Light rail transit will soon stretch between Surrey City Centre

Urban sprawl a growing Lower Mainland problem: UBC prof

Surrey ramps up city planning as light-rail transit gets closer




The Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver areas are expected to grow almost 50 per cent within the next 20 years. That’s an added 150,000 people in the Fraser Valley and 1.4 million in Metro Vancouver.

Where will they all go? According to UBC community planning professor Lawrence Frank, it should be city centres easily accessed by public transit.

“One of the biggest problems that we face is that some of the suburban cities are permitting an incredible amount of development away from transit,” said Frank. “The low density development away from transit is car-dependent, making it difficult for transit to work.”

Getting more people to take transit reduces congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Buses fit more people into less space than cars, while rail transit takes passengers off the road entirely.

According to Statistics Canada, one-fifth of Metro Vancouver residents already take public transit to work.

Soon, even more commuters could be taking transit to work, as south of the Fraser communities introduce two light rail lines with 19 stops stretching over 27 kilometres with a projected ridership of 170,000 people per day.

The City of Surrey’s urban planning department has kicked into overdrive with public consultations on light rail, which is part of the regional mayors’ 10-year vision for transportation.

Surrey community planner Preet Heer said the municipality has been working on how to best integrate new transit lines into an ever-expanding city for years. Surrey is the fastest growing city in Metro Vancouver and its population is expected to grow by 300,000 people over the next three decades.

RELATED: Survey says most Surrey residents support light rail

“The fact is that Surrey is diverse and huge and has lots of areas for growth,” said Heer.

Surrey plans out development by identifying frequent transit corridors in its official community plan, Heer said. Frequent transit is any public transit that comes every 15 minutes or less – bus or rail.

Then, city staff try to align growth along those corridors and in its town centres – such as City Centre and Guildford – by setting out density expectation for developers.

Surrey held three open houses in January for the Surrey Central-Newton-Guildford portion of the light rail lines.

“We’re taking a good hard look at exactly what kind of uses there are along that corridor,” Heer said.

Phase one of the light rail would connect Surrey City Centre and Guildford Town Centre along 104 Avenue, and Surrey City Centre and Newton Town Centre along King George Boulevard.

RELATED: Surrey light rail could cost $2.6 billion

Heer said the city has already identified gaps along the City Centre-Guildford Town Centre line.

“We’ve identified 104 Avenue as a place where there could be more density,” she said.

There, the process that will take place will be much like what’s occurred in City Centre over the past few years.

“We just completed a plan showing areas where higher densities would be acceptable, as well as other uses that go along with that,” said Heer. “We’re starting to see changes already around the SkyTrain areas in terms of a mix of higher density residential and commercial uses.”

 

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Teachers, staff should be included in contact tracing: Surrey Teachers’ Association president

STA says there is also ‘no harm in going even further’ with a mask mandate

Strawberry Hill Hall is being renovated and moved to another location on its existing corner lot in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall being moved a few metres in $1.2M reno project

Childcare spaces coming to corner lot where hall has stood for 111 years

A surveillance camera in a photo posted to the Project Iris page on surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Quality surveillance video helps catch crooks, Surrey Mounties say

Charges laid in connection to break-and-enter in Guildford area

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Sources volunteers face off at the organization’s ‘Enchanted’ gala – one as a fairy and the other as her magic-mirror reflection – held in 2019. (Tiffany Kwong photo)
‘Rising infections’ prompts move to virtual Sources gala

Silent auction, raffle opens to public at 9 a.m. Oct. 30

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Most Read