Monday, February 9, 2009

Mufford Overpass

There has been lots of talk lately about the proposed Mufford Overpass. For those who don’t know, it’s a proposed overpass and road between Mufford Crescent on the west and 216 Street and 64 Avenue on the east. There will be no connection to Glover Road. Also it will be built to handle double tracking.

Shipping levels have decreased with the global downturn, but the plans were to put up to 30% more freight trains on the route by 2012. I think that will be happening at a later time now, but be sure that there will be more trains in the future. Even at today’s level, we should have grade separated crossings at 200th Street and Fraser Highway. Don’t get me wrong, trains are the best way to move goods for our environment and for the urban form of our region. As I’ve blogged about earlier, we need to move away from long-haul trucking. I don’t want to see Langley turn into a community of ugly overpasses. I’d like to see the freight traffic re-routed on the main lines by the Fraser River. I and many others tried to lobby the federal government that this was the way to go. Our MP, Mark Warawa, ever promises an alternate rail study to get the Delta-port trains out. That was back in April 2006. The federal government seems very uninterested in getting these trains out of Langley or fixing the crumbling Fraser River Bridge in New Westminster. They want the trains to go through Langley. If citizens made their voices known on this issue, there might be change, but that hasn’t happened. So that leaves us with overpasses.

There has been much talk lately about alignment and take-it-or-loss it funding. A quick search on Google will keep you busy. I will add my two cents on the overpass discussion. The ALR said:
submission of a strategy ensuring farm activities are not limited or disturbed by human activity newly introduced by the project (which) may involve limiting cycling or pedestian paths, or providing them with landscaped buffering to enhance agriculture

-Bike lanes should be included in this plan, as it will provide opportunity those in urban Longley to explore rural Langley in a way with least impact.

-The overpass over Glover will act as Gateway into Langley. Our elected officials owe us to make it attractive. We seem to be so used to ugly infrastructure in Canada.

-Any road (and even light rail) improvement will add development pressure along its route. Citizens and councils with have to be vigilante to ensure that we don’t end up with another Langley Bypass. BTW: the Bypass happens to be the most non Smart Growth, inaccessible (no transit routes or sidewalks), and ugliest route in the Langleys.

Anyway I was encouraged when I saw the following paragraph in a recent letter from the City of Langley to the Township.

…the City of Langley recognizes the significant impact of heavy rail traffic on our communities and especially through the City of Langley. We will continue to work with the Township of Langley to lobby the Government o f Canada, the Province, and TransLink on this issue. In addition, we remain committed to the exploration of other transportation options including the extension of SkyTrain, street level LRT and community rail from Surrey to Langley and beyond.

Notice there was no mention of rapid bus. :-)


Joe Zaccaria said...

It should also be noted that in whatever form it takes, an East-West connection is desperately needed in the Township of Langley.

Anonymous said...

Where can I obtain some CURRENT
(May 2013)information on the Mufford Crescent Rail Crossing. there has been absolutely nothing online about it in the last two years.

What are we to know about it. Is it stalled? It looks a very ill thought out design, but what IS online i.e., pictures graphs looks so vague, one cannot see any explanation for the design.

Please offer your thoughts.

Nathan Pachal said...

The project is still in process... what they are doing now is pre-loading for the new overpass.