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January 28, 2014: commenced 7:01 p.m.
Chair: Elmer Rudolph; Recorder: Gavin McLeod
Number of attendees: 9
1. Approval of minutes of previous meetings: Motion to approve minutes of November 26th 2013. Moved by Bill Zander and seconded by Lynne Stevenson.
2. Additional Agenda Items: Mary Wilson will give an update on storage of construction material on city boulevards Frank Norman on alternate location for WERA meetings and concerns about DS Tactical variance; update on pedestrian access across 6th and Stewardson to River Drive; Lynne and Bill Stevenson on laneway housing.
3. New Traffic Problems In New Westminster Due To Port Mann Bridge Toll Increases: This has become a major topic in New Westminster, Elmer Rudolph reported that on a previous Saturday, a large stream of automobiles were heading west on 10th Ave. to turn right on 12th/ Kingsway. Traffic increases over the Pattullo bridge cause problems throughout New Westminster as there is insufficient peripheral capacity to route traffic around New Westminster. The on again off again Stormont connector was brought up but that would require action by Burnaby, it is uncertain what the attitude is on the part of Burnaby Council. City Council announced that they want to ban trucks from Royal Avenue but it was City Council that wanted to move truck traffic from Front street to Royal Avenue.
4. Community Policing Committee Report: Gavin McLeod attended the Community Policing Committee meeting of January 23rd; there was a report of a “rash” of break ins in the Queens Park area but the police only had two official reports. Motion by Bill Zander to send a letter to City council expressing our concern with the traffic situation on all city streets. Seconded/ Carried.
5. Public Meeting Re Events Planning Around Unveiling of “Wait For Me Daddy Statue”: The city has major plans to commemorate the memorable photograph titled “Wait For Me Daddy” including a statue and the release of a commemorative postage stamp. The city plans an unveiling in October 4th 2014 in conjunction with the opening of the Anvil Centre; there are also plans for a re-enactment of the soldiers' march in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Mary Wilson reported on a meeting at Centennial Lodge, the city wants to involve the entire community in the event; there will be one more public meeting.
6. Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit Advisory Committee (ACTBiPed): Mary Wilson reported on safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclist attempting to travel to the 22nd street Skytrain station, even bus drivers are aware of the problems Connaught heights input is requested for the May meeting. Mary reported on the pedestrian crossing at the foot of 8th street, east side crosswalk is closed due to construction of Anvil centre. Mary also reported on the lack of snow shoveling on city sidewalks despite the fact that the city has a bylaw making residents and businesses responsible for clearing snow in front of their residences/ businesses.
7. Stewardson Way Overpass: Elmer Rudolph has been preparing a presentation to city council outlining the problems of access from and to River Drive; the residents and employees in that area face great difficulty in accessing the rest of New Westminster due to the long circuitous route required because of the removal of the crosswalk as part of the reconstruction of the north end of the Queensborough bridge. An above grade bicycle/ pedestrian overpass was promised but funding/ and cost have been offered as a reason for not pursuing the project despite an offer from CBS outdoors to pay for the crossing, this offer was rejected by the city. It appears that the city has not explored gaining funding from other areas. There is a pedestrian crosswalk and controlled light at the foot of 20th street but the crosswalk ends on a median between 6th Ave and Stewardson, there has been no explanation for why the crosswalk to nowhere exists.
8. Storage of Building Material on Boulevard: Mary Wilson reported on the continuing use of the boulevard for building materials for a house under construction in the 900 block of 13th street.
9. Cancellation of Mail Delivery to Individual Residences: Frank Norman presented a petition opposing the cancellation of individual delivery in favour of community mailboxes. Peter Julian hosted a meeting to allow the public to express their views. It was suggested that a letter be sent to the city to ask them to oppose the cancellation of home delivery; moved/ seconded and passed. It was suggested that the city has already expressed opposition; that will be confirmed.
10. D.S Tactical Expansion Plans and Variance: Frank Norman expressed concern re DS Tactical’s plans to expand including three residential units the variance would be to reduce the number of parking spaces normally required. There was a public meeting held at the former Carpenters Hall.
11. Laneway Housing in New Westmister: Lynne Stevenson expressed her opposition to laneway housing most notably with reference to increase in automobiles and associated traffic problems, the city does not allow laneway houses at this time but will be exploring the issue in the near term.
12. Memberships: Gavin offered the opportunity to pay membership dues of $2 per year for 2014 until the AGM.
Meeting adjourned at: 8:15
Next meeting: Tuesday March 25th 2014 at Unity in Action Church from 7pm to 9pm.