It Did Not Take Long Turning Paradise Into A Parking Lot

First question:

Where is the almost $1 billion in funding needed to make the Expo Line extension to Langley a go?

Second Question:

Mr. Horgan and the Mayor’s Council on Transit, what taxes have to be increased to pay the estimated $1 billion in outstanding funding?

 

Now, the story in question.

Not even a week has gone by and Surrey council has shown what their real SkyTrain agenda is all about.

It is all about development and rubber on asphalt. This is what Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan are supporting, as the province is burning around them mainly due to climate change.

These guys want more of the same!

The City of Surrey and the two Langley’s, by acting as the ultimate spoiled child and now have got the SkyTrain toy so their city’s can be just like Vancouver.

The $3.95 billion, 18km SkyTrain is a showcase of dated thinking, tinged with corruption, yellow journalism and gross politcal malfeasance.

Back in the 1970′s 80′s, Vancouver was just like any other city with rush hours in the morning and afternoon, taking workers to and from the city from the suburbs. Ridership was assured and new public transit philosophies were quietly ignored, as the good burghers “knew best.

Today public transit has changed dramatically; the old rush hour in and out philosophy doesn’t work as well anymore as the demographic shift in downtown Vancouver has changed from offices to high rise condo’s and towers. Business have relocated to the outer reaches of Metro Vancouver and beyond, up the Fraser Valley, where the car is needed to access them.

A good example is Molson’s Breweries, which was an icon on Burrard in Vancouver, has now relocated to Chilliwack.

Surrey’s new land rush along the $3.95 billion, 18 km Expo line extension has begun, with new highway construction through the ecologically sensitive Green Timbers. The one question that is ignored is that where are the commuters commuting too? Again, demographic change tells me, more are going east than west.

For all the angst, duplicity getting a $3.95 extension to the Expo line, the City of Surrey and the two Langley’s are getting a dated piece of kit, designed for 1980′s transit solutions and not for transit in the 2020′s, where flexibility in operation is key attracting new ridership. In essence, they are buying an Edsel

When completed, by 2030, Metro Vancouver will be in endemic gridlock; the war on the car will see wholesale change in councils to more car friendly politicians and SkyTrain will continue to suck scarce transit monies, subsidizing a museum piece.

Not only are the NDP paving paradise and turning it into a parking lot, so is Surrey Council!

 

 

SkyTrain line through Surrey’s Green Timbers forest involves four-lane Fraser Highway

‘Optimized’ project plan OK with president of Green Timbers Heritage Society, but not others

Now that prep work for Surrey’s SkyTrain line extension has been given the green light, attention has turned to the road through Green Timbers Urban Forest where tracks will be built.

The city plans to four-lane Fraser Highway to “optimize” the rapid-transit project, in one of the city’s most congested road corridors.

Drawings of an elevated SkyTrain line are shown in a September 2020 report to city council.

“Staff have worked with TransLink to optimize the project design,” concluded Scott Neuman, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, “including the ability to complete SkyTrain plus four-lane widening using an approximate (27.5-metre) optimized cross-section through GTUF (Green Timbers Urban Forest) entirely within the road allowance, with no impact to GTUF and only an incremental increase in tree loss compared to TransLink’s original two-lane design.”

Don Schuetze, president of Green Timbers Heritage Society, says there’s been talk of widening that stretch of Fraser Highway since the 1990s. “I’ve got a folder just filled with discussion about it – lots of ink spilled on it, and blood and sweat and tears,” Schuetze told the Now-Leader.

“My understanding is they’re going for a more minimal concept now, and that’s important,” he added.

“A few years ago they were talking about 45 metres across, for LRT. They’ve obviously done some thinking about how they did it with 100th Avenue, which they widened a couple years ago – and I think they did a good job. It was, ‘How narrow can we make this so that we impact the forested area the least amount?’ I think they’re following that same line of thinking with Fraser Highway.”

(Story continues below)

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Drawing of SkyTrain line and four-lane Fraser Highway from 144 Street to 148 Street with eastbound view, from a report to Surrey city council. (Image: surrey.ca)

Schuetze said “it’s not a great idea to encourage more traffic through a forested area like that, just like it’s not a good idea to encourage more in a school zone, for example. But if you’ve got to do it, then I think they’ve put some thought into it. They’re asking for opinions and are being as reasonably sensitive as they can, given the constraints they have.”

On Monday (July 12), Surrey council awarded a $5,384,600 contract to B&B Contracting Ltd. to widen Fraser Highway from 96th Avenue to 148th Street in preparation for construction of the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain expansion.

Surrey heritage advocate Jim Foulkes questions the need for four lanes on that highway section.

“The only congestion on Fraser Highway is caused by the light at 144th (Street). You go out there and look, that’s what causes the backup into Green Timbers, it’s not the two lanes through Green Timbers that’s backing things up.

“With SkyTrain,” he added, “it’s gone from rails on the ground to putting the monstrous noisy thing up in the sky. So why would you build a wider highway for cars when you have rapid transit? Make up your mind. Why do we need four lanes there? You know, in Vancouver on Cambie Street they put the whole damn SkyTrain underground, they tunneled it. Why don’t do they do that in Surrey? Why are we a second-rate cousin like that?”

Fraser Highway has become the busiest two-lane road in Surrey, with more than 28,000 cars per day, according to the city report.

The “optimized design” on the stretch through Green Timbers aims to reduce the road footprint and protect high-value trees along the north side of Fraser Highway, the report says.

The 22.5-metre, four-lane design “only slightly impacts additional Bylaw Trees, relative to TransLink’s base two-lane design, requiring tree removal to accommodate SkyTrain. All of these trees are within the existing road allowance, and there are no trees within GTUF being impacted by the optimized design. Furthermore, staff’s optimized design is a significant improvement from the original 40m wide, four-lane LRT design, as it prevents approximately 300-350 Bylaw Trees from being removed within the road allowance.”

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