City looking at separated bike lanes on University Drive?
A suggestion we posted this May has made its way to City Hall – separated bike lanes may soon be coming to Downtown Surrey!
Earlier this year, we argued that for Downtown to become a more walkable and bikeable place, the City should begin reallocating excess road space for separated bike lanes. Doing so now, before too much of the area gets built out, will ensure that as new residents move in, they already have safe biking infrastructure available for use. Roads like Old Yale, Whalley Boulevard, and University Drive were given as prime candidates for separated bike lanes.
According to minutes from the Transportation Committee’s July meeting, the committee requested that staff look at introducing parking and bike lanes in the curb lanes along University Drive. The Committee consists of Councillors Tom Gill, Barinder Rasode, Marvin Hunt, and Barbara Steele.
We’ve been told that the Engineering department was looking at introducing separated bike lanes on King George between 108 Ave and 104 Ave, but is considering putting the infrastructure on University instead due to concerns from the business community.
While we at Civic Surrey wholeheartedly support an efficient reallocation of underutilized lanes on University Drive, a shared parking/biking lane creates dangerous hazards for cyclists and drivers. We contend that an effective and safe urban landscape for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists requires that each user is provided their own, physically separated space.
We recommend that, as a pilot project, the City redesign the eastern curb lane of University into a bi-directional, north-south bike lane, separated from traffic by planters, and reallocate the western curb lane to on-street parking. This will provide a much needed safe cycling connection in North Surrey, completing the City’s portion of the BC Parkway route along the Expo SkyTrain. It will also provide more parking for residents and users of regional facilities like the Whalley Ball Park or City Centre Library. On-street parking will also help calm traffic, producing a more pleasant experience for pedestrians.
The new Cycling Plan released earlier this year recommended the exploration of separated bike lanes in appropriate areas.