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Six-lane Pattullo makes sense
Re: New West makes Pattullo pitch in Burnaby (NewsLeader, March 14)
I am in favour of a six-lane Pattullo bridge.
Before anyone complains, I think it’s important to establish first what exactly the extra lanes will be for, where will they go, and what are the benefits.
I have heard complaints about how McBride Boulevard would become a “six-lane expressway” and overload New Westminster and Burnaby streets with traffic. But TransLink’s concepts show us the extra lanes on a new six-lane Pattullo Bridge enter from the SFPR on the Surrey side, and exit to East Columbia Street north of the bridge—which leads AWAY from New Westminster.
This means that we will still have four lanes servicing the existing travel pattern from King George Boulevard to McBride. The new lanes would almost exclusively service the southwest (ports) to northeast (industrial) travel pattern currently mostly serviced by the heavily congested Queensborough Bridge and Front Street. A six-lane Pattullo presents a serious opportunity to decongest both of these roads, and get goods from the port and transit riders on some of the region’s fastest growing routes moving faster and more reliably.
So far, no one has considered this. Even the study looking at Pattullo Bridge options has not factored in any of the potential effects that more lanes on the Pattullo would have on Queensborough Bridge traffic levels.
I’m stumped as to why New Westminster is so worried about the potential congestion effects of an expanded Pattullo, but is disregarding the heavy congestion already being faced by neighbourhoods near the Queensborough Bridge.
Stakeholders and decision-makers should stop simply fearing traffic, and start thinking practically.
Daryl Dela Cruz