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City asks TransLink to change truck routes

New Westminster city engineer Jim Lowrie -
New Westminster city engineer Jim Lowrie
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New Westminster pleaded with TransLink's board of directors Friday to change truck routes to make the city more livable.

City engineering manager Jim Lowrie, infrastructure planning manager Eugene Wat and senior planner Mark Allison appeared before the board asking trucks to be prevented from using Royal Avenue, East Eighth Avenue and East Columbia Street. The city also asked for tweaks to several spots in the truck route network to make it safer and more efficient while having a low impact on goods movement.

"I think we were well received by the board. They asked some very relevant questions about it," said Lowrie.

The board wanted to know how the changes would affect travel time. Lowrie replied the city didn't have those details yet but there is computer modeling that can calculate it.

"Yes, there is some added time, slightly longer distances. But we feel it is more than offset by improvements to livability in the city. We think it's a small price to pay," Lowrie said. "The folks along Royal Avenue are really feeling it."

New Westminster would like to see the trucks keep to 10th Avenue, McBride Boulevard, Front Street and Brunette. One of the tweaks would see a 24-hour connection for trucks to the Pattullo Bridge from Columbia. Currently the westbound on-ramp is closed from 3 to 6 p.m.

Lowry said the changes would align the truck route network with the city's Official Community Plan.

"The increase of traffic on our road network, especially heavy truck traffic, is of great concern to council and is unacceptable to our community," said Coun. Jaimie McEvoy, co-chair of the city's Master Transportation Plan task force, in a press release. "These recommended changes are designed to reduce community impacts while providing appropriate alternatives for regional goods movement through New Westminster."

TransLink staff will review the city's submission and report back to the board when it meets in July.

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