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Meeting on Murray-Clarke next week

It's a four-lane roadway that turns into a two-lane hairpin turn and overpass before crawling through Port Moody's heritage district.

It has been slated for more than 20 years to become an efficient commuter route but has been left to linger in limbo while TransLink grapples with massive funding shortfalls.

Now, with plans for a Murray-Clarke connector all but scrapped, the city wants to hear from residents and commuters alike about their vision for the corridor's future.

A survey on the city's website asks how people use the corridor — whether as a commuter, cyclist, pedestrian, transit user or shopper — and offers a multitude of possible changes to the route that can be checked off.

The survey also asks how people would prioritize any future corridor changes, from improving safety for various modes of transportation to possibly changing land use designations.

An open house meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13 will also discuss potential options for the corridor, with a chance for people to participate through an interactive design circle.

Mayor Mike Clay said the city's draft official community plan does not include the Murray-Clarke connector.

"If we were to adopt the OCP without it, then the concept of the connector is dead," Clay said. "We have to describe our transportation network as part of the OCP, so we would have to describe... where the displaced capacity would go and what the plan is to deal with it."

He said few people are aware the city is discussing not moving forward with the connector or minimizing volume through the corridor and next week's meeting will be a chance for people to see the results of a visioning exercise last November that involved Murray-Clarke residents and business owners, as well as to put new ideas on the table.

Just how the city would go about restricting traffic on the corridor isn't known, however, particularly since it's part of TransLink's Major Road Network.

"We would like to see TransLink tell us, if they don't believe the [Murray-Clarke] connector is important, then what are they seeing as the regional solution to road congestion and why is Port Moody being asked to shoulder that burden without any assistance?"

Clay acknowledged he hasn't been in favour of the connector, saying it would cut off the waterfront with a highway, but adds that the city's place in the region inevitably means there will be commuters driving through Port Moody.

In last year's byelection Joe Trasolini, the Port Moody-Coquitlam NDP MLA and former PoMo mayor, called on the provincial government to fund the connector. Trasolini had championed the project throughout his tenure as Moody city hall.

• The Murray-Clarke corridor open house is on Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. in the city hall galleria (100 Newport Dr.). More information and a link to the survey is at www.portmoody.ca.

spayne@tricitynews.com

 

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