Earth Day action planned for South Fraser Perimeter Road in Delta

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      A long-time Gateway opponent has confirmed that he and other protesters will plant trees on Earth Day at the site where the South Fraser Perimeter Road is to be built.

      “Where the road will not be built,” Eric Doherty, spokesperson for StopThePave.org, interjected eagerly during a March 29 phone interview.

      On March 26, Doherty and other members of StopThePave.org, formerly the Gatewaysucks.org coalition, held a pre-action teach-in at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church at 1803 East 1st Avenue.

      “We're meeting at the Annieville Supermarket [10996 River Road in Delta] at 2 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22, and we're going to occupy the site,” Doherty told the Straight at the meeting. “We're going to plant trees on dirt, where they've cut down trees to build this freeway along the banks of the Fraser River, and we're probably going to stay there for more than one day.”

      Paul Landry, president and CEO of the B.C. Trucking Association, told the Straight: “We remain committed supporters of the South Fraser Perimeter Road.”

      Landry believes economic activity, particularly port activity, could double in 15 years. “Those containers, at least 30 percent of them, will move by truck, and we need some capacity to do that,” he said.

      Landry cited LNG—liquefied natural gas—as a potential “game changer” in the trucking industry as it moves away from its reliance on diesel fuel.

      However, Doherty wants the billions invested in highway and urban road expansion nationwide to be redistributed to fund more transit and to build things like an electrified rail network across Canada.

      Doherty and his colleagues believe construction of the road, tagged to cost $1.26 billion, can still be stopped. The SFPR is part of the multibillion-dollar Gateway Program, which includes the supersizing of the Port Mann Bridge.

      Doherty argued: “With the price of oil soaring, and with the budget crunch, we're actually at a point now where it's much easier for the new provincial government to pull the plug on Gateway.”

      Blair Lekstrom, B.C.'s new minister of transportation, would not grant the Straight an interview.

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      11 Comments

      monty/that's me

      Mar 30, 2011 at 6:07pm

      Poor Mr. Landry. He just doesn't get it. Most of the trucks use the tunnel out here not River Road. Imports from China are going to decline--too many problems with the junk reaching stores. The Prince Rupert terminal saves a whole day in shipping costs. No need for more expansion at the terminal in Delta--even if the company wanting it is owned by Mr. P.

      Think perhaps Landry has a part time job working for PAB (Public Affairs Bureau).

      cuz

      Mar 30, 2011 at 7:16pm

      I guess Eric Doherty will volunteer to move all those containers with his bicycle. This road will make all other roads safer for commuters (even those on transit) by taking a lot of trucks off the ill designed roads we have already. His bicycle parts have to get to the shop somehow.

      Chet

      Mar 30, 2011 at 7:38pm

      Try again joe average. Gordo has signed the deal. just pay for it.

      Denise

      Mar 31, 2011 at 1:24am

      The SFPR is ninetein fifties (1950) ideology, the sensible ting is too use the existing railroad, cheaper better for the environment... what is your excuse now Christy Clark?

      Kim Collins

      Mar 31, 2011 at 1:34am

      "construction of the road, tagged to cost $1.26 billion"

      It's interesting how people in this city get their underwear in a knot over a bike lane costing $2 million but seem to have little trouble with a highway costing more than a billion. Huh?

      ScottAndrews

      Mar 31, 2011 at 10:37am

      I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed.

      I am heading to North Delta on April 22nd!

      Denise

      Mar 31, 2011 at 2:25pm

      Scott great, we Can change things! Sorry the change machine did not work, tee hee. See everyone on Mother Earth Day - April 22nd - Good Friday, woo hoo!

      Bernadette Keenan

      Apr 1, 2011 at 1:03pm

      Ever hear of Short Sea Shipping - say that quickly 10 times. Ask Guy Gentner about this. The report is out but was never considered as an option when Falcon fast tracked this Fifty's Folly of a Transportation Travesty - his version of the Fast Ferry Fiasco. Fact is the containers can be taken up the river by barge in a much more environmentally friendly way. Better for the neighbourhoods and probably even better economically.

      Building this freeway for trucks that aren't there is even more insane than building for solving traffic problems. The Alex Fraser Bridge is a shining example of the fact that more freeways does not relieve congestion but with the South Fraser Perimeter Freeway route - the question is where is the traffic?

      It is not in Bridgeview a small North Surrey Neighbourhood that is being badly impacted by the proposed route even at the preload preparation stage - where the school children and residents will have health problems if they ever actually build it. So good thing it won't happen under Mr. Doherty's watch.

      There is precious little traffic in Sunbury and Delta either most of the time either. Took a ride along RIver Road to the Tunnel on Ramp and back at afternoon rush hour (4:30pm - 5:00pm) last week and encountered no traffic bottle necks at all. Oh we had to wait for a light or two but there were no huge back ups like you see on Highway 91, 99 or 10 or the Fraser Highway or Highway 1.

      Fact is most of the day and night there is not huge amounts of vehicles on the existing South Fraser Road infrastructure so adding to the existing pavement, is really a waste of the $1.2 billion or so they say it will cost - never mind budget overruns for building a road on peat (which even the Romans figured out you do not do). Especially when we have so many other things like schools, hospitals, seismic upgrading of public buildings, social housing, etc that need funding.

      Bernadette Keenan Surrey North Green Party Candidate.
      BernadetteK