Opinion: Shut-out pedestrian fights back on project in Burnaby

Chris Campbell

Traffic along North Road has been disrupted for a while now as Metro Vancouver carries out a project just south of Lougheed Highway on the Burnaby-New Westminster border.

I’ve passed by a few times – slowly, of course – and noticed “sidewalk closed” signs.

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This hasn’t bothered me because I’m driving, but it’s frustrated one local resident.

I received an angry email from Brandy, a person who tries to reduce her carbon footprint by walking but has been stymied by this project.

“I have been met with the barrier of man – the North Road construction project,” Brandy said. “The stretch of road that connects Burnaby, Coquitlam and New Westminster has been subjugated to the necessary repair and overhaul all sewer lines face eventually. Cars have been bottle-necked, adding up to 20 minutes per commute. Yesterday, the sidewalks on this route were both closed, and pedestrians were stranded.”

For someone who uses her feet to help the environment, that is frustrating.

“I walk. I walk almost everywhere I can. Walking is good for you. It’s good for the environment, it lessens the number of cars idling and creeping along every morning.”

On Thursday, she was frustrated because no matter which side she took, the sidewalks were closed. I checked the situation out on Friday and Brandy was indeed correct.

“You cannot close both sidewalks on the only stretch of road that connects Burnaby and Coquitlam to New Westminster,” Brandy said. “This is preventing pedestrians from getting to and from work, or drastically increasing their travel time … I will not take transit because I should not have to pay out of my own pocket to accommodate construction crews parking their equipment on a sidewalk.”

That’s the bad news. The possibly good news, according to Brandy, is that late Friday afternoon she had her call to Metro Vancouver returned to say that the construction foreman had been told to re-open at least one of the sidewalks.

Hopefully, the crew complies.

It’s just frustrating that these road crews are not trained to maintain the sidewalks during construction.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.





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