Civic Surrey has obtained a copy of an exciting video presented to the audience at Mayor Watts’ State of the City address. The short, two minute video shows a computer generated Light Rail line running between the City Centre and Guildford along a modified 104th Ave.
The route itself may sound familiar, but its obviously designed to show what the road is intended to look like years from now. 104th is lined with lush green trees and a series of mid-rises and towers.
Of particular interest is the fact that the video shows 104th on a “road diet.” It has long been planned and assumed that when Light Rail, or even possibly a SkyTrain in some documents, would run along the corridor, the road would be expanded, requiring significant property acquisition.
Most of 104th is currently a four-laned road, with a median for left turns bays. In the video, 104th is reduced to two lanes, one for each direction, supplemented with left turn bays at intersections. The LRT appears to take over the two other existing car lanes. Although doing so would reduce car capacity, it would radically reduce the capital costs of building an LRT line as property acquisition would be minimal rather than required along the whole corridor.
During the Mayor’s address, she said the City wanted Light Rail to Guildford along 104th, to South Surrey via King George Boulevard, and to Langley via Fraser Highway.
UPDATE: I’ve been asked to clarify a bit about the video. It is intended solely to represent a vision of what Light Rail in Surrey could look like. Elements such as routing or road design are still quite undetermined apparently and will rely on the results of TransLink’s Surrey Rapid Transit study currently underway. So much for an accelerated timeline eh?