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More talk on connector

Skeptics on Port Moody council didn’t derail a visioning exercise between the city and TransLink to determine the fate of Murray and Clarke streets now that an overpass is off the to-do list.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Skeptics on Port Moody council didn’t derail a visioning exercise between the city and TransLink to determine the fate of Murray and Clarke streets now that an overpass is off the to-do list.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Skeptics on Port Moody council didn’t derail a visioning exercise between the city and TransLink to determine the fate of Murray and Clarke streets now that an overpass is off the to-do list.

The city is about to embark on a process to look at the best way to utilize the heavily travelled corridor now that plans to build the Murray-Clarke Connector are on hold.

Options are being put forth to either reduce traffic along the route using roundabouts, bike lanes and treed medians or add an extra lane for cars, plus traffic control features that would allow one-way traffic on the Moody Street overpass during rush hour.

While the options are for discussion purposes only, some councillors expressed doubts that talking to TransLink would bear fruit.

“The only action I can see is taking it out of the MRN [Major Road Network],” said Coun. Bob Elliott.

But Coun. Meghan Lahti suggested it wouldn’t hurt to at least talk to TransLink to get some ideas for improving the corridor. “Tell us how you’re going to help us create a better flow through,” Lahti said.

Councillors Diana Dilworth and Karen Rockwell also supported the plan to consult with TransLink on options, with Dilworth saying, “I never supported pulling out of the MRN.”

City engineer Cory Day said TransLink is interested in meeting with council to discuss some options and will cost-share the services of a consultant, estimated at $50,000, for the visioning project. Members of the public will also get a say at an open house. The city will pay for its share from the $115,000 Murray/Moody intersection improvement project, which has been on hold pending resolution of the connector issue.

Coun. Mike Clay lauded the report, saying it will lead to more ideas for improving the corridor. He also suggested the city consider options other than simply maintaining existing capacity or adding more lanes.

“If TransLink has a better idea, we should be all ears as well,” Clay said, adding that exploring ideas for the route is better than taking it out of TransLink’s control, which could end up costing the city $565,000 in maintenance and upgrade costs.

Coun. Gerry Nuttall agreed, saying he doesn’t want to saddle PoMo taxpayers with the additional costs.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

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