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Re: New West, Surrey at odds over Pattullo plans, Dec. 17.
Sometimes I think the people who conduct “public” hearings really have no intention to hear public feedback.
Months ago, the government conducted a public process including a website explaining all the history and the current proposed options for replacing the Pattullo Bridge – with a place for input.
I read all the documentation and then submitted a rather lengthy email submission with suggestions on a solution which would be a ‘win-win’ for most people… but apparently it did not fit the intended plan for this process. I got no feedback, not even acknowledging my input.
Now, as I read the Peace Arch News, I see again that plans for the new span may have hit a road block, because New West doesn’t want all the traffic expected from the preferred solution – a six-lane bridge.
My suggestion is simple and it will work – the cost would likely be close to the $1.6-billion figure being used for the new six-lane bridge.
I commuted over the Patullo bridge twice a day for about 25 years, so I have first-hand knowledge of the traffic speed, its impact on New West and the terrible safety condition of the current bridge.
I suggest a new, wider, four-lane – plus bike lane – bridge be built in the same location as today, to maximize re-use of all existing infrastructure. At the north end, a four-lane tunnel would run diagonally under Queen’s Park and extend all the way to Canada Way in Burnaby – about two blocks north of Imperial – where traffic would exit and cross a short overpass above Burris Street to avoid traffic backups into the tunnel.
This proposal would, of course, include both an exit lane into New West coming north over the bridge, as well as an entrance lane heading south over the new bridge.
The cost could be quite comparable to current costs, but the benefits to New West in terms of traffic congestion, transiting traffic reduction, noise and pollution reduction would be fantastic.
A safe, modern, four-lane bridge with reduced congestion through New West and would deliver much higher traffic flows than the current old and chaotic road system does now, even reducing commute times.
Who knows, if a big enough tunnel was drilled, it may even allow a new short light-rail line to pass through, as well, and connect to SkyTrain at Columbia Station.
Bill Anderson, Surrey