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Dec 8,2010 New West Leader

TransLink's current plan for the United Boulevard Extension (UBE) won't be getting an endorsement from New Westminster city council.

All members of council say they won't support the project until the plan is expanded to include the entire North Fraser Perimeter Road section running through the city. And some councillors have rejected any of the designs TransLink has put forward, including a T intersection with the extension intersecting Brunette Avenue.

Council is expected to deal with the UBE project at Monday's meeting.

"Council has been very clear that we cannot deal with just the extension. The (NFPR) route has to be dealt with in its totality," said Coun. Bill Harper, who attended the Tuesday night public meeting held by TransLink to discuss the project.

"After listening to what people had to say last night, option A (the T intersection) is less tenable because of its impact on the neighbourhood. Until that's resolved, I'll vote against it."

Councillors who attended the meeting said they came away with more questions than answers.

"Now I'm not sure of any of the options," said Coun. Betty McIntosh. "But I know we can't stay with what we have. We have to do something."

Coun. Lorrie Williams said TransLink doesn't appear to have all the answers either.

"If you're going to open the tap from one end, with four lanes merging into two, how is that traffic going to get through the Downtown. We can't bring in more traffic if we can't handle it."

Coun. Bob Osterman sees the City of Coquitlam being the only beneficiary if the project moves ahead. Coquitlam is planning a 10,000-resident neighbourhood in the Fraser Mills area just off United Boulevard.

The expected traffic coming from that community hasn't been factored into the project plans, he said.

Coun. Jonathan Cote says the entire project needs to be revisited.

"I'm leaning towards not supporting it at all and sending it back to the drawing board," said Cote. "I don't think it will solve any of New Westminster's traffic problems and probably create more."

Mayor Wayne Wright remains firm in his position.

"There's won't be any vote until we have the full meal deal," he said. "We can't agree to anything until we have all the details, dates and times."

In November, council passed a motion it would only look at option A and not three others proposed by TransLink. However most of council no longer favour that option because they believe it would also have an adverse affect on the lower Sapperton neighbourhood.

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