Family-friendly Pattullo rally planned at TransLink open house June 23

Opinion polling in New Westminster is pretty clear: New Westminster does not want a six-lane replacement to the Pattullo Bridge. TransLink's public consultation in our community, however, has assumed six lanes as a given. Clearly, New West and TransLink are not seeing eye to eye. New Westminsterites concerned about air quality, livability, pedestrian safety and environmental impacts of increasing traffic through our already congested city have organized a rally for the whole family in [...]

Pattullo rally poster
Pattullo rally poster

Opinion polling in New Westminster is pretty clear: New Westminster does not want a six-lane replacement to the Pattullo Bridge. TransLink’s public consultation in our community, however, has assumed six lanes as a given. Clearly, New West and TransLink are not seeing eye to eye.

New Westminsterites concerned about air quality, livability, pedestrian safety and environmental impacts of increasing traffic through our already congested city have organized a rally for the whole family in response to TransLink’s Pattullo Bridge Open House at Sapperton Pensioner’s Hall this Saturday, June 23. Supporters include New Westminster school trustees Jonina Campbell and David Phelan, the Surrey Citizens Transportation Initiative and New Westminster Environmental Partners.

Rally organizers believe TransLink’s public consultation process was unfair and that building a bigger Pattullo goes against TransLink’s own transportation strategy, which centres on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging development of communities designed for transit, cycling and walking. In previous open houses, TransLink has asked for public input on specific questions about planning details related to location and connections for a six-lane bridge, not whether a six-lane bridge is the right solution for our communities.

In the invitation to the event, organizers invite parents to bring their kids, bicycles and bubble-blowers, and participants are asked to keep messages “constructive, welcoming and focused on the issues.” Signs prepared for the event will include slogans like, “No 6-Lane Bridge,” to specifically reference TransLink’s current plans and “Give Surrey Transit Now!,” which is in keeping with their Transport 2040 Goals. Others will include: “Stop Driving Climate Change,” “A Good Planet is Hard to Find,” “Less Traffic=Safer Streets,” “TransLink: Put Our $ Where Our Public Transit Should Be,” “Plan Past Peak Oil: It’s Time to Think outside the Barrel” “Think Lions Gate”, “TransLink: We Need to Talk!” and “Stop Pushing Car Dependency.”

The rally will begin in Sapperton Park, rain or shine, at 9:30am to walk to the TransLink open house together with signs and letters to the TransLink Board. There will also be activities for children during the brief event.

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.

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4 comments

  1. Guess what. You're getting that bridge whether you like it or not. And if the city and TransLink don't see eye to eye, the province will make it happen.

    Everyone is sick of the act this city puts up every time a necessary project is proposed. If you constantly hate all the growing Vancouver is doing, might I suggest a move to a less developed area? Like Spuzzum?

  2. Should School District 40 be building an elementary school on a 6 lane diesel, hazardous cargo, truck route? They are, another "done deal" on the old St. Mary's site. There is soon to be an elementary replace school for Ecole John Robson School for 550 New West kids, their teachers and support people. We are told we will continue with the pedestrian triggered light. There is no public/parental/citizen consultation to this project. Simcoe park has been given by the city to build a middle school. There are no playgrounds at middle schools? Middle schools have become an unfortunate experiment. There have not been encouraging reports around Ecole Glenbrook School? What to do?

  3. tekla,

    Two things you can do:

    Attend the Open House on Wednesday about the St. Mary's site school, and share your concerns: http://www.newwestcity.ca/2012/06/20/st_marys_ele

    Or let TransLink know you don't like the idea of increased truck traffic next to our schools: http://www.translink.ca/en/Be-Part-of-the-Plan/Ro

    I have heard the Robson site will be to the North of the existing school, and the trees of Simcoe Park are safe, but that is a good question to get clarity on from the School Board. Protecting those trees should be a condition in the Design-Build contract, In my never humble opinion.

    My recent post Notes on a Rally

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