According to Surrey businesses, the top three corridors in the city requiring attention are Fraser Highway, 160th Street and 100th Avenue.
A recent report suggests each of those roads should be widened to five lanes: Fraser Highway between Whalley Boulevard and 148th Street (including through Green Timbers park), 160th Street between 26th and 32nd Avenues, and 100th Avenue between King George Boulevard to 140th Street.
These recommendations, and many more, are outlined in the Surrey Board of Trade’s second annual Surrey Road Survey, released in partnership with the City of Surrey on Thursday (Feb. 1). Its aim is to ensure business priorities are in line with the city’s 10-year plan for road work, which is reviewed annually.
This year’s survey says the top three Surrey intersections that require new traffic and signal improvements are 104th Avenue and 156th Street, 104th Avenue and 154th Street, and 30th Avenue and 160th Street.
Certain corridors were flagged in the report for further consideration and response by the city. Of those corridors, various sections of 32nd Avenue and 152nd Street (south) dominated, with improvements sought to many segments of King George Boulevard, Fraser Highway and Highway 10 coming close behind.
Intersection improvements highlighted needs for 32nd Avenue, 152nd Street, the highways, and their feeder roads.
A desire for more bus service was also expressed in the survey, with businesses asking for new routes to under-served neighbourhoods as well as more frequent service on existing routes.
Meanwhile, as a result of what members indicated in their responses to the survey, the Surrey Board of Trade is recommending the entire 27-kilometre Surrey LRT line be built “as soon as is feasible.”
The business group also recommends the City of Surrey and Mayors’ Council “recognize that more citizens of Surrey and South Fraser both live and work here and require the necessary infrastructure to support ease of movement.”
According to the report, 83 per cent of survey respondents rated the LRT Guildford-City Centre-Newton line from “would be good to have” to “definitely need it.”
While 86 per cent said an LRT line on Fraser Highway “would be good to have” or that it was “definitely needed.”
“Another very interesting result is that nearly 70 per cent of respondents like to work and live South of the Fraser,” said Anita Huberman, Surrey Board of Trade CEO. “Although the Pattullo Bridge and other crossings need to be improved to accommodate commuters, more are staying this side of the river.”
More than 50 per cent of respondents said they live and work in Surrey, which is a number unchanged from 2016 to 2017. An additional 24 per cent commute to Surrey for work.
A Surrey Board of Trade release notes that “although two years of data is insufficient to mark a significant trend, there is a measurable shift as respondents are travelling less overall than was reported in 2016.
“Further,” it continues, “for those who travel for work, the number of hours have decreased, from 27 per cent of those travelling three or more hours a day in 2016, to 13 per cent in 2017. Although there was an increase in those driving one to two hours, an increase of eight per cent, it is offset by the 23 per cent who have reduced their work related driving from three or more hours per day, or who are no longer travelling for work.”
Surrey’s Transportation Manager Jaime Boan said “it is gratifying to see the strong alignment between what Surrey citizens are looking for and what we’re delivering.”
“Respondents aren’t concerned with being funnelled out of Surrey into Metro Vancouver as quickly as possible; in fact, members prioritize an integrated multi-modal transportation system which shapes Surrey and meets the needs of businesses and residents living and making a living here,” he added. “Priorities identified in (the City of Surrey’s) 10-Year Transportation Plan, namely completing the planned strategic road network and improving neighborhood connectivity, addressing congestion and intersection delays, better integrating land use and transportation priorities, and improving rapid transit are all top of mind for respondents.”