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City talking truck routes

Massey Victory Heights residents are worried the volume of truck traffic rumbling through their neighbourhood could increase if any changes are made to truck routes in New Westminster.

The city is proposing East Eighth and Royal avenues and East Columbia Street be removed entirely as truck routes, but that would still have to be worked out with the province.

To reduce truck traffic headed to and from the Pattullo Bridge, Queen’s Park Residents Association (QPRA) have called for a total ban of trucks on Royal Avenue where like East Eighth Avenue they’re currently allowed during daylight hours. However, the Massey Victory Heights Residents Association (MVHRA) doesn’t want the trucks to end up on East Eighth if Royal is the only one where it’s taken away.

“In theory the trucks wouldn’t be able to move onto East Eighth Avenue as an alternate,” said MVHRA president Jason Lesage. “We’re keeping a close eye on the discussion the city is having with TransLink and the provincial government to ensure that our area around Massey Heights has our livability standards kept. It’s a real challenge, especially for those residents on East Eighth Avenue.”

Lesage said one resident of the heavily used street has spent a lot of money sound-proofing her home because the trucks currently using East Eighth make so much noise.

The MVHRA and QPRA will be out in full force next Wednesday (Feb. 12, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.) when the city holds an open house on truck route designations in the city hall’s council chambers. Trucks would be allowed to travel through New West via Stewardson Way, Brunette Avenue, Front Street and McBride Avenue with Tenth Avenue west of McBride remaining as a daytime route.

The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is also encouraging its members to attend after many of them contacted the chamber office in the last few days worried about the changes.

“Many business owners have expressed that these changes will have a negative impact on local businesses,” said the organization’s website. “There are many unanswered questions in the city’s announcement. What are their plans to increase the capacity of what would appear to be the only east-west route through New Westminster being the Stewardson Way/Front Street/Columbia Street/Brunette Avenue route? What are the anticipated impacts to our local businesses in New Westminster?”

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