New bike route being planned for Surrey ‘by no means unique’: more projects planned

family-bikingThe City of Surrey is continuing its expansion of cycling infrastructure with a bike route planned from City Centre to the Port Mann Bridge, but some local residents are concerned about the construction of a new cycling bridge.

The city sent close to 800 letters to local residents living near the proposed route and held an open house on Dec. 2.

“We had about 35 people come to the open house [of which] the majority were in support of the overpass in the range of 60 to 65 per cent,” said transportation planning manager Philip Bellefontaine. “There are people who are concerned and we recognize those concerns.”

The  multi-use pedestrian and cycling only Bon Accord Bridge will connect 109 Avenue between 143A Street and 144 Street. Bellefontaine said most of those opposed live within close proximity to that location.

Bellefontaine identified the route as one of a number of such projects being undertaken by the city

“There’s an ongoing expansion of investment in cycling in Surrey.”

The new route is planned to extend from City Centre to the newly constructed overpass over Highway 1 leading into Fraser Heights.

“We’ve identified this part of Surrey as having real potential for increased cycling. That’s been because our city centre has really started to pick up in terms of development and growth,” said Bellefontaine. “At one end, we had City Centre and at the other end we had this new connection that had been created, so there was a logic to connect these two communities together.”

An ongoing process

Surrey currently has roughly 480km of bike routes, with an additional 12 or so being added each year. The most high profile projects included highway overpasses, such as the one in North Surrey and over Highway 99 in South Surrey.

Bellefontaine acknowledged the fact that Surrey’s large geographical size makes it more difficult for bike travel than cities like Vancouver, but said the city is not worried.

“Cycling is most optimum in that 5km to 10km range. That’s why we see our opportunities for cycling to really pick up in our town centres,” said Bellefontaine. “Our network we’re developing sort of meets both objectives of dealing with those more local trips. I don’t think our geographical size is a barrier in terms of what we plan to do in terms of investment and developing.”

Due to its proximity to the Port Mann Bridge, over 50 per cent of the route construction costs will be funded by the Gateway Project.

For details on other cycling projects in Surrey, click here.

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