Monday, October 2, 2017

Light rail corridor redesign along 104th to accommodate more traffic. Bus service on-time performance improves along Fraser Highway.

TransLink’s Open Board Meeting occurred last Thursday. One of the items on the agenda was an update on the South of Fraser Light Rail Project.

In the Summer, the City of Surrey and TransLink hosted a public engagement process which included some artist renders of what 104 Avenue would look like.

Original proposed design of 104 Avenue, east of 144 Street.

The preceding drawing shows a street with one motor vehicle lane in each direction, sidewalks, protected cycling lanes, and light rail tracks. Currently, 104 Avenue has two motor vehicles lanes in each direction.

In the South of Fraser Rapid Transit Project Update which was prepared for the TransLink Board, the following paragraph is present:

The Project Team and the City of Surrey jointly reviewed the impacts on road users and emergency service response along the 104 Ave portion of the proposed LRT Corridor. The result is a modified road cross-section that enables better incident management. Further, the corridor was reviewed end to end to find additional opportunities to increase capacity of the traffic lanes without compromising adjacent land.

The key line is “find additional opportunities to increase capacity of traffic lanes.” It will be interesting to see what this mean for the final design. How will this impact the proposed cycling and walking infrastructure? Generally increasing motor vehicle capacity means more travel lanes, and/or left and right turn lanes at intersections.

Public information sessions are being planned for January 2018.

Fraser Highway is a busy transit corridor with many transit routes serving it. As someone who travels along this corridor daily, I've noticed that bus schedules seem to be more of a suggestion. This can be due to congestion, and it can be due to transit operators departing from timing points before schedule.

I’ve noticed over the last little while that operators now stop at timing points along the 502 route, even during peak periods. As noted in TransLink’s most recent board report, Fraser Highway was part of an on-time performance pilot project. This pilot resulted in a 1% improvement in on-time performance for transit routes along that corridor. This project will now be rolled out to other corridors in the region.

TransLink’s goal is to have 80% on-time performance for frequent bus routes. Right now, frequent routes have an on-time performance of 76.1% region-wide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the cross section was modified to replace the protected cycling lanes with painted cycling lanes adjacent to traffic lanes there would be some space for cars to move aside to permit emergency services to pass. Obviously this would downgrade the cycling lanes from AAA to something unlikely to attract any nervous or cycling-curious users, but it would be a way of giving cars more space without completely eliminating cycling infrastructure. Combine such a change with the new road through the nearby park and I'd say it's business as usual in Surrey: cars, not people, are the priority.