- BC Games
Connect with Us
Dealing with the reality of cars and traffic in Port Moody
As people head back to work after a summer of no school and vacationing, Port Moody is wrestling with its usual daily grid-lock. It seems a transportation future where fewer people drive cars is a long way away.
According to one report presented to PoMo council Tuesday, as many as 76,000 cars pass through St. Johns, Clarke and Murray streets in a 24-hour period, 25% more than travel along the busy Mary Hill bypass in Port Coquitlam in the same stretch of time.
The issue came to a head Tuesday as politicians grappled with two competing issues at a committee of the whole meeting: slow down traffic on the Murray-Clarke corridor to promote shopping and recreational activities or create a more efficient transportation system so cars can get through the city to work and home.
A report on St. Johns Street efficiency options suggested signal changes, installing left hand bays, extending the HOV lane and using intelligent transportation systems to increase the capacity of the corridor. Meanwhile, a consultant's vision of the Murray-Clarke corridor based on community input looked at slowing down traffic with narrower streets, more pedestrian and bike friendly amenities and getting rid of the HOV lane on Clarke.
Councillors had a difficult time putting together the two competing visions.
"Not everybody rides a bicycle, noted Coun. Rosemary Small, who said families need cars to get to work and their children's activities.
Among the various options for Murray-Clarke presented by Bill Lambert, a consultant with Stantec Consultant, was widening sidewalks, thinning the street and adding roundabouts, as well as adding more pedestrian crossings, an overpass and diverting more traffic onto busy St. Johns.
Lambert said some cheaper shorter-term fixes could include adding way-finding signs and public art while the idea of turning the corridor from a thoroughfare to a "complete" street would appeal to a younger demographic that prefers transit to driving.
"These are things you could do fairly easy and quickly," he said.
Coun. Zoé Royer agreed that costing out public art and signage would be a vote of confidence for a more bike and pedestrian-oriented future for the corridor and Coun. Rick Glumac liked the idea of promoting more options to free people from their cars.
"I really support what I'm seeing here," Glumac said.
But other councillors weren't so sure that cars are going the way of the dinosaur.
"My paranoia is people say this, but I don't know if this is true," Mayor Mike Clay said.
While no decisions were made, the future of both corridors will likely be hashed out when the city redoes its transportation plan, likely starting next year.
To see the Murray-Clarke and St. Johns Street presentations, go here. firstname.lastname@example.org