NWEP to host Urban Transportation Forum Nov. 9

The New Westminster Environmental Partners will be holding an Urban Transportation Forum and Annual General Meeting on November 9 at the Douglas College Student Union lounge. The event, moderated by Tenth to the Fraser Will & Briana Tomkinson, will feature local and regional transportation experts discussing what works in transportation planning, what doesn’t, and what's coming to New Westminster.

NWEP AGM & Urban Transportation Forum poster
NWEP AGM & Urban Transportation Forum poster

The New Westminster Environmental Partners will be holding an Urban Transportation Forum and Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 9 at the Douglas College Student Union lounge.

The event, moderated by Tenth to the Fraser’s Will & Briana Tomkinson (yep, that’s me!), will feature local and regional transportation experts discussing what works in transportation planning, what doesn’t, and what’s coming to New Westminster.

The time is now to talk about our transportation future. New bridges and highways are planned, bringing more traffic to New Westminster. The City is working on an updated Master Transportation Plan. An ongoing “funding gap” at Translink is delaying important transit infrastructure projects.

Speakers will include:

  • Jerry Dobrovolny, Director of Transportation for the City of Vancouver and a former New Westminster City Councillor. He will discuss how the Olympics and Separated Bike Lanes are helping to Make Vancouver the “Greenest City in the World” by 2020. The presentation will include newly released data showing the shift in travel modes that occurred during games time, and discuss how cities can excel in a paradigm of peak oil and GHG reduction.
  • Joe Zaccaria, a sustainable transportation advocate from South Fraser OnTrax. Joe will present some quick facts from our neighbours in the south-of-Fraser region, including options to decrease motordom and make our communities walkable again. What is driving transportation needs in the south of Fraser? What is being planned and what is being hoped for? What does these mean for the whole region?
  • Jonathan Cote, New Westminster City Councillor. He will talk about how urban design and form affect sustainable transportation. He will also talk about road pricing and other issues in the local (New Westminster) and regional (Metro Vancouver) context.

A Q&A will follow the presentations, so bring your questions, concerns, and  ideas. You can also tweet questions @10thtothefraser or comment on this post to leave a question that you’d like Will & I to pose to the speakers during the forum. We’ll try to get to as many as we can during the time allowed.

If anyone is interested in live-tweeting the event, that would also great too!

Following these discussions, the NWEP will be reporting on this year’s activities, and will be electing new officers for 2011. Everyone is invited, admission is free and the general public is encouraged to attend and see what the NWEP is up to!

You don’t have to be a member to attend, but only NWEP members will be able vote at the meeting. Memberships ($5 annually) will be available at the meeting.

Where: Douglas College Student Union lounge, 88 Seventh Street, New Westminster

When: Tuesday, November 9th, 7pm

Who: New Westminster Environmental Partners are a group of residents, business owners, and other stakeholders who believe in thinking globally and acting locally. NWEP is strictly non-partisan, as we support sustainability being embraced by all political parties, organizations and individuals.

Membership in NWEP is open to all residents and community stakeholderswho support our mission and are willing to work with us in a cooperative, consensus based-decision making process to promote sustainability in the City.

NWEP’s mission is to work with residents, businesses and government agencies within the City to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability in New Westminster, through the identification of issues, education, public advocacy, the promotion of best practices, and the implementation of effective projects.

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson is a Montreal-based writer and original founder of Tenth to the Fraser. She really likes to write letters by hand.

Briana Tomkinson is a really valued member of the Tenth to the Fraser community. Interested in joining our pool of writers? Please see these submission guidelines.

16 comments

  1. What does sustainable mean ?
    I was at this meeting tonight, and I'm miffed.
    Every presentation declared inflationary growth for our region. How is that sustainable ?
    When is "peak-population" forecast to occur ?

    Sustainable it seems is the latest green buzz word. Put it in the sentence and everything is peachy-keen.
    I wasn't very impressed by any of the presentations honestly, the first guy ruined it buy hogging all the time and putting everyone to sleep with his graphs. Typical engineers.

    It's unsustainable to believe panels like that are going to solve our regions infrastructure deficits.

    1. Glad you made it out, W. Just so you know, the first presenter was given extra time by the organizers of the event (he didn't 'steal' time from the others). As for the growth projections … well I think that the assumption is that this growth is likely to happen regardless of what we do, as people make babies and immigrants move in. "Sustainability" is definitely a popular buzzword, but I think the intent is simply to manage known resource and growth issues as best as we can. Talking about 'sustainability' helps to remind everyone that our resources are not infinite and that growth incurs social and environmental costs. That was my impression anyway.

      Our infrastructure deficits are significant, and I don't think anyone expects that any single event has the power to solve those problems. The best we can do is keep it on voters' and governments' minds so that it remains on the agenda. If we don't talk about it, it's easier for those in power to put off making policy changes that could move us towards that elusive goal of "sustainable" growth.

  2. interesting to attack sustainability because it does not say no to regional growth…

    The growth talked about in this region is all about people moving here from somewhere else. In other words they already exist. Planetary population growth is another issue, and as I understand it, is not sustainable, especially when combined with economic growth. But that is not the type of growth driving the population increase in our region.

    To the best of my knowledge there's no legal or moral way to stop people from coming here.

    If the region is going to grow we need to ensure we do it in a responsible and a sustainable way. While difficult to measure, there's no question we can do better than we're doing now. And perhaps most important, when people move here we need to be sure that they develop a smaller eco footprint than what they had where they were before. That's how we move toward world wide sustainability goals with regional population growth. That's why its important to aim to be "the greenest city in the world".

  3. I regret missing the event. Had it on my calendar but had to work late. There's too many "buzzwords" in society today. Sustainable, green, eco friendly etc. Words are just words. A better term than sustainable growth would be managed responsible growth. Unfortunately right now, under Translink's governance model, the local municipal elected heads have been reduced to a rubber stamp group. The best thing to have happen to translink would be to make it accountable by making it an elected body, rather than using the Metro Vancouver model or the current model as it exists.

  4. Btw Stephen, great notes. Nice to see from my perspective that the usual NIMBY nonsense thats somewhat prevelant at these types of forums stayed away, or at least kept quiet.

  5. I am a big supporter of NWEP, great Job keep it up! Is there any way the NWEP could team up with our local MPs and investigatate this toxic blog in the peir park? I am affraid the fisheries are not doing enough, we need to protect our river

    1. haha
      toxic blog in Peir Park !
      I am affraid the fishes are already almost extincted good because we can dam it for hydro and sell it !
      the fisheries already is onboard with the plans. Eat sushi, and help extinct tuna fish too !

      we are so sustainable it makes my bank account swell with the price of sweet crude. fill'er up ! chop 'er down ! Dig it out !

  6. The local press is reporting that the toxic blog could have orignated from a train derailment years ago. This is currently being investigated. I am sure our local MPs will be all over this

    1. Ugh. I'm getting a little tired of the half-information around the contamination of the park.

      This "toxic blob" and the "high risk classification" are made to sound much more frightening than they are. Voice is trying to make it a politcal issue, when really, this sort of thing should rely on the science. This is off topic ot the original post, but my full reply is here: greennewwest.blogspot.com

      1. Ok, let me get this straight – as president of the New West Environmental Partners, YOU are tired of the reporting of toxic contaminants and remediation requirements on what will be a PUBLIC PARK in New Westminster due to half-information and politics ?

        Wow.

        I understand why the 'future of sustainable transportation' meeting was such a farce now !

        1. Walter,  Correct, I am the President of the NWEP (for another week, anyway), but no-where in my discussion of the Park do I claim my opinions are those of the NWEP. For the record,  I am also on the Royal City Curling Club board, the board of the Environmental Managers Association of BC, and serve on a couple of other committees. My opinions on the Park do not reflect the opinions of those organizations either.  

          Speaking as a citizen of New Westminster:  You did not read what I said. I am not tired of the reporting of the progress of remediation, I look forward to the park being completed, and it looks to me like it is progressing and the Ministry of Environment is keeping tabs on it: all good news. What I am tired of is mis-informed and half-informed people blowing up a normal by-the-book Contaminated Sites Regulation process into something it is not, in order to gain cheap political points or stoke fear in the community.

        2. Speaking as the President of the NWEP: The NWEP as an organization has not waded into (pun intended) the Waterfront Park issue, mainly because we have not had a critical mass of members raise the issue at a meeting, nor has it been suggested at any NWEP meeting that we should take a position or any specific action relating to the Park. As a Director of the NWEP, I do not “call the shots” nor do I create the “positions” of the NWEP. We are a member-driven organization, and the President can only do what the membership wants. If you think the NWEP should take a stand on the Park Issue, I suggest you join, and come to the next NWEP meeting, and raise the issue. We could use some more people passionate about our local environment.

      2. Patrick, Voice is not trying to make a political issue of this. It is already a political issue. It became one as soon as it was announced that the City was buying the property and that we'd be on the hook for millions of tax dollars. We all love the idea of more greenspace in our city (we certainly need more) but turning the brownfield into a greenspace is fast eating up the supposed cost of the park. It remains to be seen just how much park we will get for the initially projected costs. Thanks for this additional information though.

  7. Muzzle those DPACers…please!!! said:
    Can't somebody shut these people up? Don't they understand the meaning of 'what you don't know won't hurt you?'

    No, we don't always grasp why things get done the way they do or why apparently insane decisions to spend millions of dollars are made but quite frankly, this is why we elect people isn't it?

    Stick to your bake sales, parents. Start raising some money for face masks if you're so worried about your kids sucking in emissions.

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