MSRA extraordinary meeting held to discuss United Boulevard Extension

Voice has received a copy of the McBride-Sapperton Residents’ Association (MSRA) letter to Mayor and Council regarding the United Boulevard Extension (UBE).

We want to commend the MSRA for articulating many of the same points raised by Voice in relation to the UBE.

MSRA President Geoff Pinkerton has kindly given us permission to post the letter below for the benefit of our readers.

=============================================

From: Geoff Pinkerton
Date: Dec 6, 2010
Subject: Summary of 1 Dec 2010 MSRA meeting regarding the United Boulevard Extension
To: postmaster@newwestcity.ca

Mayor and Council,

The McBride-Sapperton Residents’ Association held an extraordinary meeting at 7:00pm on 1 Dec 2010 at the Sapperton Pensioner’s Hall regarding the United Boulevard Extension portion of the North Fraser Perimeter Road project.

The McBride-Sapperton Residents’ Association has been following this issue for many years and has many concerns about the project and its impact upon the livability of Sapperton and in fact upon the City as a whole.

The purpose of the meeting was to gauge public support for, or opposition to, Tranlink’s four proposals regarding the United Boulevard Extension.

The meeting was attended by approximately 90 members of the public, including three members of Council (Councillors Osterman, McEvoy and Harper), and two members of City Staff (Jim Lowrie and Eugene Wat).

The format of the meeting to was as follows:

1. Introduction of the MRSA

2. Review of the history of the project

3. Review of the Tranlink slides showing the four proposals

4. Public discussion

5. Motion

The merits and problems associated with the four options were discussed and debated. A fifth option (Option E) was also discussed. This fifth option included discussion on a wide range of things such as deferring the project and instead focusing on removing traffic from the road network, further upgrades to the freeway and forgoing the United Boulevard Extension as it essentially parallels the freeway, looking at alternative connection points from Brunette to United Boulevard (closer to the Brunette/freeway interchange, building a road along the waterfront from Front Street), etc.

A number of issues were brought up during the open discussion portion of the meeting. Concerns were raised about a substantial increase in the amount of truck traffic through New Westminster, the fact that a three story overpass structure (Option A) will have huge visual and noise impacts on residents, the negative impact on property values and the negative impact on air quality, and that this project will “uglify the neighbourhood”. It was clarified that Translink cannot proceed with this project unless it has approval from New Westminster.

From a budgeting perspective, it was noted that the North Fraser Perimeter Road project was budgeted at $55 Million in 2000, rose to $130 Million in 2007, and now stands at around $175 Million for a portion of the work. It was explained at the meeting that Tranlink’s plan regarding the tunnel portion from East Columbia Street to Front Street, is that it would no longer be part of this work and would instead be done when the Pattullo Bridge replacement is completed. It is not clear if and when the Pattullo Bridge project will go ahead. As such, there is a fear that the tunnel portion would not proceed in any immediate timeframe and the completion of the United Boulevard Extension would simply shift the traffic problems from Braid Street to East Columbia Street.

Some area residents are resigned to the fact that this project must be completed and that “doing nothing is not an option”. These opinions were the minority and in fact the majority of the people at the meeting felt that the negative impacts of the project far outweighed any benefits. The overwhelming opinion at the meeting was that this project cannot be looked at piecemeal and that the entire North Fraser Perimeter Road project needs to be looked at as a comprehensive plan. The completion of the United Boulevard Extension portion of the project will only shift the traffic problems elsewhere in the City and negatively impact other neighbourhoods or the downtown core.

We called for a show of hands regarding the four options. Of the 90 people present, none favoured Options A, C or D. Nine people favoured Option B as it would keep traffic flowing more smoothly. The remainder favoured a further option, Option E, which would be to defer the project until the entire North Fraser Perimeter Road project can be dealt with as a comprehensive project. It was very interesting to note, and it appeared to be a surprise to the members of Council present, that there was no support for Option A, the only option favoured by New Westminster City Council.

After the show of hands, the following motion was presented and passed:
“That the MSRA opposes all Options A through D and requests that Translink defer the United Boulevard Extension portion of the North Fraser Perimeter Road project until the entire North Fraser Perimeter Road project is dealt with as a complete and comprehensive plan.”

The MSRA requests that the City defer any agreement with Translink to proceed with the United Boulevard Extension portion of the North Fraser Perimeter Road project until the entire North Fraser Perimeter Road project plan is presented in a complete and comprehensive way. We also request that all conditions from New Westminster City Council’s 5 Feb 2007 resolution regarding this issue are met prior to an agreement being signed, including an agreement that the tunnel portion from East Columbia to Front street would be included as part of the plan.

The McBride-Sapperton Residents’ Association also requests that the City sponsor a workshop in which the entire North Fraser Perimeter Road project can be discussed and the impact of piecemeal projects such as the United Boulevard Extension upon the whole city can be analyzed. Additionally, the McBride-Sapperton Residents’ Association would like to have other issues/projects that will have a substantial impact on traffic and livability in the Sapperton area of the City be presented at this meeting. These issues include items such as Port Metro Vancouver’s ownership of the Canfor Lands and the continuing discussion of an incinerator in our community.

Regards,

Geoff Pinkerton
President
McBride-Sapperton Residents’ Association

21 thoughts on “MSRA extraordinary meeting held to discuss United Boulevard Extension

  1. Isn’t democracy wonderful.

    10 percent of area residents support option B yet MSRA is 100 percent against all options other then the imaginary option E, made up of 90 percent of residents uncertainty to other options.

    That’ll pack a punch !

  2. Anonymous (if that is your real name…), you have read that wrong.

    10% voted for Option D
    90% voted against all 4 options provided. Not based upon uncertainty, but upon knowing the plan as offered by TransLink, the same plan TransLink is asking Council to vote upon. I think in most democracies, 90% is considered a majority.

    I think the motion, and this well-penned letter, will pack a huge punch. If the Mayor and Council are not serving the people of New Westminster, the people who will be most affected by this project, then who are they serving?

  3. To Anonymous,
    Read your comment, and then read the letter again. You are playing fast and loose with the truth.
    You are right about the 10% being in favor of option B.
    Then the overall vote on all of the options, it doesn’t say the meeting was 100% in favor, it says the motion passed. So take you numbers manipulation and put them in the trash can where your analysis belongs.
    Good meeting, good discussion.
    Your analysis sounds like it is coming from someone in the garbage industry.

  4. Well Well Well.

    P@J – he is a skilled reader isn’t he ? 10 % in favour of option D.
    Clearly you where educated in a New Westminster public school !

    Anon – Fast and loose with the truth ? Attended by approximately 90 members of the public ? What a nice round approximate number. And what again is option “E” ? Oh yes, “entire North Fraser Perimeter Road project can be dealt with as a comprehensive project” , so if and when this happens, approximately 90 members of the public will have to vote on a REAL option for the UBE.

    I guess the MSRA has approximately 90 members of the public with all dues paid ? Show us the books Pinkerton !

    “That the MSRA opposes all Options A through D ” Sounds 100 % to me !

    And you want to talk about fast and loose with the truth ?

  5. A good step taken by the MSRA. This was a well thought out response to the UBE issue facing this neighborhood.
    It is time for the City to show some leadership. It is also time for some integrity. Share with the people who are affected, share with those who are paying the cost, the city’s position on a number of issues. For instance, it is important to know what commitments, if any, have been made. There are also many other questions.
    1. What are the commitments made, and the understandings that have been reached, enabling Translink to apply for a federal grant for a project in a member (New Westminster) municipality?
    2. What agreements, understandings have been reached with Coquitlam ?
    There are various accounts of agreements. Let’s see them.
    3. What are the other changes, contemplated/agreed to for the NFPR? What are the timelines?
    5. Each option, A to D has a price tag attached. What are the component parts of the plan that determine the price tag of each option?
    6. What are the short, mid, and long term plans for Braid Industrial lands?
    7. What is New Westminster’s position on the regional solid waste management plan? How does this tie in to Braid Industrial Lands?
    8. What is the short, mid and long term traffic management/ transportation plan for New Westminster? How does this tie in to the regional plan?
    The UBE is a piece of the overall transportation plan. Let’s get an overview of the plan and then address its component parts.
    9. What strings, if any, are attached to the federal money that is being dangled?
    10. What role/ powers do the railways have in this process?
    11.Are there other viable options, other than A,B,C, D ?

    Lastly what should be clearly defined and addressed is the question of how is the UBE an overall net benefit to New Westminster.
    All of these questions must be addressed from a perspective of what is the cost/benefit in not only economic terms, but also in social and environmental terms.

  6. Ports Canada has been buying up land along the Fraser River for mini container terminals. Maybe they could take the 65 million and start developing some of this foreshore land and start shipping containers by barge. How many trucks would that get off the road?

  7. None Paul.
    Trucks have to move containers from Barges. And where will the Barges be destined? Richmond? Short Haul container movement is not viable.
    New West will have even less Container Truck traffic through New West once the South Perimeter road is completed. It is a natural route from Delta Port east.
    The only truck traffic we will likely see will originate in North Richmond or South Burnaby and even than they could be “Truck Routed” over the Alex Fraser to connect to South Perimeter.
    Of course all the decision makers are too smart to ask a trucker for advice before spending billions of Tax dollars.
    Example: Five years ago I suggested to Wright that transport trucks should navigate Patullo Bridge taking both lanes. No! The idiots still post a sign that says slow “traffic keep right” in other words fast pass on inside suicide lane. Well now transport trucks have taken the lack of law into their own hands and travel in BOTH lanes. It has been proven safe and only anoying to killer drivers.
    My point! Listen to those who know!

  8. Honest John –

    What are you talking about ?
    The ports have already purchased property in New Westminster for that exact use. It’s on the other side of the QB bridge, and they’ll likely transfer containers to both rail and trucks.

    Wake up. Moving goods closer to the final destination by tug and barge from our major port offloads is far more efficient then running trucks all over creation.

  9. Thanks for the reply Honest John. Now if a tug picked up a barge load of containers from Delta Port I’m thinking it could be destined a lot further up the river than just Richmond. Look to Europe and even the St. Lawrence River. The closer the containers can be landed to their destination by water, the less time the trucks spend on our roads. How far up the river do you think they could go John?

    Captain Paul

  10. Thanks for the reply Honest John. Now if a tug picked up a barge load of containers from Delta Port I’m thinking it could be destined a lot further up the river than just Richmond. Look to Europe and even the St. Lawrence River. The closer the containers can be landed to their destination by water, the less time the trucks spend on our roads. How far up the river do you think they could go John?

    Captain Paul

  11. Hi Paul.
    Got home to late to call.
    I would think Maple Ridge, possibly Mission in the future.
    One hour drive. I would expect the Port is tryiing to move container traffic away from Downtown Vancouver or at least minimize flow,which is wise. Much of the container traffic east bound originates there.

  12. Fuel Usage Comparison
    Marine Highway 1 Barge =
    456 40’ Containers = 75 Barrels of Oil
    Rail 228 Railcars DBL Stacked =
    456 40’ Containers = 300 Barrels of Oil
    Truck 456 Trucks =
    456 40’ Containers = 645 Barrels of Oil
    Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration

  13. Pinkerton must be really happy with his letter and the punch it packed !

    He really has councils ear !

    Now all the Mcbride Sapperton residents can see how he manipulated their membership and the show of hands with this letter to give the city the upper hand to screw over the neighbourhood.

    We won’t forget it !

  14. To Anonymous:
    You sound like one of the owners who saw an opportunity to get expropriated. The “I’m OK, screw you Jack” attitude always surfaces in instances such as this.
    Pinkerton and his organization are there to look after the interests of everybody, not just the few who want to get bought out.

  15. To sapperton resident :

    Re-read Pinkertons letter again. Did he say to cancel it ? NO ! Only to defer it !

    He’s as crafty as council is with their motion fooling the people.

    I bet Pinkerton will be running for a seat next year too !

    I’m tired of these political snakes in our community, he won’t be getting my vote anytime soon.

  16. Hey OK Jack,
    There’s an old saying and it goes like this:’Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean there not out to get you”.
    Whoever said that, said it with guys like you in mind.
    The letter, and the motion, was a product of the meeting, not of one individual.
    If and when a workable solution comes, it is time to look at it.
    Rest assured, the Braid Industrial lands will not stay as the cesspool that it currently is, in terms of traffic, and in usage.
    Wake up, and work towards a solution that will satisfy most everybody.The current council certainly is not taking an active role in finding that solution.

  17. So if I’m not paranoid, they are still going to get me still.
    Hey Sr tell me why does the letter end with ‘Regards, Geoff Pinkerton’ if it was not from one individual ? Did everyone pick a word they got to type in the letter ? Was it done with everyone huddled round the keyboard ? Was the letter approved for publication by the members that passed the motion or the residents who attended the meeting ? Maybe it should have had more then one signature on it to represent those people who agreed with it. Then send it out like a proper petition. That letter was before the big meeting, and I don’t have to tell you about people changing their minds.

    It was in the paper that the city and the council have been in agreement with option A for over 5 years until they changed their minds.

  18. Your last statement says it all OK Jack.
    Whay is this Council acting as a spectator in this process? As is usual with this Mayor, it is because it is politically expedient.
    Why was Translink even allowed to come forward with those dumb options?
    If, as the Mayor says in this weeks paper, there were other and better options available, why were they not brought forward?
    Why was it left to residents to knock on doors and alert their neighbors that the hood was in danger?
    Again, poor leadership at City Hall.

  19. To OKJack: It is customary for an individual who is the president, CEO, mayor, etc. to sign a letter on behalf of an organization. If you’re worried about people having changed their minds between the MSRA meeting and the second TransLink meeting you obviously weren’t at the TransLink meeting. There was still very strong opposition at that meeting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>