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For Immediate Release Wed June 6, 2012
Surrey and New Westminster community groups want better transit not a six-lane Pattullo Bridge
Surrey: The Surrey Citizens Transportation Initiative (CiTI) and New Westminster Environmental Partners (NWEP) have developed a joint statement calling for TransLink to improve transit instead of building a new six-lane Pattullo Bridge.
“We need to put transit first when it comes to TransLink resources, and there is nowhere for two extra lanes of traffic to go on the New West side anyway” said Steve Burke, Surrey Citizens Transportation Initiative spokesperson. “There is no division between our communities about the basics, global warming and the end of cheap oil means we need to focus on improving transit instead of roadway expansion for cars and trucks.”
“We are facing a period of change with high oil prices, economic troubles, and demographic shifts, not to mention climate change. Giving people south of the Fraser mobility options other than the automobile is critical.” said Reena Meijer Drees, president of New Westminster Environmental Partners
The two groups plan to hold ongoing discussions about sustainable transportation in the two neighboring municipalities. “We need to build for the future we want. Coming up with a strategy that works for the region requires dialog with communities north and south of the Fraser; collaboration is vital.” Said Burke
The Surrey Citizens Transportation Initiative and New Westminster Environmental Partners have agreed on the following three points, and invite other groups and individuals to endorse this statement:
1) No increase in road capacity on the Pattullo bridge corridor should be considered, even if the bridge is replaced. This recognizes the inability of New Westminster’s road network to absorb the predicted increase generated by a bridge expanded to more than 4 lanes.
2) Consistent with TransLink’s stated priorities, public transit, cycling and walking should be the top priority for public transportation funding in Metro Vancouver, rather than roadway expansion for cars. This recognizes the urgent need for improved public transit in Surrey and throughout the region. Addressing this urgent need would reduce the need for residents of the region to drive cars across the Pattullo Bridge.
3) Before any decision is made to replace or repair the Pattullo Bridge, a serious and independently verified report on the feasibility of refurbishing and upgrading the existing bridge must be made available to the public. TransLink’s recent reports have been biased by its determination to build a 6 lane replacement bridge. In light of the many priorities for transportation investment in Metro Vancouver and the funding challenges an analysis of the cost of a replacement 4 lane bridge should be made, and made available for public review.
For more information, please contact
Steve Burke, Surrey Citizens Transportation Initiative spokesperson SurreyCiTI@yahoo.ca
Reena Meijer Drees, President New Westminster Environmental Partners www.nwep.ca