Posted by: Karen Quinn Fung | May 30, 2011

Consultation for Phase 2 of TransLink’s Surrey Rapid Transit study

Thanks to Canisius Chan, a volunteer for the Vancouver Public Space Network’s working group on public transit, for contributing this post.

By now, many would have seen this sleek video (embedded above) of what LRT might look like running from Surrey City Centre to Guildford along 104 Ave.  That is one vision of what the future holds for rapid transit deployment south of the Fraser, but many options are still under consideration.

TransLink is holding a series of community consultation workshops in Surrey and Langley starting Monday, May 30th through Thursday, June 9.  The objective is to provide an update on the planning and conceptual design work undertaken in Phase 2 of the Surrey Rapid Transit study; as well as to get feedback from the community on key elements and assumptions that have been made.  For those who have not been following the proceedings, TransLink’s Phase 1 findings will help you get up to speed on what TransLink has heard and done up to this point.  If you can’t make it out to the workshops in person, you can tune in to the webinar this coming Monday night, and weigh in online (you can provide feedback online between May 26 and June 24).

Here at the VPSN, we try to keep tabs on transit developments throughout Metro Vancouver because transit is really best appreciated at a regional scale.  Rapid transit stations in particular thrive when mixed-use development comes together with vibrant public spaces.  VPSN followers will be familiar with TransLink’s UBC Line Rapid Transit Study along the Broadway corridor.  Like UBC, Surrey is considering a number of corridors and a variety of transit technologies including:  Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit and Rail Rapid Transit.

Surrey Rapid Transit Study rendering - 2

Surrey Rapid Transit Study rendering - 3

Surrey Rapid Transit Study rendering - 1

Renderings showing the different mode and alignment options included in the Surrey Rapid Transit study.

The planning process may be the same, but is applied to a vastly different set of circumstances. Whereas the Broadway corridor is already built out, the south of Fraser is growing rapidly. Surrey, in particular, is trying to redefine itself as more than a suburb. It will be interesting to track how rapid transit and urban redevelopment are integrated for the Surrey and UBC Lines. The challenges and opportunities associated with each setting will undoubtedly factor into what is the most appropriate solution for these projects.

Pinch-hitting for our public transit working group coordinator Karen Quinn Fung, I was pleasantly surprised that TransLink reaches out to active bloggers at a “blogger breakfast” – a venue where you can ask planning staff questions about upcoming consultation initiatives. A better understanding from the blogosphere (and its unique perspectives on the urban landscape) provides for more meaningful public engagement, and supplements feedback that TransLink would otherwise get from open houses alone.

What do you think?

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