Friday, August 8, 2008

FVRD To Study Regional Transportation

The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) with the City of Abbotsford, City of Chilliwack, District of Hope, District of Kent, District of Mission and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs as member municipalities, will examine transportation issues.

In their July 22, 2008 Regional Board Meeting, The Board in Brief newsletter says,

"Terms of Reference for Foundation Paper – “Strategic Review of Transit in the Fraser Valley”

The Regional Board supported, in principle, a draft Terms of Reference for a strategic review of transit in the Fraser Valley. Staff was directed to now pursue the issuance of a Request for Proposal to retain a consultant to conduct the review. The FVRD is working with the Ministry of Transportation, TransLink and BC Transit to review transportation needs for the Fraser Valley."

As this region is very diverse and cities like Abbotsford are seeing higher density than the others, you have to wonder what solutions this review will lead to. I believe this may be why the City of Abbotsford formed an Inter-Regional Transportation Select Committee, which our very own Nathan Pachal is a member of. As his Alternate, I'm looking forward to attending the September meeting on his behalf.

The Abbotsford select committee appears to be more objective and progressive than that of the FVRD, who earlier this year came out with a draft report that contained many inaccuracies, slammed the Interurban light rail solution, and called for buses only to meet that region's needs.

Perhaps this new study will be more objective. But as TransLink is involved in this process, they are broke, they have offered more densely populated cities expanded bus service and eventually rapid bus service for the foreseeable future, one cannot hold out much hope for an LRT system. This despite the fact that the old Interurban system ran PROFITABLY from Chilliwack to Vancouver from the 1900's until 1950.

Suddenly there is far too much agricultural land to travel through and not enough ridership. How can that be? I just read in the newspaper yesterday that more and more ALR land is being developed "creatively" as it is. When governments offer to study something, look out! And over the years I'm learning that governments can make reports say anything they want them to. Let's keep tabs on the FVRD study and report back here.

No comments: