Letters to the Editor

No moat around New West

Just like the lad that said “the Emperor has no clothes” in the apocryphal tale, B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone says that New Westminster has no plan and “really has to come to the table with a clear plan on what they intend to do decongest their own road network.”

Stone opines further that “there is no point in building a new structure that would just take motorists into a wall on the New Westminster side.”

In other words, New Westminster has become a ramparts-defended island as it digs a moat around itself to the detriment of regional transportation.

The Pattullo Bridge is so old that even the Port Mann Bridge has been built and replaced during its lifetime. Surrey wants to see a six-lane Pattullo replacement, but New Westminster pleads that it will wreak havoc on its roads and wreck its parks – roads and parks, by the way, that its city council is more than willing to sell to developers.

New Westminster would be pleased to see the Pattullo Bridge bypass its regal territory and connect directly to Coquitlam, thus dumping the problems, once again, into a neighbouring jurisdiction.

All attempts to implement a “regional solution” have either been shut down or appealed to the provincial authority for dispute resolution when New Westminster didn’t get what it wanted – so local politicians can point to solutions that have been “imposed.”

Stone has shut down that stratagem.

Lest those to the south believe that they are being unduly targeted let’s look north to Coquitlam.

The frustration of Coquitlam over the serial Band-Aids being put over the ruptured arterial bridge connecting Coquitlam industry to a life-blood outlet at Braid is another example of New Westminster’s “beggar thy neighbour” policies. The tourniquet offered with the United Boulevard extension also disappeared when New Westminster at first agreed to then backed out of that arrangement with the wave of the Royal City wand and $65 million of federal funding went down the drain with one Royal flush.

Even when Coquitlam offered to pay the whole shot, New Westminster refused to let the replacement bridge go ahead.

It appears New Westminster council meets in a torture chamber with resulting pain spreading regionally.


E.C. “Ted” Eddy, Coquitlam

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