon poopocalypse around there. It makes me want to walk the extra distance to the next station.”

Then there is Chris E., who sent me the photos attached to this blog. He is immunocompromised and so fed up with the situation that he’s written to the group that manages the area around the station – not TransLink – to get them to do more.

“The pigeon s**t is dangerously pilling up in some areas around the New Westminster Skytrain Station shops,” he said in a letter. “The pigeon excrement around the station and associated shops has been an issue for many years, but has gotten worse in some areas lately. We see cleaning staff washing the mess away from the main shopping level a couple of times a week but there are so many birds roosting in the area that the staff just cannot keep up. As an immunocompromised person I feel that my health is being threatened by the piles of excrement.”

Currently, the City of Vancouver is looking at a program to reduce the Canada goose population.

Chris would like to see the same kind of plan enacted to reduce the pigeon population.

“If you cannot cull the pigeons why can you not prevent them from roosting,” he asks.

Hopefully he gets a useful response.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.