Some were wondering what I was doing on Saturday, walking the sidewalks during Uptown Live and the Hyack Parade dressed as a bridge.
I was handing these out:
Yes, TransLink is coming back to New Westminster to talk some more about the future of the Pattullo Bridge. This is a new phase of consultation, no doubt timed to come right on the heels of the Provincial Election. This is actually good news, not something to lament.
Last time TransLink came around these parts talking about the Pattullo to the public, there were two reactions: Almost complete indifference from Surrey, and vociferous concern from New Westminster. The plan presented at that time were for a bridge that both increased the traffic load on New Westminster, while failing to acknowledge the importance of the existing structure to New Westminster’s historical and cultural landscape. The good news is that TransLink got the message, and decided to step back and re-evaluate its approach to the aging Pattullo.
Some people have asked the NWEP members if we are going to hold a “rally” related to these consultations, as we did last time. I cannot speak for the NWEP (Although there is a members meeting tomorrow night where this will no doubt be discussed), but I suspect that the answer will be no. At the successful rally last year, the NWEP and the citizens of New Westminster were asking for better idea: for TransLink to come back with a more comprehensive review of the options for the bridge, everything from replacement to moving it to refurbishing it to just removing it altogether. It appears that is what TransLink has done. Now is time for us, New Westminster, to show up at one or more of the Open House events being held in June and first listen – then think – then provide comment. Right now TransLink is listening, so there is no reason to shout. With this in mind, all I was doing on Saturday was telling people there will be meetings in June on the future of the Pattullo, and we want people to show up.
More information on the Meeting times and locations is available here.
Mark your calendars, there are actually 6 meetings (3 in New West, 3 in Surrey), and if the Surrey ones work better for you- attend those! Last time we did this, the Surrey meetings were sparsely attended, so it might be easier to bend some ears there than in New West. The most important thing is that you get out to one or more of the meetings and get your comments to TransLink. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Participatory Democracy is those that show up.