Evergreen Watch: 'Moody Locals Looking for Third Station

It is wonderful to see people taking action on something well before it's too late - it seems that far too often, everyone waits until all the decisions have been made to actually begin talking about changing the course of a plan already in development.

A group of citizens in central Port Moody is taking pre-emptive action, and is currently organizing to ensure they get more than the two stations already drawn into the plans for the Evergreen Line.

The two stations now planned for the region's favourite 'stuck-in-the-pipe' transit line are located further east: one near Moody St, and another situated near Ioco Rd, where the majority of the area's new density has been built over the last decade.

The group would like to see a third station built near the Barnet Highway curve (where the line is to emerge from a tunnel), and believe leaving that stop out of the plan would neglect around 8300 residents - or about one in four of the current population. Robert Simmons, committee spokesperson for the group, says they have gathered about 600 signatures on a petition in an effort to persuade city council to take up the case with Translink. Looking ahead to the next several decades, he sees potential in that area in particular:

"There's a strong community sentiment, for a number of reasons, to have a third station in Port Moody . . . . It will be that catalyst that will do things for Port Moody not only immediately, but for the next 30 and 40 years to come."

The area is now a mixture of single-family homes (situated on two major thoroughfares: the Barnet and Clarke St) and light-density industrial/commercial properties (currently mostly focused on auto services). It looks like a prime target for higher density transit-oriented development, and the current plan does leave room for an extra station or two:

"Two additional station locations will be considered, working in consultation with local communities, based on their ability to shape land use and promote increased density and ridership", states a Translink project backgrounder. It looks like all they have to do is make the case, as city council is already on their side - they just need to be told where the additional station should be: "We support a third station in the city. Where and how that station is put together is still a question mark", says acting mayor Meghan Lahti.

Now getting the darn thing built - that's the tougher question facing residents, now that the project has swollen from a streetcar-type deployment to a full-blown SkyTrain extension.

>> photo by alex_ferguson