Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cedar Hills Greenway

I have a greenway dream. I know I will be told a million reasons it can't be done. But if I don't try, I will always wonder if I would have been able to save some of our natural beauty here in Northwest Surrey for us all to continue to enjoy.

I would like to propose the concept of a Cedar Hills/South Westminster Greenway along the Green Buffer Zone as outlined on Urban Design Concept map on page 42 of  the South Westminster Neighbourhood Concept Plan.  I feel it would be an opportunity to create something very positive for Surrey. The topographical features of this area determined which route I chose as the Cedar Hills hillside (shown in green with buffering trees) is quite extreme here.

This greenway would provide a fairly level pedestrian and bicycle path off Scott Road, off the South Fraser Perimeter Highway. The current plan is for sidewalks next to Scott Road for business access, but exhaust fumes along these types of corridors make them unhealthy and uncomfortable for exercise or enjoyment. Trees planted in these corridors are usually deciduous with narrow trunks which do nothing to block noise or fumes.

This greenway would provide a more pleasant location for bicycling, rollerblading or walking and would benefit all residents that will live along the base of the hill and beyond into Bridgeview and down into North Delta. The views of the North Shore Mountains from this greenway are so spectacular, I personally think it is the best view of anywhere in the Lower Mainland.

It is a chance for Surrey to show off a new green outlook for the future, perhaps initiating a connection into the Metro Vancouver proposed  Experience the Fraser Trail which would connect Hope to Tsawassen with a network of  greenways, parks and trails. This South Westminster Greenway would be a bypass around the South Fraser Perimeter Highway and Industrial Areas associated with the Port Operations in South Westminster, where pedestrian traffic is not possible along the river.

This could possibly bring tourist dollars, foot traffic and some positive publicity for Surrey. It would also be a demonstration of how a city of the future is able to integrate industrial needs with environmental and residential needs while encouraging a healthy lifestyle.  The challenges in obtaining land for this greenway are extensive, however, I believe with tax breaks, land trades as well as fund raising and other methods, it would be feasible. So many of the key features needed for a greenway already exist along this path. What is there just needs to be preserved and it's use encouraged.
This map is available to view in more detail at WalkJogRun.net 

This would provide a more direct walking/bicycling route to the Scott Road Sky Train Station. This route would also provide a walking path from 104 Ave, near the Khalsa School at Old Yale and 124 Street then directly to the Sky Train. There is currently no access to the Khalsa School by foot from 104. 

The following benefits would be realized from having this Greenway.
  • The greenway would provide a level and direct walking/cycling path to the Scott Road Sky Train Station without having to inhale truck and car fumes along Scott Road.
  • The greenway would connect to current proposed greenways already outlined by  the city.
  • The greenway would be enhanced by the Green Buffer of  trees as pictured on the Urban Design Concept map.
  • The greenway could alternatively provide a buffer zone between the proposed residential development and the industrial uses of this area.
  • This greenway takes advantage of the proposed open areas and parkland as outlined in the South Westminster Neighborhood plan. 
I've taken pictures of the current lay of the land to give an idea of the proposed route. Please visit the following blog posts to see the information I have gathered thus far.

Al Cleaver Park to 104 Ave.

104 Ave/122 Street to Scott Road Skytrain Station

Proposed Contact List.
  • parksrecculture@surrey.ca 
  • transportation@surrey.ca
  • cycling@surrey.ca
  • EngLD@surrey.ca

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