Burnaby resident raises hell about rising towers
COUNCILLOR COLLEEN JORDAN and assistant director of current planning Ed Kozak seem to be wearing rose-coloured glasses when it comes to discussing town-centre development in Burnaby [“ Towers rise in Burnaby, all according to plan”, February 21-28]. Metrotown where I live is already overdeveloped and yet many more huge developments are ready to go. Jordan and Kozak justify the density of development at Metrotown with the fact that the SkyTrain runs through that part of Burnaby.
Have they tried to board SkyTrain at the Metrotown station at practically any time of the day or evening? SkyTrain comes from the already heavily developed city of Surrey and is usually full by the time it reaches Metrotown.
The ability and capacity of SkyTrain to carry more passengers, in my opinion, has reached its limit. People are already opting to drive their cars instead of taking SkyTrain, and the consequence is log-jammed automobile traffic on Kingsway to and through Metrotown. Putting more towers into this area is inviting even more congestion.
The quality of the street-level environment is another issue. One has only to look at Hazel Street and Patterson Avenue to see how earlier tower developments were superior. At street level, one sees gardens and trees, making for pleasant, spacious surroundings. The buildings themselves were fewer than 30 storeys. The newer developments are now reaching 40 or more, and at ground level, one sees ugly, square box-like townhouses.
Automobile traffic will increase dramatically, transit will be impossible, and the Bonsor Recreation Complex will be even more crowded. Infrastructure and services—police, fire, safety, sewage, water, and power—will need to be upgraded and enlarged, adding huge costs to the city.
Ecodensity is an idea that has been oversold. I would like to see Burnaby city council return to its policy of allowing development to proceed at a measured, closely monitored pace, as in the past.
> Gerald Weeks / Burnaby