Pitt Meadows airport expansion only hope

Vote for the airport expansion. It’s our only hope

Editor, The News:

Re: Residents oppose runway expansion (The News, Nov. 25).

I was a volunteer member of the Pitt Meadows official community plan, put forward in 1999, after about 18 months of study.

At that time, three of the broad vision statements were:

• values the importance of the airport for the economic development of the municipality;

• values the importance of economic development, including the potential of the airport, tourism, industry and commerce;

• carefully manages its residential growth, in balance with job creation, and transportation choice.

Under airport development, a comprehensive plan shall be prepared for the airport properties, including options for runway extension.

An alternate arterial route to Lougheed Highway, with grade separation at the CPR line, shall be a high priority in order to achieve the vision for economic development.

Sixteen years later, some citizens don’t want airport expansion.

They had better change their minds, because in a few short years, the airport is going to be the only viable way to get into or out of Pitt Meadows.

No extra exit to Lougheed Hwy., for commutes north of the Fraser River, unless you backtrack to Airport Way, go through some residential size roundabouts (have you watched the 53 footers and the trucks with trailers working their way through those?) and back up to the highway.

There is an increased number, and length of trains (including CN, not just CP) making it very slow and sometimes hazardous, waiting to get onto Harris Road from Lougheed Hwy. west, east, and north, not to mention increased traffic through the  Somerset subdivision.

Still, you have to wait for train traffic if heading south of the tracks. The West Coast Express is pretty loaded, as is its parking lots.

Engineers dug the Deas Tunnel under the Fraser River many years ago. Port Coquitlam has had a tunnel under the tracks for years. The SkyTrain system is digging a tunnel in Coquitlam. Why can’t Pitt Meadows acknowledge the need for improving commutes for all the people the city is enabling, and enticing to live here?

Where has the vision gone?

Vote for the airport expansion. It’s our only hope.

Anne MacDonald

Pitt Meadows