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LETTER: CP rail plans give Pitt Meadows resident food for thought

Increasing rail traffic is a concern for residents near rail line, local woman noted
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Dear Editor,

Is Subway a healthy alternative?

At the same time the residents of Pitt Meadows are expressing their deep concern about the impacts of converting the city corridor into an extended CP rail yard, the mayor of Pitt Meadows seems more concerned about access to the Subway restaurant in Pitt Meadows.

In response to resident concerns during the council meeting on March 9 about the Harris Road underpass and associated third rail line east of Harris Road, Mayor Dingwall stated that it is important that the residents of Pitt Meadows be able to get to Subway in Pitt Meadows rather than the Subway in Maple Ridge.

This statement was made in support of proceeding with the Harris Road underpass project in partnership with the Port of Vancouver.

• READ MORE: Pitt Meadows challenges CP’s process for choosing logistics park site

While I don’t argue that Subway is perhaps a healthy alternative to other fast food restaurants, surely the health of Pitt Meadows residents in regard to their exposure to diesel fumes from idling CP trains should be of paramount concern.

The proposed underpass at Harris Road would include a third line that would extend east of Harris Road to the Golden Ears Bridge. While the underpass would eliminate traffic delays on Harris, the third line backing on residential areas will result in increased exposure to toxic fumes from idling trains. Not to mention the increased noise and vibration of increased shunting activities.

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Close to 100 per cent of residences along Somerset Drive and Chestnut Road (residents backing on the CP line) have signs in their front yard saying “Stop CP rail.” Yet the mayor seems oblivious to the concerns of these residents.

CP and the Port of Vancouver, partners in a multi-faceted rail and facility expansion in Pitt Meadows, claim train traffic will increase to meet the growing demand for Canadian exports and imports, and that there is no stopping this growth.

But what price will be paid by the residents of Pitt Meadows in terms of their health and safety?

Diana Allen, Pitt Meadows


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