TransLink’s Second United Boulevard Extension Consultation Meeting

Last night TransLink held their second New Westminster consultation meeting regarding the UBE. This particular meeting was much better than the first in that it began with a presentation in the Justice Institute’s theatre at 6:45pm and was then followed by a Question and Answer/Response period. This format was more effective at allowing people to express their concerns and to hear responses from TransLink staff.
The meeting went straight through to the scheduled 8:30 finish time and questions/comments would likely have continued had the meeting not been brought to a close. It was standing room only with people lined up at the back and sides of the room. Many senior city staffers and some councilors were on hand to hear the community speak out as well.
TransLink had been directed by City Council to only present on Option A, the T-intersection, and that is what the focus of the meeting was. They began with discussing some of the regional pressures and the various reasons why it is important for traffic to be moving through this intersection. Oddly, as Voice president, Neil Powell, pointed out TransLink didn’t mention the Braid Industrial area as one of these regional drivers. Nor did they take into account the future stressors of Port Metro Vancouver’s ownership of the former Canfor lands or the fact that Coquitlam wants the waste transfer station removed from United Boulevard and the fact that the Braid Industrial area has been discussed as a possible future site for this or some other (incinerator?) way of dealing with the region’s solid waste. TransLink made it clear that they are not considering the UBE for the purpose of improving commuting but are looking at this for the purpose of moving goods and trucks. That is the reason they are able to get financial buy-in from Transport Canada.
A constant question/concern expressed was that this would also only alleviate the congestion at this location but would not deal with congestion further along the N. Fraser Perimeter Road at Front St. and E. Columbia or E.Columbia and Brunette Avenue. Voice’s Neil Powell, also raised concerns regarding lost industrial revenue as businesses are expropriated and how that will impact our taxes. TransLink has also said that they would be amenable to an application by New Westminster to remove E. Columbia Street from Brunette Avenue to Braid and E.8th Avenue between McBride and E. Columbia as truck routes. Neil Powell stated that this is something that many in Sapperton and the Heights would be happy to see happen, as it is something the McBride Sapperton Residents’ Association has been requesting for a number of years. He did ask though about how trucks would be able to get onto the Pattullo Bridge during rush hour when access is usually restricted. Apparently this issue will need to be dealt with by the City. Likely a lot of this will also be dealt with by the new Pattullo Bridge, whenever that happens.
Now we leave it to our City Council and mayor to direct TransLink as to how they wish to proceed and whether they are supportive of this concept or not.

3 thoughts on “TransLink’s Second United Boulevard Extension Consultation Meeting

  1. I was at the meeting. So many unanswered questions still out there, the big one being a $50M gap in funding.
    How could the city have allowed this charade to go on?
    Why didn’t the Mayor and Councillors ask these questions?
    How lacking , how short sighted to get this community out to defend itself, where in heaven’s name is our Council?

  2. Council members are going to ride in on a white stallion and save us all from this nonsense at Translink.
    They could have stopped this stupidity in its tracks, but they are too busy engaging in social engineering to pay attention to something as mundane as traffic/transportation.
    Of course they do need to get better access over those tracks so that they can facilitate the onslaught of garbage trucks going to the Waste to Energy site.

  3. To “To Don”: the last time our elected city officials didn’t consult with Sapperton and tried to give us something we didn’t want, an incinerator, we mobilized as a community, educated ourselves, and showed them exactly what we were and were not to prepared to accept. Now, again, we have mobilized, consulted and communicated with each other and told them what we want. I know that if, or when, any locally elected official tries to reintroduce the idea of burning garbage in our community we will once again be forced to conduct our own consultation and will very clearly speak our mind.

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