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Surrey reviewing Scott Road with eye to running ‘fast’ bus and densifying corridor

The area under review for this corridor is 11.3 km long
A view of a particularly nasty traffic day on Scott Road’s “Snake Hill,” pre-pandemic. (File photo)

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says the cities of Surrey and Delta want to put a “fast bus” along Scott Road heading south from Scott Road SkyTrain Station and then up 72nd Avenue east to Newton Town Centre.

“It will go right through the middle of the Scott Road program that we’re looking at now, and I think that when you look at Scott Road we get along great with Delta,” McCallum said. “We can work together on both sides of Scott Road so that both cities can look at densifying along that corridor; I think it’s a very important corridor.”

The area under review for this corridor is 11.3 km long, extending from Scott Road SkyTrain Station south to 72 Avenue and then east along 72 Avenue to Newton Town Centre.

McCallum made his comments April 11 as Surrey council authorized staff to conduct a planning review of the Scott Road Corridor, including preliminary planning and background studies to support a land use plan.

He said the area has “huge potential” mainly because it’s on the SkyTrain corridor and noted that Bridgeview will be home to “one of the world’s largest factories,” being built there now – the Damon Motors electric motorcycle plant at 12850 112B Ave., which is expected to bring with it more than 300 high-tech manufacturing jobs and 500 high-tech office jobs.

“This whole area is starting to show interest because of the transportation nodes that are in it and also because it has some land that we can develop, especially in Bridgeview, industrial land that we can develop,” McCallum said.

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According to a corporate report that came before council on April 11, with the subject heading “Initiation of Background Studies for the Scott Road Corridor and South Westminster Neighbourhood Concept Plan Update,” the planning review will inform the basis for land use plans along the planned rapid bus corridor.

The report notes that the 319 is the busiest bus route south of the Fraser River and service on this route will be upgraded to the planned R6 RapidBus route, with service scheduled to begin in 2023.

The report notes that the idea is to also support “ongoing population and employment growth,” with planning to “commence immediately.”

The study area also embraces a large part of Royal Heights, as well as several blocks east from the flats to 72 Avenue, and several blocks north and south of 72 Avenue from Scott Road to roughly 134 Street.

Besides containing residential, business park and industrial development the corridor also contains “sensitive” environmental areas including Robson, Cougar, Delta and Scott Creeks, Fraser River waterfront in South Westminster and several lowland drainage systems as well.

A flood risk assessment will also be done,given that parts of the corridor within the South Westminster Plan Area are prone to flooding, which the report notes has “implications on potential long-term development.”

This assessment aims to identify at-risk areas and potential mitigation strategies. The review will also ensure the city’s current policy “aligns with long-term flood risk” related to sea level rising, the Fraser River freshet and seasonal weather “events.”

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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