Tuesday, July 22, 2008

LRT Expert Has Arrived in Langley

Brent Graham, is a long-time Langley resident and Project Manager-Rail for one of the three largest LRT and Streetcar programs in the world. Mr. Graham has been in communication with South Fraser OnTrax for many months, and had previously emailed comments surrounding a discussion on streetcars for Langley Township. Mr. Graham's major job responsibility involves the review of area technical challenges to the installation of various LRT lines, and then applying various engineering and problem-solving techniques to remove these technical obstacles to light rail.

Mr. Graham is highly credentialed and has spent many hours of his personal time reading the various TransLink and Township reports that SFOT has provided to him related to the re-activation of the old Interurban rail line. He has also reviewed many technical drawings and other materials related to the Interurban, as well as the 200th Street Transit Corridor that is being discussed and preserved by Township staff. Mr. Graham is on his annual holidays and has volunteered many hours to engage our local community to advance light rail. He has also been helping some volunteer groups in Vancouver with their programs.

South Fraser OnTrax recently contacted the office of Mayor Kurt Alberts in the Township of Langley to inquire as to the interest level for Brent Graham to address Township Council. We note that previously council had many questions related to the Interurban and Streetcars. Some of those questions coming from Councillors Long, Richter and others. We thought it would be a good opportunity to get new ideas and discussions going, while allowing all the councillors to ask their questions and get an expert to reply to them.

Mayor Alberts was very receptive to the idea of allowing a discussion of transit options to take place and for our guest to present some fresh ideas and eyes to the subject. He proposed that South Fraser OnTrax send his office Mr. Graham's biography, and promised he would present it to council for a motion to invite Mr. Graham to speak. This information was presented yesterday to Township Council at the Special Council Meeting. The Motion passed, with Councillor Richter opposed.

I addressed Councillor Richter's vote in a private letter. I received a prompt and courteous reply late today from the councillor. She has extended an apology for "possible misinterpretation" of her questions in council and I have accepted this apology. In the interest of focusing on light rail transit and related advocacy for our community, I trust that we can move forward with engaging our community leaders and politicians in a positive manner.

Mr. Brent Graham, BSc MSc Dipl T, will address council on July 28, 2008 at approximately 3:30pm in the Township of Langley's Special Council Meeting. It is a public meeting (although public questions will not taken by council). We encourage our members and the general public to come out and show their support for Light Rail Transit if you can make it out during this time.

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