Pattullo closure quietens New West on weekend
If it seemed a little more peaceful than normal in New Westminster this past weekend there was a good reason.
The Pattullo Bridge was closed from late Friday evening until just before Monday morning’s rush hour for repaving of the 75-year-old structure.
“It was dead quiet,” said New Westminster Environmental Partners president Reena Meijer-Drees. “It gave New Westminster a taste of what having no Pattullo Bridge would look like, and they liked it.”
Traffic along McBride Boulevard, Royal Avenue and Columbia Street was light—extremely light—as drivers were forced to find other ways to get to and from Surrey from the Royal City. There were plenty of pictures posted on Twitter of how deserted McBride was.
“It definitely gives you a glimpse of what McBride looks like when it’s not part of the regional transportation route structure,” said Coun. Jonathan Cote, who is co-chair of the city committee developing a Master Transportation Plan for New Westminster.
The closure, however, was too short for the city to glean any useful information, said Cote. If it had been over not only a longer period, but also during regular peak periods such as weekday rush hours, it would have been more help in providing insight into what direction the city or TransLink, which is seeking to rebuild the Pattullo, should move in the future when it comes to the aging bridge.
“It was just too limiting, not enough time for the city to gather any useful data of what the impact of that might be,” said Cote.
On Sunday, many B.C. Lions fans got stuck for about an hour trying to get on the Port Mann Bridge, while others parked their vehicles near SkyTrain stations in Surrey and rode the rapid transit system to the game.
“Maybe we’ll gain some new transit riders from that experience,” said Cote.