Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for October 6th, 2009

Surrey rejects Bear Creek Park road

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Some good news for a change. A council that  listens.

City councillors in Surrey, B.C. voted against pushing a new four-lane road through Bear Creek Park, after several hundred opponents of the plan showed up at Monday night’s council meeting.

The vocal crowd filled the council chambers and spilled into the adjoining foyer, prompting Coun. Tom Gill to reflect on the public mood before the final vote.

One of the dispiriting things I posted not so long ago talked about how “the elites” have perfected their techniques for (mostly) ignoring public opinion. The only other recent success of this kind that I can recall was against a private power project on the Pitt River – also in a park. Even in Surrey where nearly everyone has to drive (transit mode share 4%) they love their parks.

On the other hand it has to be remarked that three councillors care nothing for the environment – and that you can never ever assume that just because a road has been defeated by the process that it will not keep coming back as a “new” proposal. This is only the fourth time this idea has been rejected – so even though it has been killed, does not mean that  it is dead.

The CBC does not make the connection between the need for this road and all the other road building going on in Surrey. The opening of the Golden Ears Bridge, the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the widening of Highway #1 all contribute to the growth of traffic in that municipality.  The network within Surrey to collect and distribute trips from these major arteries will find itself under increasing stress – and the politicians under pressure from both the province and people who drive to “do something” about that. And the something will, inevitably, include more road capacity. This will of course fill up quickly, creating the never ending spiral. Road building has never ever solved traffic congestion for very long. But that does not stop it being proposed by those who stand to make a lot of money from it.

UPDATE – almost as soon as I posted this, and tweeted it, Miss604 picked up the same story from CTV – which adds this gem,

Hundreds of opposed residents turned out to protest the plans, but victory celebrations may be short lived. Instead of permanently scrapping Bear Creek plans altogether, the city decided to move in favour of public consultations.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 6, 2009 at 9:26 am

Posted in Traffic, Transportation

Tagged with ,