Friday, August 19, 2011

Surrey Rapid Transit Study - Phase Two Results

August seems to be the month for public consultation feedback reports. Last week TransLink released the results of the phase 2 consultation for the Surrey Rapid Transit Study. You can read more about the study on a previous post.

475 people participated in the consultation and not surprising 94% were regular transit users. 2/3rds of the participants felt that the King George Boulevard/104th Avenue and Fraser Highway alignments where bang on. I can imagine that the other 1/3rd were hoping for the use of the Interurban corridor which I think is dead-in-the-water as an alignment in Surrey and Langley now.

Question: Please indicate your priorities for how road space should be shared among uses.
What I am really concerned about is how participants allocated road space when asked “Please indicate your priorities for how road space should be shared among uses.” The priority in order of importance was: rapid transit, sidewalks, traffic lanes, bike lanes, left-turn bays, and finally boulevard plantings. Since the people that participated in the consultation were regular transit uses and therefore a bit more sustainability minded, I would have thought that bike lanes should rate higher than general traffic lanes. I can imagine that the reason that people didn’t rate cycling infrastructure as important is because there isn’t a whole lots of it right now in the South of Fraser. People don’t know what they’re missing out on. This should really be a wake-up call that municipalities need to place a higher priority on cycling infrastructure.

On the matter of the provisioning of rapid transit in the South of Fraser, the following question and answers sum things up nicely:
What advice do you have for decision-makers on what is important to you and what you would like them to consider about this evaluation?
-We need rapid transit solutions now not 30-40 years from now.
-A long term transit system built today (investment), will form future Surrey as a community, reduce pollution, reduce road building, decrease use of automobile, better access for young and old.
-Benefits to Surrey extend beyond transit in Surrey.
-Cost should be less important, urban development is very important, as well as efficient movement of people. This is an investment in the long-term future - it has to be done right, and done once.
-Cost effectiveness and the ability to move and connect as many people and areas as possible.
With September around the corner and with it the fall legislative session, I hope that transit funding finally gets sorted out or the Surrey Rapid Transit study will nothing but an exercise in paper writing.

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