COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 11, 2018 – Surrey, BC
Earlier this morning, the intersection of King George Blvd. and 64th Ave was shut down in all directions for nearly 5 hours, due to an early morning crash that left a pedestrian in critical collision. Such an incident would have caused major commuter chaos if it had occurred along one of the proposed Surrey LRT lines.
According to the Surrey Now-Leader, the crash occurred at approximately 5:20AM, after which the intersection was closed to traffic in all directions by Surrey RCMP. TransLink was required to detour the #321 and #364 bus routes, and these detours remained in place for several hours. In addition, the disruption snarled traffic throughout the area, as the closure impacted morning rush hour commuters.
The Surrey Traffic Twitter page reported that the intersection was finally reopened at 10:14AM, nearly 5 hours after the crash occurred.
UPDATE: @SurreyRCMP say a pedestrian is in critical condition after early morning crash near 64 Ave and King George Blvd. Road closures to remain in area for "quite some time."— Surrey Now-Leader (@SurreyNowLeader) May 11, 2018
#RiderAlert 321 White Rock detouring via 138 St, Hyland,144 St, 60 Ave, King George Blvd then regular route (mva)— TransLink BC | Masks Mandatory (@TransLink) May 11, 2018
The proposed Surrey Light Rail Transit system will run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway. An incident like this, requiring the RCMP to close the intersection for clearing and investigation, would have necesitated a shut down that segment of the LRT system.
Such a shut down would cause commuter chaos arising from the need to redirect LRT passengers onto replacement shuttle buses during the entirety of the A.M. rush period.
Once again, this incident highlights a major, fundamental flaw of the proposed street-running light rail system endorsed by TransLink, the Regional Mayors’ Council, and the City of Surrey. The proposed LRT lines run in the medians of major arterial roads, and would cross through several busy intersections at street level.
Any one of these busy intersections could be blocked and shut down if there is an accident. These incidents occur regularly in other cities where rail rapid transit systems cross streets at-grade.
SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, the conversion of the Surrey-Langley LRT into a SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line, and the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue (instead of an LRT).
With BRT’s ability to detour around accident areas, and SkyTrain’s ability to simply pass overhead, a rapid transit system built on SkyTrain and BRT would not be subject to total disruptions.
Surrey residents expect their future rapid transit system to be a trustworthy and reliable service. A street-running LRT system will not deliver one.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]