There are “quick build” plans in the works for Surrey city centre’s protected cycling network.
A corporate report adopted at the May 31 city council meeting notes that Surrey has 1,133 kilometres of bikeways – most of which are painted shoulder bike lanes – almost doubling Vancouver’s 613 kilometres and, according to ICBC collision data, cyclists in Surrey are three to four times more likely to be hit by an automobile than are their Vancouver counterparts.
Scott Neuman, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, said the city has been awarded $999,000 through a TransLink program to design and build six kilometres of “quick build” cycling routes on five corridors in the city centre to “complete gaps in the protected cycling network using “low-cost methods” like planters and temporary curbs.
“There will be small, localized impacts to on-street parking. Parking analysis will be completed to confirm adequate parking capacity is available both on and off-street and through outreach to local businesses and residents,” Neuman told council.
“Most of the lane kilometre of bikeways in Surrey are painted shoulder bike lanes on higher speed, higher volume roads and do not provide the protection cyclists need to feel safe.”
Neuman noted that feedback from a consultation process tied to the Surrey Transportation Plan reveals that up to 60 per cent of Surrey residents are interested in cycling more.
All told, the city is planning to build 10 lane kilometres of protected cycling routes for the city centre through a “combination” of road-widening and “cycling-specific” projects over two to five years, he said.
The corridors include Fraser Highway between Whalley Boulevard and 148th Street, 100th Avenue between 128th Street and 132nd Street, 104th Avenue between 132nd Street and University Drive, and 102nd Avenue between Whalley Boulevard and 140th Street.
Councillor Doug Elford, an avid cyclist, said this is “desperately needed.”
“There’s certain parts of our cycling network that really need to be interconnected,” he said. “Many people ride their bikes in the downtown city centre and for some people it’s their only mode of transportation. We really need to enhance the ability for us to get around and not worry about getting hit by a vehicle or hurting ourselves.”