Leadership Needed in Richmond to Prevent Canada Line from Becoming “Crime Train”

For Immediate Release

December 5, 2006

RICHMOND – Richmond City Council needs to show leadership on security issues for Canada Line construction otherwise it risks becoming a “Crime Train”, Richmond City Councillors Derek Dang and Bill McNulty said today.

“The RCMP has told our Community Safety Committee that they need more involvement in the Canada Line planning process to prevent problems that may result in criminal hot spots,” said Councillor Dang. “If we don’t listen to the RCMP’s concerns and take them loudly and clearly to Translink and Canada Line administrators, we will not be doing our due diligence to stop these issues dead in their tracks.”

Richmond RCMP Staff Sergeant Doug Wright has told council that there are many potential problems with the Richmond segments of the Canada Line that could result in increased criminal activity. Most of these issues relate to the visibility and lighting of areas surrounding transit stations and guideways.

“These are many of the same visibility issues that have already been faced by the Expo Skytrain Line and then improved upon in the Millennium Line,” said Councillor McNulty. “If we’re building the Canada Line, let’s learn from their experience and build it right.”

Safety has also become an issue given that while all Richmond Canada Line stations will have up escalators, only three will have down escalators. This issue was the number one concern of residents during the first round of open houses on the Canada Line, and rated fourth in the second round.

“Seniors and the disabled deserve safe and easy access to Canada Line facilities the same as any other resident,” said Dang. “The inclusion of down escalators is something council needs to advocate at every turn.”

While the Richmond Council Community Safety Committee has formed a Safety Operations Steering committee to relay concerns to Canada Line administrators, further steps are lacking to intervene before a final plan is drafted.

“Council has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach to the public safety issues surrounding this dramatic change to our city’s infrastructure and it’s not near good enough for the residents of Richmond,” said McNulty. “Leadership is needed here to ensure our voice is heard and we simply can’t wait and see if the final report has what we’re looking for to prevent criminal activity.”

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