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Six Lane Bridge Is The Wrong Way

Anna Roik

June 24, 2012

Over 100 adults and kids rallied in the Sapperton area of New Westminster, BC, outside of TransLink’s Open House to show their opposition to a proposed six lane replacement for the aging Pattullo Bridge.

On Saturday June 23, people gathered at a nearby park, making the short walk over to the Open House with the kids blowing noisemaker horns and everyone carrying signs with slogans such as “No 6-lane Bridge” and “Give Surrey More Transit Now”.

Residents of both New Westminster and Surrey—the two cities to be most directly affected by traffic flow across the new Pattullo Bridge—were there to voice their opinions against the TransLink transit authority’s plans to replace the aging 4-lane Pattullo Bridge with a 6-lane span.

Upon arriving at the Open House, the rally was met by Vincent Gonsalves, TransLink’s Community Relations Co-ordinator, and other staff. Demonstrators were welcomed inside to read the posted information, add comments using a sticky note system, and complete a 3-page questionnaire.

As the replacement Pattullo Bridge is still in the Project Definition Stage (which culminates in choosing the concept that best meets objectives), it is imperative that TransLink reevaluate all options. As one TransLink representative said today, “Traffic volumes in the region have been decreasing due to increased fuel costs, and sustainability is a concern for TransLink.” Jonina Campbell, a New Westminster city councilor, pointed out that a new elementary school has just received building approval on one of the roads targeted for increased truck traffic under the 6-lane bridge option

As the fastest growing city in the Lower Mainland, Surrey has a large percentage of single-family homes well spread out and distanced from schools, shops and other amenities. Due to being under-serviced by transit buses (and no rapid transit, train or bus), residents – especially families – rely on cars to move around the city, and into neighbouring cities to get to work. TransLink could take the current $1 billion price tag for a 6-lane bridge and split it between a new 4-lane bridge and seed money to improve transit connections for Surrey.

These points, coupled with strong resident opposition, seem to imply a need for less bridge, not more.

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