We're contemplating sending a Thank-You card to TransLink board for the generous gift it bestowed on Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows last month.
It would read something like this: "Thank you for introducing a toll on the Port Mann Bridge. This community couldn't have asked for a better gift."
It's one of those gifts that will keep on giving for years and years to come, as long-time realtor Don Pearce noted in his comments about the local real estate market (see story on page A1 and A3).
Completion of the Golden Ears Bridge in 2009 opened this community to the rest of the world, and increasing traffic across the bridge deck proves that.
More and more people who had never before travelled to Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows have visited our town, exploring our recreational amenities and our housing, shopping, and even education and job opportunities.
With the toll added to the Port Mann, home buyers - especially those looking to purchase their first home in the Lower Mainland - are now giving serious consideration to buying in Pitt Meadows or Maple Ridge.
While this community offers real estate prices that have always been alluring to home buyers, now those who still have to commute to work - back and forth into Burnaby or Vancouver, for instance - are going to consider the north side of the Fraser River, to avoid toll costs of as much as $120-plus per month.
Strides are being being made to bring jobs to this community - Pitt Meadows has announced a couple hundred jobs on the way (again, see story on page A1) - but many residents still have to seek employment outside the community, jobs to which they will have to drive (primarily) west.
Tolls add one more monthly cost for those who work west of their homes in Surrey or Langley - but they can be avoided by those who choose to live in our majestic village tucked up against the mountains.
One more reason to call it paradise.