Writers pan the stalling a of $7.5-million project to improve traffic flow at 152 Street

LETTERS: No support for upgrades delay

Editor:
Re: City shelves road plan for 32 Avenue, July 22.

Editor:

Re: City shelves road plan for 32 Avenue, July 22.

Deferring the 32 Avenue interchange is a deadly mistake.

I have travelled the 99 corridor for decades and the southbound off-ramp to 32 Avenue and it is just plain dangerous.

Freeway drivers in that zone typically do speeds of 90-110 km/h. When the off-ramp is gridlocked, stopped traffic backs up onto the 99 slow lane. If you are unaware of the local problem or not paying attention it’s easy to rear-end a stopped vehicle in that zone. Regularly to avoid crashes, vehicles at the last moment, do high-speed lane changes into the fast lane.

Worse still is others head for the grass on the roadside.

Most drivers using the off-ramp are attempting to turn left into the Morgan Creek communities. Less than 10 per cent are turning right into the Peninsula. These regular drivers create their own right-turning lane by using the paved shoulder.

A simple line down the centre of the off-ramp would assist decanting of clogged traffic and legitimize right-turning vehicles.

With the great highway speeds combined with the essentially parked vehicles on a major highway, unfortunately someone will die. Please reconsider this ill-thought-out plan.

David Nash, South Surrey

The issue, as we are left to understand it from the report, is that proceeding in a more timely fashion is because of challenges related to absence of joint funding from the province. Apparently because a lot of money was spent on the 16 Avenue interchange prior to 2015.

Curiously, this delay in information comes the day after the provincial government announced an apparently unexpected budget surplus of some $600-700 million for the last fiscal year, a good portion of which relates to huge growth in property transfer taxes, presumably much of it coming from growth in Surrey real estate sales. Projections are that this revenue source is likely to be even greater for the current fiscal year. Additionally, the federal government is gearing up to release its promised infrastructure funding.

An odd time to decide to go slow on a planned and key infrastructure project. Just odd.

Don Chapman, Surrey

Delaying the improvements to the Highway 99 off-ramp and the stretch of 32 Avenue it joins is not a safe move.

Currently, those exiting from 99 onto 32 Avenue often have to queue up on the shoulder of the freeway because the exit lanes aren’t adequate, and 32 Avenue south is only one lane. Those turning right on 32 Avenue shouldn’t have to wait for the light or be held back because their lane is jammed by people turning left. This isn’t safe; postponing this improvement for five years is a bad decision.

Seems to me that this is just another example of the City’s inability to plan ahead for its transportation needs. The City has done some good work in the recent widening of King George between 152 Street and Crescent Road, and the new interchange between 16 Avenue and Highway 99 is excellent.

But, for instance, they approve and support an industrial park on 192 Street, and approve commercial rezoning of many lots along 16 Avenue, but don’t expand 16 or 24 avenues to four lanes to accommodate the increased traffic. (The City’s 16 Avenue Transportation Plan suggests it, but it’s not happening.)

They approve the Grandview Heights residential and commercial developments, but don’t put in a connection between this area and Highway 99, so everyone there has to go a mile north or south through existing neighbourhoods to get onto the 99. They haven’t built the second half of the 152 Street bridge across the Nicomekl, nor replaced the “temporary” King George Boulevard bridge across that river with a proper four-lane bridge. Nor are they planning to bring rapid transit down to South Surrey.

If the future is going to live here, our transportation infrastructure needs to be in place beforehand, to allow the future to happen.

Delaying projects like the improvement of the 32 Avenue interchange, or the widening of 16 Avenue, show that the City isn’t planning ahead well enough.

Geoff Dean, Surrey

 

 

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