ZYTARUK: Surrey’s dynastic approach to light rail

It looks to be more of the way of the future in Surrey than you might have thought

homelessphoto

So let it be written…

Is Surrey’s current civic government really on board with what Surrey residents want when it comes to light rail transit versus more SkyTrain?

Cue the laugh tracks. Our online poll at this time of writing, asking the question “Light rail or SkyTrain for Surrey?” has 13.67 per cent in favour of light rail and 86.33 per cent for SkyTrain.

Despite this, with less than three months of breathing room until a new council takes the helm, this government-in-twilight is entertaining a somewhat dynastic view favouring a spiderweb network of LRT lines — about 140 to 150 kilometres’ worth — throughout the city.

The future of rapid transit in this city is certainly being debated in this civic election campaign, with voters going to the polls in less than three months. But even before votes are cast, the nine-member Surrey First council is fractured heading toward the Oct. 20 election.

Let’s take stock.

Mayor Linda Hepner and councillors Mary Martin and Judy Villeneuve are not seeking re-election.

Councillors Barbara Steele and Bruce Hayne have parted ways with Surrey First in their bid to get re-elected. Of current council members, that leaves the slate’s mayoralty candidate Tom Gill and councillors Mike Starchuk, Vera LeFranc and Dave Woods representing Surrey First.

So, four of nine.

READ ALSO: City of Surrey envisions 150 kilometres of light rail transit

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Feds are living in a fiscal fairyland

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: File it under ‘Who cares?’

Clearly, many residents don’t want light rail and prefer SkyTrain. Yet, as the sun begins to set on this current government, city staff last Monday night unleashed on council an epic vision of LRT far beyond the scope of its current plan to run 27 kilometres of track along King George Boulevard, Fraser Highway and 104th Avenue.

Governments typically try to extend their legacy as their expiry date draws nigh. It’s human nature. It’s a struggle, relinquishing power. Also, the wheels of government can’t stop grinding just because an election is on the horizon. Still, this new vision, looking decades into the future, has got to be raising eyebrows this late into this particular council’s game. Anyway, the council voted unanimously to accept the report as information, for what that’s worth.

It has Surrey’s LRT of the future heading down into South Surrey along the George, and along 24th Avenue, 64th Avenue, 96th Avenue, Scott Road and 192nd Street.

Outgoing Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner noted that “there’s lots of conversation over the next couple of years before those final decisions on transportation are made.”

She’s right. Perhaps her part of that continuing conversation “over the next couple of years” will be voiced in a letter to the editor or a comment at the tail end of a story published online, well after she’s retired from politics and has joined the ranks of the little guy. I wonder if she’ll be happy with the result.

For the rest of us, I guess Surreyites will weigh in on Oct. 20.

That is, those who bother to vote.

So let it be done.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Three dead in South Surrey crash: police

Motorists asked to avoid 32 Avenue between 152 Street and King George

OUR VIEW: Young Surrey athletes stir pride

Better than trophies are the lessons these sports-minded youngsters hopefully carry into adulthood

A Surrey Mountie’s tale of reconciling her family’s history with the LGBTQ+ ‘purge’

PART TWO: Cpl. Sturko is spokeswoman of Surrey RCMP after her great uncle was ‘purged’ from the RCMP

White Rock 10-year-old hopes ‘horrible truth’ of war speech touches hearts

YouTube voting on Pratyaksha Awasthi’s speech ends March 29

Delta LGBTQ group receiving grant to screen doc about Surrey-raised murder victim

Sher Vancouver LGBTQ Friends Society is getting $4,000 to show award-winning short My Names Was January

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

VIDEO: Teenage girl was person killed in three-vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Police are investigating the fatal crash at Mariner Way and Riverview Crescent

Sailings cancelled after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Most Read