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Dec 16,2007 Tri City News - Letters

The Editor,

Re. “PoMo connector cash” (The Tri-City News, Dec. 14).

Open letter to TransLink board of directors:

I am writing the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority board regarding your decision to pay $50 million towards the Murray-Clarke Connector located in Port Moody, an increase of 100%.

The most recent Translink Master Plan called for a $25-million contribution to the Murray-Clarke Connector, along with other identified and approved regional transportation projects such as the Coast Meridian Overpass located in Port Coquitlam, for which $60 million has been allocated, a shortfall of 51%.

My concern is the inconsistency of the GVTA and the disregard to fairness of this decision.

Over the past four years, Port Coquitlam has been working quickly and diligently to proceed with the Coast Meridian Overpass. Over this period, the price has escalated to $132 million. When the city of Port Coquitlam requested additional funds from the GVTA, the answer was always no.

Instead of delaying the project, the city of Port Coquitlam is investing $72 million dollars towards this regional project — over 50% of the total project cost.

The Coast Meridian Overpass has been recognized by northeast sector mayors and the GVTA as a regional priority. Given that a new community on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam is to be built with more than 25,000 new residents, and the ongoing growth in Port Moody, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, the Coast Meridian Overpass is an essential connection to the regional transportation network.

I am not opposed to the funding levels for the Murray-Clarke Connector; I am opposed to the fairness of your decision.

I think the lesson each municipality will take away from the GVTA decision and message sent today is to lobby the GVTA, protest, block regional traffic from moving through our community, and cause a disturbance. It must be true that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Participating in the above-mentioned activities will create the necessary pressure for the GVTA to increase the funding for projects. I guess it is our mistake to try to work collectively with the GVTA, and next time I will ensure to take the lead from our neighbours Port Moody. I ask you, which road should we barricade first, Mary Hill Bypass or Lougheed Highway?

As a region, each municipality must understand it has a role to play in the overall growth and must work collectively to achieve the regional growth strategy. As a board, you must work with each municipality in a transparent and fair manner.

Greg Moore, Councillor, Port Coquitlam

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