LETTER: Ministry traffic engineers would not support plan

Once Ruskin Dam upgrade is completed, many trucks will disappear

Re: Opinions should have been shared earlier, July 25 edition.

The letter from Couns. Jeff Jewell and Tony Luck posted calls for a tad of correction. They state that the CRMG plan to “divert truck traffic via the Murray Street overpass to Cedar (Connector)” died because “our MLA was MIA.”

The fact is that because this “plan” would have taken the Cedar and Highway 7 intersection into failure and the Ministry traffic engineers would not give it support. The trade-off was a speed limit reduction downtown as well as a walkway along Highway 11 to the Junction Shopping Centre. This was an acknowledgement of the heavy traffic volume at that intersection.

Now you plan to put all trucks on North Railway Avenue making both First Avenue and North Railway two-way single-lane traffic. This is an incredibly bad idea given the substantial parking loss involved, the damage to businesses on North Railway, the danger of putting that much two-way traffic at the West Coast Express station, and the traffic congestion that will result.

Maybe it was forgotten that after intense lobbying from Mission council the provincial government in 1976 changed the traffic pattern on both First and North Railway from single-lane two-way traffic to today’s configuration. The change was necessary because single-lane two-way caused too much congestion. Now we want to go back?

Making up for the loss of parking with very costly tiered parking lots seems to me to be quite unrealistic. When combined with the plan shown on the district website that includes a new city hall downtown as well as a “skywalk” from the West Coast Express station to First Avenue, two new downtown parks, and multi-millions of taxpayer dollars being spent, I really think this should be a referendum question before it goes any further.

As for not attending the workshops on downtown revitalization, I admit I am one of the about 35,000 Mission residents that did not attend. That does not mean that my democratic right to comment should be either demeaned or dismissed.

As for the comment that the truck traffic on First Avenue is “a problem without a good solution” perhaps you are unaware that the $750 million dollar Ruskin Dam upgrade is underway and once completed, most of the trucks will disappear. Problem solved!

Randy Hawes