Thursday, March 09, 2006

meeting with the mayor

This afternoon I went to City Hall with the president of our secondary school Parent Advisory Council, Sanda, and Mashael, a smart and articulate grade 11 student. We met with the mayor to talk about traffic around the school. Before and after school we have so many cars coming and going that traffic backs up onto the busy main routes nearby, causing a dangerous traffic snarl. Many of our students come from out of catchment for the International Baccalaureate program that's offered at our school, so we have even more cars than the average school. Lots of students take transit, but it adds to the problem when busloads are disgorged, and pedestrians add to the congestion at intersections and driveways.

None of this is the city's fault, but we want to ask the city to help, by cooperating with the school district and GVRD on some roadway and sidewalk improvements that will make the approaches to the school safer, and help take away a bit of the traffic pressure. The mayor and a traffic engineer listened to our concerns and suggestions and discussed them with us. The mayor is also chairperson for the Evergreen Line LRT project - slated to run past the school when it is built. He talked to us about the controversy surrounding plans for an LRT station near the school. He spoke in favour of allowing the station near the school as part of a long-term solution to increasing volume in the area. The school trustees are opposed to locating LRT stations near schools. He asked us to encourage the school community to be open-minded on the issue.

So now we have to find out more about the school district's position. We're thinking about an information evening for parents and students, but first we have to go back to the school to find out their point of view.

The good news is that the city is open to some of the other solutions that we have suggested in the meantime, and the school district, GVRD and city are all concerned about the situation and willing to talk. We're just trying to help things move along.

Our 15 minute meeting allocation turned into 40 minutes. When we left we were surprised to see the mayor of Port Coquitlam waiting outside. I think our mayor worked overtime today. I'm glad he listened, and optimistic that we can help get some attention to this situation.

Once again, I was reassured by a student that the world is going to be okay when I am a little old lady because there will be people like her taking care of it.

question: what's happening in your neighbourhood?

mompoet - too many cars, and lots of people tooting their horns at the problem


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

Our mayor is slowly dying of "M.S." while we all watch. Very sad. He's in his 50's - I was just looking at a website made by his son, a photographer, that has a picture of 3 of my kids. (before I know I'll need to get used to saying "my four kids!:) )
Have a great weekend!

Carol said...

There are similar traffic problems in a nearby elementary school. It sounds like the problem isn't just around here.