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Dec 16,2010 Tri City News

A treacherous part of the Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam is now being studied to look at how to make it safe for commuters on two wheels.

The city hired a consultant in September to scope out the stretch between Orchid Drive, near Riverview Hospital, and Colony Farm Road, a corridor that has no shoulders and, because of the amount and speed of traffic, is hard for cyclists and pedestrians to navigate.

On the highway's west side is a retaining wall while the east side has an embankment with CP Rail tracks at the bottom. A new cycling-pedestrian pathway would be expensive to build, city staff say, but it would add to Coquitlam's bicycle network and make it easier for cyclists to connect to West Coast Express and the future Evergreen Line station near Coquitlam Centre.

The $56,122 study half of which is being funded by Metro Vancouver also involves gauging feedback from stakeholders, including Riverview Hospital, CP Rail, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and TransLink.

Bill Susak, Coquitlam's general manager of engineering and public works, said a draft report on the pathway options is due this month and city council will consider the results in February.

"What is not yet clear is if there is a feasible route through the corridor," he wrote in a report.

Other Coquitlam news:

SIGN UP WHENEVER

Residents 50 and older who join one of Coquitlam's two seniors' centres in the new year will have their memberships run annually from the date of purchase.

The city will launch a trial program next month to change membership payments from the current calendar-year block.

Lori MacKay, Coquitlam's general manager of parks and rec, said many seniors don't take part in summer or fall activities at Dogwood Pavilion or Glen Pine Pavilion because they refuse to pay for a full membership that expires within months. With the new system, city staff hope to encourage more participation as well as stop the lengthy lineups to buy memberships typically seen in January during renewal time.

The new payment schedule, which has been approved by both pavilion advisory committees, also will be easier for city staff to administer, Kay told the city's parks and rec committee on Monday.

This year, 4,116 pavilion memberships were bought in Coquitlam.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Two Coquitlam committees will have name changes in the new year. The disability issues advisory committee will be called the universal access-ability advisory committee while the culture advisory committee will be changed to arts and culture advisory committee.

jwarren@tricitynews.com

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