Saturday, July 9, 2011

CNV new works yard. Has anyone consulted WorkSafeBC on behalf of the workers?

UPDATE July 11, 2011, at bottom

Down at the Lynnwood Inn (Mountain Highway and Barrow Street in North Vancouver (District) there's a couple of things I would like to draw your attention to.   One is the restaurant, great service, great price, great food.  The other thing is the BC Rail line which has a high wall in place to keep, ..... well I can't quite remember why the high concrete wall is there, unless of course its to ensure that nothing falls off the rail cars and onto the Lynnwood Inn parking lot below.  But if that were true then surely traffick moving, with people living, breathing, inside their vehicles on the road below the overpass would be first in line for a barricade.

Must be another reason, like maybe the view from the Lynnwood Inn would be ruined by customers having to look at Chlorine tankers and boxcars all day long.

Then again the wall could be there to stop the sound of the railcars as they rumble on by.   I know for a fact that a wall is missing from all the drawings that have been done that sold City Hall Council on agreeing to flip the old City works yard for a new one, complete with buildings being provided by the developer of the old city works yard.   Its a good deal, but......

The deal is done, the first apartment to be built south of Marine Drive in North Vancouver (City) received approval on July 4, 2011.

I see one huge problem, and I only know this from doing a walk-about today (July 8th), something City Council and its Engineers probably should have done themselves.   Their decision making was probably done within the confines of their soundproof bunker.


Page 32 and onwards for the drawings, link below photo

Rail line is directly south of the new City Works yard, in fact, the rail line is the southern boundary

A mighty long CN Rail train came by today, I was caught walking on the south side of the proposed new City Works Yard location, and it wasn't just the fact that I had to wait close to eight minutes for it roll on by, it was something else that disturbed me.

A long time worker, at a business south of where the new Works yard is to be located, pointed out that as the train blocked road traffic in its tracks here, on Bewicke (runs north and south), the overpass traffic to the west,  at Fell (running north and south), was backed up as too.... something akin to chock-a-block.  He said it was all the traffic from Bewicke, and the traffic on the overpass will probably quadruple, once the hotels go in at Harbourside.

The other problem was the sound of the CN Rail. There's been plenty of CN Rail car accidents since they took over BC Rail freight operations. The fault?  The trains are too long, and in this particular case today, I would have to agree, not because there was an accident here, but because of the lay of the land.

From Mackay and Welch (new pedestrian overpass of the rail lines) the tracks are straight as an arrow going east to just past Fell Ave where it starts to curve towards the waterfront..... and then the screeching starts, and it lasted close onto eight long minutes.

Its the binding of metal wheels against steel rails.

Can you imagine city workers who were once upon a time insulated from the sound of a working rail line by the distance of two city blocks to then being exposed for the rest of their working lives to the daily exposure of this kind of screeching that will require, not just ear plugs to stem the sound, but ear muffs as well.   Raising ones voice to communicate was the only way I found out the long history, 25 years, of what happens when the train comes to town.

This is a 13 second clip from a noisemaker that lasted for eight minutes

And what of WorkSafeBC and their responsibility to workers on the question of soundproofing CN Rail's cars or will there be a wall erected on either side of the line, just like over at the Lynnwood Inn.

Was WorkSafeBC even involved in the proposed location by City Hall or is it a matter for the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia? So far everything is going full speed ahead and its wait, for the you know what to hit the fan.
The City has had plenty of problems with vandalism of its almost remote Cemetery on Lillooet Road.

What will happen to the First Nation Cemetery on Bewicke, where there is no fencing, and just across the street to the east, from this new City Works yard with its one entrance/egress?

Its too late to change the agreement, not too late to change the design.   If you have any suggestions please contact your City of North Vancouver Council:

Mayor Darrell Mussatto
Councillor Pam Bookham
Councillor Rod Clark
Councillor Bob Fearnley
Councillor Guy Heywood
Councillor Craig Keating
Councillor Mary Trentadue

One last item, these new highrises of five and six stories, the fact that there aren't any apartments south of busy Marine Drive and two blocks north of the busy CN Railway with its high pitched sound making rail cars, will there be a flurry of complaints after the residents have moved in?

UPDATE July 11, 2011
After re-reading this Post, it occurred to me that the Federal, Provincial, City just spent mega-dollars to ensure the safety of pedestrians/cyclists/wheelchairs to cross over the train tracks at MacKay and Welch .... but here at Bewicke, where the New City Works Yard is to be, the City is encouraging the public to use Trail Networks and Trail Heads as a means to Cross the BC Rail Right of Way to the waterfront with the only barrier being a Stop sign.   No warning of any approaching train,especially if CN Rail is shunting untended box cars over three sets of tracks!

Is City Hall out of their mind!

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