Rendering of Surrey's proposed light rail lines

Toronto planning boss pitches LRT in Surrey

Jennifer Keesmaat says the light rail transit has the benefit of creating livable places along its route

A Toronto planning expert is in Surrey this week laying out the benefits of light rail transit (LRT).

Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto’s chief planner, spoke at city hall on Wednesday night, elaborating on the benefits of light rail.

One of the biggest advantages is the that it contributes to “place making,” creating areas at rail stops which create a warm and inviting feeling of place.

Her team of planners is working on the construction of Toronto’s $7-billion Eglington-Crosstown LRT project.

She has successfully recommended several transit offerings for Toronto, including rapid transit, standard rail and LRT.

“You can never solve all your problems with one project,” Keesmaat told The Leader in an interview Wednesday. “You always have to look at how your network works.”

Rapid transit is great for when you want to get people great distances at a high speed.

Local transit requires a lighter touch.

“It’s about place making, it’s about affordable housing, it’s about local commerce, it’s about creating main streets,” Keesmaat said.

“I would argue that if Surrey, or any other suburban municipality, wants to begin to transition into becoming a place where people can work and play, then don’t put some high-speed infrastructure in the sky, start creating destinations in your city you can access from excellent transit.”

Surrey has been working to get the LRT lines along 104 Avenue into Guildford and to Newton from City Centre, known as the L-Lines. In addition, the city is hoping a line down Fraser Highway, connecting Surrey City Centre, with Fleetwood, Clayton and the Langleys.

Finding the $2.7 billion to pay for it has been a challenge so far.

And the plan has opponents.

SkyTrain for Surrey advocate Daryl Dela Cruz proposes SkyTrain to Langley on Fraser Highway – which would get riders boarding in Langley to Waterfront Station in under an hour – and bus rapid transit instead of light rail on other corridors.

Light rail on King George would be only one minute faster than the existing 96 B-Line express bus to Newton, he said, while 104 Avenue would end up more congested with the loss of a lane of traffic to LRT.

 

Just Posted

City of Surrey to remove eight dead trees along stretch of road where SUV was hit

Assessment confirms tree that fell was dead; others to be removed ‘early this week’

New Surrey Police force ‘swallowing up’ city’s funds, Annis says

City councillor says draft city budget shows new force coming at expense of ‘everything else’ in the city

Guitar ‘swap & sale’ planned at Cloverdale’s Shannon Hall

40-plus vendors are signed up for event on Saturday, Nov. 23

Panthers storm to playoff victory over Hyacks

Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir stuns New West in big win in B.C. high school football AAA playoff semifinals

CCTV cameras help Surrey RCMP arrest two bank robbery suspects

The robberies were in North Surrey on Nov. 7 and Oct. 1

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read