YOU ARE HERE : Home / City Issues / Current Issues / Traffic, Transportation and Transit / LRT / Evergreen Line / In The News / July 12,2006 
July 12,2006

LRT line causes businesses concern

By Brooke Larsen - Staff Reporter

Mention the Evergreen Line to Bob Grant and a flash of anger passes across his face.

That's because Grant, owner of Windsor Plywood at 2700 Barnet Hwy., may have to move his business to make way for the light rail line's maintenance yard.

"They're taking away my entire retirement and my son's future," Grant said in an interview Monday.

TransLink plans to use the site - which includes a building occupied by several businesses, including The NOW - to store and maintain the line's cars when they're not in use, TransLink spokesperson Ken Hardie confirmed Tuesday.

Grant, who leases the property, says moving will have a disastrous effect on his business, since customers are used to his current location.

"In the past eight years, we've increased the business two-and-a-half times what is was before. If I move, I'm going to lose all that," he said.

Grant is also worried that other businesses in the Tri-Cities will end up in a similar situation, since TransLink will have to acquire other properties before building the line.

"They're just going to destroy business in northwest Coquitlam and in Port Moody," Grant said.

"It sucks," Bob Mayberry, manager of Cartunes Sound & Cellular, also located at 2700 Barnet Hwy., said in an interview Monday.

Mayberry found out about the maintenance yard "by accident" last month.

"I sent an e-mail to TransLink asking whether the line would affect Bond Street, our access road _ and they said we'll have to move."

Both Grant and Mayberry say they will wait until plans for the maintenance yard are finalized to look for new locations for their businesses.

According to Hardie, those plans won't be finalized until October.

"That is what we're proposing and, in the absence of anything else coming along, this is where we propose to do it," Hardie said.

The location was chosen because it's close to the Evergreen Line, which will run down Barnet, and covers a fairly large area, he added.

"It works in terms of the needs of the Evergreen Line. It's the proper location, proximate to where the line is going to go and the proper size," Hardie said, adding that he doesn't know how large the maintenance centre would be.

But he declined to comment on negotiations between TransLink and the owner of the property, C.J.A.D. Holdings Ltd.

"This would be between us and the owner of the property.

"We would have to deal with the property owner, and then come to some agreement with the property owner that would then translate into some direction for the people who are renting from the property owner," Hardie said.

"We're always available for them [the business owners] to talk to us," he added.

A spokesperson for C.J.A.D. Holdings Ltd. could not be reached by The NOW's deadline Tuesday.

As for the maintenance yard, Hardie said it would be "very quiet and very clean," and wouldn't affect morning traffic on Barnet.

"We're dealing with electric-powered vehicles. There wouldn't be a lot of noise.

"A lot of the work would be done in the overnight hours, and the vehicles would be put out onto the system very early in the morning, so you wouldn't at all be dealing with a parade of cars coming out of this location in rush hour traffic."

According to TransLink documents, the operations and maintenance centre will employ 120 people when it opens, and will operate 24 hours a day.

The Evergreen Line will include 10 stations over more than 11 kilometres, linking Coquitlam, Port Moody and Burnaby and connecting with SkyTrain, the West Coast Express and TransLink bus routes.

published on 07/12/2006

Print View   Site Map   Login