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Council wants washrooms at Evergreen Line stations
Washrooms on the new Evergreen Line should be open to all riders, at any time.
That’s the message Coquitlam city council will send to the transportation minister as the province gets set to build the rapid transit line from Lougheed Town Centre to Coquitlam Town Centre, via Port Moody.
On Monday, council voted unanimously to urge the province and TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transit operators, to change its policies to have public washroom facilities — available at any time — in the Evergreen stations in Coquitlam.
Currently, along the Millennium and Expo SkyTrain lines, riders have to ask station attendants to unlock the loos; however, that’s not always convenient, Coquitlam council contends.
Still, TransLink maintains that having freely accessible toilets isn’t part of its mandate, is costly, isn’t part of its operational budget, and open bathrooms are prone to vandalism and inappropriate/criminal activity.
Coun. Neal Nicholson raised the topic at council in March, noting in particular the need for unlocked washrooms for riders with young children.
The $1.4-billion Evergreen Line is expected to be running by 2015.
Two major tree planting programs are slated this fall in Coquitlam for the city to meet its 5,000 mark this year — a goal that wasn’t achieved last year.
City staff are organizing a planting event in October, lasting over several days, in Panorama Park with school kids and volunteers, courtesy of $9,000 in grants from the Footprints Conservation Society and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
As well, TD Tree Days is donating $3,500 for a tree planting in late September in the Scott Creek Linear Park, south of Dewdney Trunk Road.
Earlier this year, volunteers and Scott Creek middle students and teachers rolled up their sleeves for an Earth Day tree planting in Scott Creek Linear Park, by Runnel Drive, that was sponsored by Tree Canada and IKEA. At that time, 120 trees and 577 shrubs went into the ground.
The city launched its 10,000 new trees target in 2009, budgeting $55,000 for 5,000 trees in 2010 and $51,000 for this year; however, 3,220 trees were planted — or, at least, handed out — last year through three programs: Adopt-a-Tree (2,740); Eco-Yard Smart (50); and tree planting on public property (430).
This year’s push is for more public land plantings, offset by $16,300 in grants, said Lanny Englund, Coquitlam’s urban forestry operations manager.
Tree maintenance for 2011 is $357,000 — a budget that “is getting bigger every year,” warned Coun. Doug Macdonell, at last month’s recreation committee, “and council should be aware of adding to it.”