New Westminster Council passes resolution calling on Coquitlam and senior levels of government to dialogue on Braid Street bailey bridge
New Westminster, BC – New Westminster City Council is calling on officials from the City of Coquitlam, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Transport Canada and Translink to work together to develop a regional transportation solution for the Braid Street Industrial Area. A Council resolution was put forward in response to the City of Coquitlam’s move to pursue the replacement of the existing single lane Braid Street bailey bridge with a more permanent two-lane crossing through the Community Charter’s dispute resolution mechanism.
“We fully understand the frustration of the City of Coquitlam and the thousands of commuters that use this route to pass through our city each day,” said New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright. “However, given the industrial purpose of this part of New Westminster and the very real safety issues presented by the bailey bridge feeding a heavily congested corridor with multiple railway crossings, any solution that aims to increase flow of traffic without area improvements simply won’t work.”
In addition to calling on senior levels of government to sit down with Coquitlam and New Westminster to discuss workable solutions, the City of New Westminster’s resolution states that it cannot accept additional capacity on the bridge until it can be demonstrated that no adverse affects will occur within the Braid Street Industrial Park or adjacent neighbourhoods.
“This is about bringing all of the parties together to come up with a long-term solution to a problem that has plagued both our cities for more than a decade,” said Lisa Spitale, City of New Westminster Chief Administrative Officer. “It’s time to develop a comprehensive solution that takes into account future growth, is properly funded and consistent with transportation, sustainability and livability objectives.”
The full text of the City of New Westminster Council resolution is as follows:
Whereas the City of Coquitlam is seeking to unilaterally invoke a dispute resolution process under the Community Charter that doubles the capacity of the inter-municipal bridge on Braid Street from one lane to two lanes;
Whereas the viability of the businesses in the Braid Industrial Area is already severely compromised by chronic traffic congestion;
Whereas there are serious ongoing safety concerns with the multiple railway crossings on Braid Street that additional traffic would worsen and that are beyond the financial ability of local governments to address;
Whereas access issues for Coquitlam properties located on United Boulevard, including Metro Vancouver’s solid waste facility, have largely been resolved by the construction of the King Edward Overpass;
Whereas there are major unresolved operational issues with the existing Brunette Interchange at Highway One that strongly influence traffic issues along the Braid Street corridor and have not been addressed by the Port Mann Highway One project;
Whereas any viable solution to this issue will require the involvement of senior levels of government, in particular the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), TransLink and Transport Canada;
Therefore be it resolved that:
1) The City of New Westminster cannot accept additional capacity on the bridge until such time as it is demonstrated that no adverse effects will occur within the Braid Business Park or to adjacent neighbourhoods;
2) The City of New Westminster supports immediate discussion and dialogue with the City of Coquitlam that involves MoTI, TransLink and Transport Canada and results in a comprehensive regional transportation solution for the area that is consistent with all mutual transportation, sustainability and livability objectives.
Blair Fryer, Manager of Communications and Economic Development
City of New Westminster