New Westminster council slows down North Fraser Perimeter Road

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      TransLink is no longer staring at a December 31 deadline to enter into a funding agreement with the federal government for the extension of United Boulevard from Coquitlam to New Westminster.

      But regional transportation planners have had to go back to the drawing board following the December 13 rejection by New Westminster city council of the options presented by TransLink for the road project.

      “One of the things that we did in order to keep as much flexibility as possible is that we’ve requested that the federal government give us an extension on their funding commitment, and they have done so,” TransLink spokesperson Ken Hardie told the Straight by phone.

      According to Hardie, the transportation body has until spring to take advantage of an offer of $65 million in federal funding for the project, which forms part of the Gateway Program’s North Fraser Perimeter Road.

      Coquitlam city council has endorsed the project, but getting the approval of the New Westminster council won’t be easy.

      “This is such an important decision that we will not be forced to make a hasty decision,” New Westminster councillor Lorrie Williams told the Straight by phone.

      Williams noted that the city is already experiencing high traffic volumes on major thoroughfares. “If you opened up the United Boulevard extension, it will just bring in more traffic,” she said.

      TransLink is setting aside $60 million for its share of the project.




      Dec 22, 2010 at 8:04pm

      This was a bad idea from the get-go. Planners from the GVRD need to wake up and look at a few things that are relevant to human beings. First of all, rivers in cities are important from a social perspective as well as an economic/ transportation one; in fact, for centuries in Canada they were the same thing. Running every kind of transportation/ communication system along our rivers has not only killed them ecologically, its pretty much screwed up any social value that rivers once provided for the people who live(d) along them. We don't need to replace, or add onto, the railroad system along the Fraser River with multi-lane highways and god knows what else. We, as citizens of cities along the banks of one of the world's great rivers, need to be able to access and enjoy that river in our daily lives. Not from views in condos, but in parks and walkway systems ON the river that bring it back into our lives - and NOT with semi-trucks roaring and whizzing by forty feet away (as in SW Marine Drive in Vancouver). To the council in New Westminster: save the Fraser from any further depredation. If it goes, so does your city. By the way, why is there no public access to your fabulous market from the river (for people who arrive by boat)? Or has that been corrected?