New Westminster’s mayor-elect says he’s following through with his platform that tags transportation as the city’s biggest priority.
“The City of New Westminster has recently completed its master transportation plan, and I want to make sure this plan doesn’t just gather dust up at City Hall,” Jonathan Cote told the Straight in a phone interview.
Adopted in September by the current council, of which Cote is a member, the plan includes working with TransLink to remove truck traffic from certain streets in the city. The plan also calls for the city to work with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to ban or restrict heavy trucks on the Pattullo Bridge, which links New Westminster and Surrey.
The long-term transportation plan likewise seeks to encourage TransLink, Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada, and other partners to promote the use of rail and water-based transport to move goods. These measures were reflected in Cote’s platform for the November 15 municipal election, which saw the 35-year-old councillor oust veteran mayor Wayne Wright.
“It’s one thing to say, ‘In New Westminster, we don’t want more vehicles from Surrey travelling through our roads each day,’ ” Cote said in the interview. “It’s equally important for the city to support the expansion of rapid transit south of the Fraser River. It’s the fastest-growing part of our region.”
In June, the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation unveiled its 10-year vision for Metro Vancouver, which includes the replacement of the Pattullo Bridge with a tolled four-lane span.
Cote said: “We would like to see this facility [Pattullo] be a tolled facility to help fund it but also help avoid the negative impacts we’ve had in New Westminster from the tolls being put on the Port Mann Bridge.”