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PoCo wants Evergreen Line extension

The city of Port Coquitlam would like to see the Evergreen Line extend beyond Coquitlam. - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
The city of Port Coquitlam would like to see the Evergreen Line extend beyond Coquitlam.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Shovels for the Evergreen Line may not be in the ground yet but the city of Port Coquitlam is already looking at ways of extending SkyTrain east.

As the city prepares its master transportation plan update staff and consultants are incorporating into the document ways of lobbying higher levels of government and TransLink to bring rapid transit to PoCo.

In the meantime, the plan will outline improvements to the road and bus network to connect the municipality to the Evergreen Line, maximizing PoCo residents' ability to take advantage of the project.

"Our understanding is that the Evergreen Line is a committed project and will be in service within the [plan's] timeline," said Dave Currie, PoCo's manager of transportation. "We will be looking at how we develop a transit system to connect with the line."

The city will begin rolling out its plans for a comprehensive update to its master transportation plan, which will guide much of the city's infrastructure decisions for the next two decades.

Over the summer, a hired consultant will be assessing the city's current transportation levels and will begin seeking the public's feedback this fall. The master transportation plan, which is expected to be brought before council in the spring of 2012, will cover all areas of the city's transportation infrastructure — from bike lanes to road projects — and will be worked out in conjunction with the region's transportation authorities.

"The plan will address and deal with the long term," Currie said. "But it will also look at providing some project prioritization for the next five years for each of the modes. That is very important for our budgeting process."

Preparation and background work for the plan has already begun and this fall the city will begin its preliminary consultations.

Stakeholder workshops with organization like the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalitions, Coast Mountain Bus Company and TransLink will be held during the second phase of the process along with several public open houses. The city will also be engaging the public online through Facebook and Twitter and a survey has been made available on the city's website.

Currie said public feedback is important to the development of the document, in order to identify key issues and areas of concerns. Once these are outlined the city can begin setting goals and objectives to address improvements.

The original master transportation plan was adopted by the city in 2000, but according to a city staff report, significant changes to the city's infrastructure necessitates a plan update.

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gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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