Long winded weekend.

It was a long, long weekend. Mostly because people at the curling rink, the River Market and the pub were badgering me about this profile in the Record.

It is hard to talk about yourself and not sound like a narcissistic blowhard, especially when you are a self-aggrandizing blowhard like me, but I think it turned out pretty well. I figured if people wanted to hear me complain, they would come to this blog, so I tried to emphasise the positive in that interview. And as cheesy as it may seem, I really do like this City, for a lot of good reasons.

For example, a few people complain about missing crosswalks at a busy intersection, and guess what happens. A few days later, someone was out there with some white spraybombs putting some white lines down. It wasn’t fancy, but it worked! I’m not even sure if it was someone from the City or just some random community rabble, I kind of hope it was the latter, even though it makes me feel bad for whining about the problem on the internet and not going out there and doing it myself…

Then, on Monday, the City was out there in earnest, putting real reflective crosswalk paint down. They didn’t do a fancy job, but a temporary fix was all we needed, just to keep the crossing outside of a popular pub safe during the Canucks Playoffs, and until the final pavement cap can be put down on 6th. Thanks Guys!

True to the profile in the Record, I spent the weekend doing three things: Curling at the DonSpiel, Rabble-rousing, and working on my garden.

The DonSpiel is the season-wrapping fun tournament at the Royal City Curling Club. This is a bonspiel devilishly designed by long-suffering Royal City club member (and 2012 Mens League Champion Skip!) Don Smith, to squeeze the last bit of fun out of the season. The format brings novice and experienced curlers together and emphasises the off-ice-capades as much as the curling. It is a legendary good time… Oh did I laugh.

The Rabble-rousing part of my weekend was the glorious sunny Saturday I spent at the Royal City Farmers Market outside of the River Market at the Quay, catching the first tender sunburn of the season while talking to people about the Master Transportation Plan and the Pattullo Bridge consultations with some of the New Westminster Environmental Partners.

We were mostly handing out these:

Because that is our message right now: Show Up and Be Heard.

Based on some conversations we have had with people in the know, the Pattullo Bridge thing is coming on fast. The City is looking to the MTP process to get the voice of the people of New Westminster to take to TransLink, but TransLink has made their intent clear: They want to build a 6-lane bridge, increasing the daily traffic load entering New Westminster from Surrey be 50%, and doubling the truck traffic, with little regard for how that will impact Royal Avenue, McBride, or your neighbourhood.

The consultation has not presented the business case for or against the myriad of other options, nor has it even taken a cursory interest in the transportation plans, policies, or vision of New Westminster. Anything other that the single plan they have presented is not being considered. There are many in the City who suggest this is not true to the nature of “consultation”. Some of these groups are getting organized.

The Meetings on May 3rd will give the people of New Westminster a real opportunity to be heard on this issue, and the City needs as many people as possible to show up. Even if you think all of my opinions on the bridge are those of a crackpot, or the opinions of the NWEP are complete bunk, you still need to come to one of the City’s Open Houses. This is, most likely, your one and only chance to be heard before TransLink charges ahead.

Save the date. More to come.

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