In the upcoming referendum on transit, I may vote no – not because I don’t want another tax increase to finance improvements, but because I don’t like what is proposed for Surrey.
Surrey is growing rapidly and increasing traffic congestion is not the way to go. I believe the proposed light rail plan will do just that.
Adding two tracks on 104 Avenue – Fraser Highway to Langley and along King George to 72 Avenue – will not improve congestion.
Fraser Highway was recently widened to four lanes to Langley but eliminating two of those lanes for tracks will only add to congestion and the same could be said for 104 Avenue and King George. Can you imagine travelling down either one of these streets with only one lane in each direction?
Also, light rail is not compatible with SkyTrain. SkyTrain has its maintenance yard in Burnaby, which light rail will not be able to access. That means there will have to be a maintenance facility and storage yard built somewhere in Surrey or perhaps Langley to accommodate light rail cars.
I’ve had a look at the proposed ballot for the referendum and if it is presented as shown it could be misleading for the citizens of Surrey.
One final point: The proposed light rail along 104 Avenue and King George is planned for sometime in the next seven years and the Langley line down Fraser Highway is planned for sometime in the next 12 years. So-called rapid transit for Surrey will not happen overnight.
Unless the proposed system of light rail for Surrey and Langley is upgraded to include SkyTrain extensions, I’m considering voting no in the referendum.