Hawthorne Park – Premier Horgan, Are You Listening?

Surrey’s Hawthorne Park debacle clearly illustrates that something is wrong with our regional transit planning.

Modern light rail transit, is a proven mode of public transportation that has an envious record in attracting the motorist from the car; a record that the proprietary light-metro, which we call SkyTrain, does not and why only seven SkyTrain systems have been built in almost 40 years and not one new build SkyTrain in the past decade.
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But this should not be a SkyTrain versus LRT battle, rather it is bad, very bad transit planning executed by the City of Surrey and TransLink.
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Part of the success of modern LRT and in fact all properly designed transit is “traffic calming”. Traffic calming is part of the push – pull theory of transit, is where a new transit line is built to both “pull” new customers to transit due to the user friendliness and ambience of the line and because of new congestion caused by transit, “push” people onto transit.
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SkyTrain, because it is grade separated does not use the push – pull theory and because of this, mode share by auto in the metro Vancouver region has remained unchanged for almost 25 years at 57%.
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The Hawthorne Park debacle (and a debacle it is) demonstrates the City of Surrey’s and TransLink’s vast ineptitude planning for LRT. Building a road through Hawthorne Park is tantamount to admitting that the $2.5 billion+ LRT project will be a failure because it will not attract the motorist from the car!
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In essence, what the City of Surrey and TransLink has done is to design LRT, not as light rail, but a poor man’s SkyTrain, offering none of the advantages of modern light rail, yet adding all the expensive baggage of the proprietary SkyTrain light-metro!
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The Hawthorne Park debacle is the proverbial “canary in a mine” a warning that TransLink, with absolutely no experience planning, building and operating light rail, is blundering ahead with such bad and hugely expensive transit planning and needs new revenue from “road pricing” desperately to cove up its inept and disastrous planning.
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I have always said, TransLink could not even design an outhouse, let alone understand its function!
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The Hawthorne park debacle, will soon be topped by the now almost $4 billion Broadway subway, which again deifies common sense and good public transit planning.
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Did not the 2015 TransLink plebiscite teach TransLink, the metro mayors and the provincial government anything?
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Obviously not!
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Premier Horgan, are you listening?
A modern tram, operating in a centre road reservation. The capacity of one road lane (about 1,200 pphpd) is increased to over 20,000 pphpd, using trams.

Comments

2 Responses to “Hawthorne Park – Premier Horgan, Are You Listening?”
  1. Iwantbettertransit says:

    What would Surrey need to do in order to make the LRT a better plan than the current one they have?

    Zwei replies: http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/real-light-rail-for-surrey-the-wkw-line/

  2. Iwantbettertransit says:

    @ zwei Thank you!

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