East Vancouver residents meet with city over concerns about increased railroad traffic
Residents, already facing increased freight traffic, are concerned about city's future plans with rail line
Residents of Vancouver's Strathcona neighbourhood met with city officials Wednesday night to discuss increased rail traffic through the East Vancouver community.
Since last January, Strathcona residents have been dealing with more freight train traffic in the area after Canadian National Railway increased service on a line that crosses three busy intersections.
Su-Laine Brodsky, with the Strathcona Residents Association, says the increased traffic has caused a lot of disturbance in the neighbourhood.
"People are being woken up by these crashing sounds of freight trains being assembled and disassembled right outside their bedroom window at four o'clock in the morning," Brodsky said.
"It's really become a major problem for a lot of people."
Fed up with the noise, Brodsky said, residents started looking more broadly at the area's transportation plan, including the city's Burrard Inlet Rail Corridor Strategy.
The strategy outlines how the city plans to increase use of the corridor, anticipating an increase in the transportation of goods. It was conceived in 2008 and is part of some of the city's long-term transportation plans.
Brodsky said there was little public consultation about it at the time.
"We want to have a broader look at freight rail transportation in this city in general," she said. "I think they're willing to work with us."
City working with residents
The City of Vancouver says it wants to discuss the Burrard Inlet Rail Corridor Strategy with stakeholders and use a consulting firm to help.
Jerry Dobrovolny, general manager of engineering services with the city, attended the meeting to take questions.
"We're looking to find a way for a route for some overpasses so at least we don't have that conflict and we don't have the road and the railway crossing," Dobrovolny said.
"We can improve safety and hopefully mitigate some of the sound impacts."
He says staff will be launching a community panel to bring together residents, local businesses and other interested parties.
With files from Meera Bains