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Pattullo poll shows clear divisions
Your view of how to deal with the Pattullo Bridge seems dependent on what side of the river you live on.
Earlier this year, TransLink, which is responsible for the aging structure, and the cities of New Westminster and Surrey got together to form a joint review team after an initial feedback foray by TransLink in 2012 failed to produce a favoured alternative.
The team came up with 25 suggestions to fix or replace the deteriorating 76-year-old bridge. However, they recommended only six be investigated further.
In June, they took all the alternatives to the public with workshops, open houses, and online and hard-copy polls that resulted in 4,000 responses.
A new four-lane bridge connecting Surrey to Coquitlam with a rehabilitated two- or three-lane Pattullo Bridge got thumbs-up from New Westminster poll participants, with 59 per cent supporting considering the idea further.
Fifty-six per cent of all consultation participants also supported investigating the idea more.
But on the other side of the river in North Surrey, there was only 43 per cent support for that idea.
It was even lower from amongst Metro Vancouver participants at 36 per cent.
The alternative, however, was the only one of the six that received more than 50 per cent overall support.
North Surrey really liked the idea of looking into building a new six-lane bridge at the existing location (with 58 per cent supporting) while 57 per cent of Metro Vancouver participants preferred that option.
Only 36 per cent of New Westminster participants supported it.
The numbers were much the same for a new four-lane Pattullo at 53 per cent support from North Surrey and 45 per cent from New Westminster.
Going the rehab route didn’t seem to capture excitement on either side of the river, with 47 per cent of North Surrey and 41 per cent of New Westminster poll participants thinking it might be worth looking at.
No area gave more than 47 per cent support to considering a new five-lane bridge, while a rehabilitated three-lane Pattullo Bridge was the lowest ranked of the six with support at 33 per cent in New West, 32 per cent in North Surrey and 22 per cent by Metro Vancouver respondents.
Of the 19 alternatives suggested but not recommended by the team for further evaluation, only a new four-lane Surrey-Coquitlam bridge to replace the Pattullo came close (47 per cent) to receiving support for it to be looked at further.
That number was only that high because the majority of New Westminster participants (59 per cent) wanted the team to continue considering it.
The team will consider the feedback, along with financial and technical information, in its ongoing review.
A refined list of alternatives in addition to information on road connections, traffic estimates and related evaluation criteria and findings will be available for more public and stakeholder feedback later this year.
According to the report 176 people attended the six small group consultation events while 486 went to the six open houses.
They also received 610 feedback forms, and more than 1,500 responses through Surrey’s online consultation tool and community survey.
Along with 69 email and mail submissions, more than 1,100 people were randomly contacted in an online public opinion poll.