The first delegation at the TransLink board meeting on Thursday morning was a group from Walnut Grove asking for a ban of trucks through the 216 Street interchange. Kat Slepian Black Press

The first delegation at the TransLink board meeting on Thursday morning was a group from Walnut Grove asking for a ban of trucks through the 216 Street interchange. Kat Slepian Black Press

Walnut Grove mom pleads with TransLink to ban trucks on 216 Street

Township wants the new road as a truck route so TransLink can provide MRN funding

With her children in tow, a Walnut Grove mother pleaded with TransLink not to allow the controversial 216 Street interchange to become a truck route.

Geraldine Jordan told the TransLink board that letting trucks travel through a quiet neighbourhood, full of kids and schools, is a major safety risk.

Jordan was the first delegation at the Thursday morning TransLink meeting that dealt with a host of issues, including approving double decker buses for Metro Vancouver routes.

Jordan told the board that residents don’t want a “major arterial truck route” running through the neighborhood. With her children by her side, she said it’s a risk to the kids who live and go to school in the area.

She requested that 216 Street be taken out of the truck route.

SEE: Jordan’s Letter

There has been significant opposition from Walnut Grove residents impacted by the new interchange and a feeder route that will go directly past two elementary schools, Ecole des Voyageurs and Topham, as well as several preschools and daycares.

READ: Walnut Grove Residents Push for Truck Ban on 216 Street

A Freedom of Information request made by another Township resident revealed that truck traffic volume using the interchange from 88 Avenue to the 216 Street interchange is estimated to be around 1,400 trucks per day.

Work is well underway on the $59 million interchange, which is expected to be completed by 2019.

Township staff told council in May 2017 that it is seeking TransLink’s endorsement to make 216 Street a designated truck route because then the municipality could benefit from funding for it.

The addition of 216 Street to the truck route network would make it a candidate for MRN (Major Road Network) funding. That would increase annual operations and maintenance revenues from TransLink by $302,400 ($21,000 per lane kilometre) and make it eligible for annual funding for upgrades.

With files from Black Press reporter Kat Slepian

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