The City of Surrey has a growth problem, and the prioritization of new interchanges on Highway 99 while the South Fraser Perimeter Road gets intersections illustrates this very well.
The development of new communities in the middle of nowhere, like the one the interchanges will serve (Grandview Heights), is expensive. It costs the city more to accommodate these communities, costs more to live in these communities (if you do you are probably car dependent), costs existing citizens, and it costs the environment.
The development of Grandview Heights has required the introduction of bus #531, while a badly needed B-Line along King George Boulevard continues to be delayed. Elsewhere, recent community proposals in undeveloped Anniedale may necessitate the construction of an interchange on Highway 15 at 96 Avenue, ignoring the critical need to also fund safety, traffic and transit improvements in Guildford on 104 Avenue.
There is another solution: the intensification of the existing and still incomplete urban centres, but it has largely been ignored.
While new community development moves forward, resulting in the demolition of sensitive rural wildlife habitats, intensification proposals like the Newton revitalization plan have been pushed back.
The reckless growth is creating problems affecting everyone in Surrey while the alternative solutions are being largely ignored. If the city cannot recognize and pursue these solutions, then it should forget about “The Future Lives Here” and tell the “future” to find another home. Accommodating the growth is optional.
I don’t want others to be living in what lack of effective management is harbouring as a result: an unsustainable city.
If the city doesn’t set standards for growth management now, a lot of people are going to lose.
Daryl Dela Cruz