Surrey’s Greenway System
When Vancouver was first developed there weren’t many laws to protect the environment or farmland. As a result most of the rivers and streams in Vancouver where buried underground and farmland paved over. Also in Vancouver most of BC Hydro’s transmission system is underground. Surrey’s major development happened after the introduction of the Agricultural Land Reserve and environmental laws that came out of the 1970s. As a result most of the rivers and streams are protected while about 1/3 of the city’s land is agricultural in Surrey. BC Hydro’s transmission system is above ground in most of Surrey. While Vancouver may have Stanley Park, Surrey has a more impressive natural capital.
While looking over Surrey’s bike route map, I was impressed with the amount of greenways and off-street trails that already exist within Surrey mostly because of BC Hydro’s right-of-ways. You can almost walk or cycle from one end of the city to the other without having to go on a road. I say almost because most of the off-street network is fragmented and is missing some key connections. The good news is that Surrey is currently in the process of updated their walking and cycling plan while slowly filling in many of the missing links.
This year Surrey is working on the following greenways:
- BC Parkway (along University Drive, from 105A Avenue to 107A Avenue)
- East Clayton Greenway (south of 70 Avenue, from 194A Street to 196 Street)
- Fleetwood Greenway (south of 80 Avenue, from 156 Street to 160 Street
- Fleetwood Greenway (south of 80 Avenue, from 166 Street to 168 Street)
- Green Timbers Greenway (south of 96 Avenue, from 164 Street to 168 Street)
- Pioneer Overpass (Highway 99 at 35 Avenue and 148 Street)
- Tynehead Overpass (Highway 1 at 168 Street)
- Wildflower Greenway (along Nordel Way/88 Avenue, from 88 Avenue to 124A Street)
Because the whole city couldn’t be paved over, Surrey is actually in a better position than Vancouver to build an extensive greenway system which I believe will be one of the reason that people will actually choose to live in Surrey especially as it continues to densify.
Update: More information on Surrey’s Greenways Master Plan is available online.