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Visions of Surrey and Sydney

July 11, 2012

Further to the discussion of congestion and transportation choice, Surrey is trying to take a visionary step by promoting the use of surface light-rail down some of its major arterials – notably 104th Avenue, where the density is already appropriately zoned for transit-oriented development (3.5 FSR – similar to Concord Pacific Place).

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But of course, there’s no hope of this proposal proceeding so long as TransLink remains neutered.   The fate of 104 is more likely to be shaped by vehicle traffic trying to avoid the toll on the Port Mann by heading over to the Pattullo Bridge.

Still, it’s a remarkable vision, more typically something proposed for denser, pre-Motordom city centres - like Sydney:

Light rail will unlock Sydney’s potential and strengthen George Street as a transport corridor.  Modern trams will reliably and comfortably move thousands of people every hour – without the noise and delays.

Running every two minutes, trams will make connections to buses and CityRail trains fast and hassle-free.  Wide footpaths and car-free blocks will make walking faster, safer and easier, and provide new opportunities to enjoy Sydney’s climate by dining outside.

What’s fun about the video above is this – a 1906 version of streetcar Sydney – that serves as the predecessor to today’s vision:

Thanks to Howard Levine.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tessa permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:37 am

    If Surrey council can really get Surrey to look like the video they showed there, I might even consider living there. Still, that’s a very short route for LRT.

    That, and one minor correction: it’s 104th Avenue, which is a major distinction in Surrey.

  2. July 12, 2012 9:41 am

    It is great to see a vision for Surrey that includes real priority for transit. This is one area where Surrey is ahead of Vancouver.

    The rapid transit consultation is also more advanced in Surrey, people there are being presented with a wide range of options including diesel bus rapid transit (BRT), electric trolley BRT (although this was not mentioned in the survey), surface Light Rail, to SkyTrain Light Metro.

    If there is enough money on the table to build a network of Light Rail lines, that would be great. If not, maybe it is time that Surrey got trolley buses and a network of electric trolley BRT lines?

  3. July 12, 2012 9:47 am

    PS. To clarify, Surrey rapid transit options include lots of lower cost rapid transit compared to much less extensive SkyTrain extension. Light Rail is the middle cost and therefore middle sized network.

    On Broadway, Vancouver residents are being presented with basically only one line using different technologies.

  4. ronthecivil permalink
    September 10, 2012 1:05 pm

    Not sure why Surrey is drinking the light rail kool-aid when our own regional experience (99 B line) shows rapid buses can easily match the speed and capacity of light rail (especially if in dedicated bus lanes). Why have a train to Guildford when they could have Bline service to every one of their town centres for the same cost?

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