PoMo Joe Trasolini doesn't know a TV camera he doesn't like
"I've seen the future," says this blogger, "and it is Port Moody."
Okay, this sounds a little hyperbolic, I agree. I'm a proud Vancouverite and don't have any immediate plans to head to the Tri-Cities. However, I must give much credit to the City of Port Moody for building one of Metro Vancouver's finest town centres.
Last weekend I did a lovely 50km ride (the Ride to Conquer Cancer "Celebration Ride") which took us around Burnaby Mountain via the Barnet Highway, along Port Moody's waterfront, and around through Ioco, Belcarra and back. For those looking for a wonderful morning bike ride, this is one I can recommend.
What I spotted on my tour is that Port Moody promotes itself as a City of the Arts on signs erected on the city limits. It has kept a considerable amount of its heritage housing stock downtown for local shops and studios for artists. I see that Port Moody has done an excellent job of providing waterfront public space, including a small dog park and a kids playground.
Port Moody also has a very prominent port and industrial section that they've protected on their waterfront, meaning lots of local jobs. Then there is the density they've built downtown. Some of the nicest looking housing complexes I've seen in Metro Vancouver exist down here, and they're all within walking distance of shopping and major bus routes.
I've never met PoMo Joe Trasolini, but I know that he's a live wire because of his regular outbursts. The latest are his threats to change the city's Official Community Plan because of his impatience on getting the rapid transit Evergreen Line. Now that's hyperbole – another outburst from PoMo Joe.
According to Gary McKenna of Tri-City News, the mayor of neighbouring Coquitlam Richard Stewart gets to play good cop.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said construction of the Evergreen Line is not an if, but a when, and that the region cannot move backwards in its development plans.
"Joe and I disagree on tactics," he said Thursday morning. "The Evergreen Line will be built. It has to be. We have constructed our city centre as a transit oriented development."
Stewart was in Victoria on Tuesday and said that everyone he has spoken with is committed to the project and recognizes that TransLink cannot operate sustainably under the current funding model.
We can only hope that calmer heads will prevail. Port Moody is on to a good thing. They're building a city that works, and unlike some of their neighbours like Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, they're trying to eschew urban sprawl.
PoMo Joe should sit down, drink a cup of chamomile and just relax. Thanks to the smart planning of Port Moody, the Evergreen Line is an inevitability. Political bluster can only mess things up.