Re: City pushes for four-lane Pattullo with tolls, The Record, March 7.
Interesting that this report is similar to the findings from the consultation sessions I attended with TransLink. How much did this cost the taxpayers of New Westminster to expand a report already done or likely to be under final consideration by TransLink and the mayors' council? While the residents wait for New Westminster to finish the master transportation plan, our political leaders insist on going it alone. Are the people most affected being left out of the consultation now forced to rely on city staff and elected officials in the final days of their mandate (civic elections are coming in the fall of 2014)?
For many residents in our city there have been increasing requests for the inclusion of the Stormont Connector. This is the missing link from the Pattullo Bridge through Burnaby to Highway 1 (Google it to find out more).
Just because "someone" says this is not up for discussion does not make it fact! Fact is property was purchased, land is reserved, and for too many years this option has been left out of the regional transportation dialogue. Now, with the new Port Mann capacity, increased population and goods movement, is it time to discuss this option again?
For way too many years New Westminster has and is increasingly feeling the pressure as a result of its connection to four - yes, four - major bridges over the Fraser River. Is it any wonder our city is caught in the middle!
New Westminster is the centre where goods and people must travel through to arrive at more heavily
populated and ever growing communities?
If you accept that premise, it becomes clear there must be a way to get over it, get through it, go around it or go under New Westminster. So the question causing all the expense and consternation is how?
Forget all the negative Nellies for a moment and consider the Cariboo interchange, 10th Street at McBride and the Pattullo Bridge.
Then look at both sides of this corridor on a map. It becomes clear that what we have here is a "missing link" - a connection through Burnaby.
Lots of discussion needs to take place on how best to accomplish this. It will not be easy, but without it I don't believe New Westminster or Burnaby will ever have traffic peace and the rest of the Lower Mainland will forever be in gridlock.
Let's be clear, it has to be discussed in the context of increased public transit like buses, SkyTrain and light rail.
Not only do we need to move people and goods, we also need to move an expanding workforce that does not prescribe to vehicles. If New Westminster continues to operate in a bubble like our mayor and council, many suspect the resolution that will come will not be appreciated, and that is very troubling.
James Crosty, New Westminster