The Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (IWMB) is a critical regional commuter, recreational and touring cycling and pedestrian link connecting the North Shore with Burnaby and Vancouver via routes including the Trans Canada Trail, North Shore Spirit Trail, Portside Bikeway, Cassiar Bikeway, Dollarton Highway Bike Lanes and the Inter River and Bridgman Park trail system.
|Photo: Alex Pope|
Upon the completion of the new Port Mann Bridge, the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge will likely be the worst bridge for cycling and walking in the region. The narrow sidewalks are barely wide enough to cycle on. Several people have suffered injuries due to their handlebars getting caught on the railings. It is also not possible to pass other cyclists or pedestrians without dismounting. In addition to creating problems for current users, the poor quality of both the on-bridge and access facilities and the related safety issues likely discourage many potential users from walking, wheeling, cycling or skating over the bridge.
BCCC and Hub representatives met with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure MoTI staff in 2011 regarding options for improving the bridge and the access to the bridge. At this meeting, we were informed of the Sidewalk Railing Concept Study, Hatch Mott MacDonald, July 2009 commissioned by MoTI evaluating improvements to the IWMB including wider sidewalks and suicide prevention barriers.
The previous Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that the province will be adding suicide prevention barriers to the bridge. The BCCC and HUB met with MoTI staff in August. They confirmed that they are evaluating wider sidewalks but so far, a commitment has not been make to widen them.
Now is the Time to Widen the Sidewalks
We believe the cost of the suicide prevention barriers is at least $5 million dollars and the widened sidewalks and improved access will be at least an additional $10 million or so if both are done at the same time. It would cost much more to widen the sidewalks after the suicide prevention barriers are installed and there would be additional traffic disruption.
Tell her about your challenges on the bridge and what an improved bridge would mean to you, your family and community.
Please cc your MLA. Here are the ones near the Bridge:
Richard T. Lee – MLA, Burnaby North, email@example.com
Jane Thornthwaite – MLA, North Vancouver-Seymour, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Naomi Yamamoto – MLA, North Vancouver-Lonsdale, email@example.com
Jenny Wai Ching Kwan – MLA, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shane Simpson – MLA, Vancouver-Hastings, email@example.com
You can find others at at: http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm
Premier@gov.bc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, adrian.dix.MLA@leg.bc.ca, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
The Federal Government could also help fund these improvements so it never hurts to copy or send a quick message to your MP.
Here are the ones near the Bridge:
Andrew Saxton - MP North Vancouver, firstname.lastname@example.org