Further to the item below, the impacts of transportation on the quality of life for one of the most affluent parts of the region will be determined in large part by what happens to its east – notably in Abbotsford.  And if your mental geography is like mine, you may not realize the direct connection.  Literally: 16th Avenue.

I explored that issue here in March, 2011.

… with an airport that could one day be the second aeronautical anchor of the Lower Mainland, Abbotsford would inevitably be absorbed into vast undifferentiated regional sprawl if it wasn’t for the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes on 16th Avenue, which I’m pretty sure the highway planners are.  Imagine an expressway connecting with the Trans-Canada Highway, past the Abbotsford airport, streaking in a straight line across the ALR to the new interchange they’re building on Highway 99 at White Rock, and serving all the expanded streets to the international border crossings. 

The 16th Avenue interchange when completed:



And it won’t just be the airport and connecting routes that generate the traffic; much of it come from the urban form in Abbotsford itself, which looks like this:




With more to come.  Here’s a drawing of the new shopping centre proposed for the Townline Hill section of Abbotsford, sent in by Ken Wuschke: “Essentially it is a parking lot surrounded by retail. Towards the street there will be little connectivity to pedestrians walking by as all the stores have doors facing the parking lot.”


Abbotsford Townline Rd


Two points to make: this is what is being approved by a municipality whose leaders are loudly critical of the air-quality consequences of Metro Vancouver’s proposed incinerator.  And this is the form of development supported by the Province’s infrastructure commitments: bridges, highway-widenings, goods-movement corridors – like the 16th Avenue interchange, and very likely, support for the widening of 16th Avenue itself.

Needless to say: there’ll be no vote on that.