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An Earth Day call to action against freeway expansion

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An Earth Day call to action against freeway expansion

An Earth Day call to action against freeway expansion in Lower Mainland

April 18, 2011

By Eric Doherty and PJ Lilley

Premier Christy Clark and her new minister of transportation, Blair Lekstrom, have a surprise for people across much of the Lower Mainland—big cuts to transit service scheduled for Earth Week. TransLink, which is controlled by cabinet appointees, has posted a long list of transit service cuts which came into effect today (April 18).

Many of the cuts to bus service read like this one regarding the #152 to Coquitlam: “All trips after 8 p.m., service reduced from 30 mins to 60 mins.” There are numerous variations on the theme—cutting evening bus service after 8, 9, or 10 p.m. to only once per hour. Once per hour service, which is never completely reliable, is a great way to convince transit riders to go out and buy a car. (A selection of the transit service cuts has been posted here.)

Last week, on the evening of April 13, TransLink once again tried in vain to convince New Westminster residents that they should welcome more traffic into their neighbourhoods. One of their consultants even tried to convince the audience that building more roads is the way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but few seemed convinced by his suggestion that more roads will lead to less pollution.

For months, TransLink has been trying to convince New Westminster council to approve the next stage of the Gateway Program, the first bit of the North Fraser Perimeter Road in New Westminster. Just the first short section is expected to cost about $175 million, with the New West section of the NFPR expected to cost as much as $1 billion if it is ever built.

Meanwhile, the province is pushing ahead with spending an estimated $1.2 billion to $2 billion on the new South Fraser Perimeter Road freeway. The clearcuts along the banks of the Fraser River are getting bigger every day, and bulldozers are starting to cut into the sensitive river banks. Most of the areas along the edge of Burns Bog and through the farmlands of Delta are already under layers of preload sand, which needs to be left for years to compress the ground before construction can begin in earnest.

Read the full article with links and details about the Mother Earth Day mass direct action at http://www.straight.com/article-387887/vancouver/eric-doherty-and-pj-lil...

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