Over the last several years, the City of Surrey has become very serious about building a community where people have the ability to walk or cycling safely and with dignity.
When it comes to cycling infrastructure, for the most part cities have been building on-street bike lanes. These lanes only appeal to a small subset of the population: younger, able-bodied males. Cycling infrastructure that is safe and attractive for people of all-ages and all-abilities needs to be separated from high-speed vehicular traffic.
In Surrey, a large component of their accessibility cycling network is based on the build-out of an extensive off-street greenway network. While the greenway network will blanket most of the city, there are areas where accessibility cycling infrastructure must be built right next to the high-speed traffic. One of these areas is Whalley/Downtown Surrey.
|2013 City of Surrey greenway concept map. Select map to enlarge.|
Last February, the City of Surrey received a $214,328 matching grant from the province to improve 105A Avenue between University Drive and Whalley Boulevard, making it safer and easier to walk or cycle in the Surrey’s emerging downtown core.
|Proposed pedestrian and cycling improvements for 105A Avenue in Whalley. Select map to enlarge.|
This 600 meter stretch of road will receive the following improvements:
- New traffic signal at 105A Avenue and University Drive, to help improve traffic flow, reduce collisions, and provide safer crossing opportunities for pedestrians.
- New traffic signal at 105A Avenue and Whalley Boulevard.
- New left-turn bays on 105A Avenue at the existing signalized intersection of King George Boulevard.
- New pedestrian letdowns on 105A Avenue at the intersection of University Drive, 134A Street, 135A Street, and Whalley Boulevard, to increase accessibility for scooters, wheelchairs, people with visual impairment, strollers, and other sidewalk users.
- New marked crosswalks at the existing all-way stop of 105A Avenue and City Parkway.
- New separated bike lanes on 105A Avenue between University Drive and Whalley Boulevard, which will feature a buffer between cyclists and moving traffic.
- Repaving 105A Avenue between University Drive and Whalley Boulevard.
Surrey also has several other cycling projects on the books for this year.
While Surrey still continues to build conventional bike lanes, I hope they will put more focus on building cycling infrastructure that will appeal to the largest possible amount of people.