OCP calls for more densification downtown

Editor, The News:

Re: Timing is right for car-free street (Cycling, Oct. 14).

As a resident of Maple Ridge for more than 30 years, I care about how our municipality develops.

I wonder which of the candidates for council and mayor have a long term view on the rational development of our community?

Who of those running for local government supports our Official Community Plan, which at its core states that we need to densify and improve our town centre instead of having poorly planned sprawl?

Recently, Jackie Chow of the cycling coalition, made some excellent points about how to make downtown more livable.

Have a car-free road with enhanced shopping and services that would connect Haney Place Mall with Valley Fair malls, rather than use potential farm land in the Albion flats and other outlying areas, for commercial purposes.

Who has the vision and courage to stick with the OCP to resist pressures from developers trying to make a buck or two in a short-term plan?

I empathize with residents of new subdivisions on the outskirts of town, who may be pushing for more accessible shopping.

But tell me why our local government doesn’t push for a better deal with those who want to do these projects, to have more of the infrastructure included, such as better roads, transit, cyclist and pedestrian access to the areas. Maybe there could be some local shopping and services as part of the deal.

Citizens of Maple Ridge, please take the time to check out the views of the candidates running for council in the Nov. 19 election. There are other important  issues to consider besides the land-use concerns mentioned above.

What about solutions to poverty, low-cost housing (we need to put more pressure on the provincial government for funds), creating a more livable, resilient community with cleaner ways to get around to necessary services.

Voting, as pointed out in News Views on Oct. 14, is an important responsibility.

Only 29 per cent of people voted in the 2008 election. This is a poor showing.

Check it out and get out and vote.

Attend an-all candidates meeting at 7 p.m. at Fraser View Village Hall, Oct. 27. Ask questions, try to discover what’s going on.

It’s our children’s future, too.

B. Handford

Maple Ridge

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