I wrote most of the following this morning on the New West Facebook Group “Rattled about Traffic in New West“, on a whim after reading this story, and wondering if people are connecting local traffic problems to the regional transportation logjam. I figured it was worth repeating here…
From before I was elected, I have said that New Westminster’s traffic problems are not solvable by New Westminster. We simply cannot accommodate the hundreds of thousands of through-drivers every day and maintain safe, livable, pedestrian- and business-friendly streets. The two ideas are mutually exclusive.
The solutions are regional. We need to give people east and south of us better options than driving along our surface streets every day. Regardless of whether you love or hate “TransLink”, an expanded, reliable, and well-integrated multi-modal public transit system is fundamental to providing those options.
That is why New Westminster supports the Regional Growth Strategy that calls for compact multi-use development near transit nodes, and why we are leading the region in this development model. This is why we support Transport2040, the regional transportation plan, and are seeing results where New Westminster residents use transit more than any others per capita. This is why our Mayor is working so hard with the Mayors Council to implement the 10-year capital plan for our region’s transportation work – it is really the best option we have towards addressing our afternoon traffic jams. It isn’t “Us vs. Them“, it can’t be. We need to work together as a region, and the plans I have linked to above are examples of the region working together, putting aside parochial complaints, and seeking regional compromises that will support us all.
And that is why this weeks ‘announcement‘ is such a betrayal. If you care about traffic in New West, you should read this article in the Sun and ask what the hell the provincial government is doing playing the entire Lower Mainland – the economic engine of this province – for chumps. And for how long will we accept that?