This blog piece, by GHSA board member Ted Willmer, focuses on the growing congestion in and around 24th Ave, the crucial highway of Grandview Heights, and the lack of necessary new infrastructure causing the problem.
Below is his letter to the Editor (Peace Arch News, January 27, 2017} and below that, his views on the issues in a letter written to Councillors Starchuk and Woods.
Dear Councillors Starchuk and Woods,
A sincere thank you for taking the time to respond to our letter about the urgent infrastructure improvements needed in Grandview. We moved to Surrey in 1994 and have been proud to call Surrey home. The rapid and seemingly unmanaged building boom particularly in Grandview is taking a lot of joy out of our retirement years. We thought we were moving to an area with a well thought out OCP and were looking forward to enjoying the new Grandview pool facility. The deterioted infrastructure we now are being forced to live in is not enjoyable.
What we need to see from the City are actual dates for specific improvements for Grandview.
There are numerous roads that should have been upgraded prior to the massive building spree that has been happening in Grandview since we moved in 4 years ago. None of the main arteries or collector roads have been upgraded and yet thousands of new citizens are now living here with thousands more on the way. We have focused in our previous letters on what is the one area most in need (24th Ave between 161a St and 168 St) which also affects us directly. I truly believe if you saw what we had to endure on a daily basis you would order immediate improvements. 24th Avenue is our and many citizens main arterial road. Our strata is in the unique position of being on the border of the original Grandview town center area built over a decade ago part way down 24th Ave. and the WAR ZONE that 24th avenue starting at 161a street has now become. We lived in the hope that once the several projects were approved/underway (Breeze, Smiths, Soho, Morgan plus others that we would finally be in line for upgrades to 24th Avenue. Sadly nothing you have told us gives us any comfort that improvements will happen this year or any sooner than within a decade. This area of 24th is not driveable many times daily due to the crumbling road surface pounded by dump trucks. All of my neighbours are inconvenienced daily by traffic control stops for the multiple construction sites. (24th Ave., 160th Street, 164thSt, 168th Street) We are constantly forced to deal with severe darkness due to no street lighting and the danger of trying to access 24th street with large construction vehicles parked on the sides of 24th blocking oncoming traffic. This is extremely dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and the occasional cyclist that dares this obstacle course. We currently have put up with construction noise and constant dust in the air due to the extreme volume of construction.
If this part of 24th avenue had been upgraded to 4 lanes we could navigate our area much more conveniently while providing room for the numerous construction vehicles. You are telling us that we might get a small improvement as you are going to find a consultant for a small part of 24th avenue. There is no timeframe for this modest start and the general theme still is significant improvements along 24th avenue for a decade. 24th avenue between 161a street and 168th street should be upgraded this year complete with lights and sidewalks.
Grandview area’s has major infrastructure needs:
The massive building boom in Grandview over the past 3 years has serious consequences. These consequences include the almost total lack of infrastructure improvements and road maintenance. While I have focused my letters on this one area of 24th, it is but one of numerous main arteries and collector roads in Grandview that require improvements. It is the huge number of completed and approved building projects that have exasperated the lack of infrastructure improvements. I list for you Grandviews needs in no particular order of need which all should be completed in the next 5 years not ten.
- 24th Ave between 168st and 176st.
- 32nd Ave between 168 st and 176 st.
- 160th street between 24th and 32nd avenues
- 168th street between 24th and 32nd avenues
- 168th street between 24th and 16th avenues
- 164th street between 26th and 32nd avenues
- 16th Ave between hwy 99 and 176th
- Croyden is a dysfunctional mess for the completed projects and now multiple large high rises are proposed! Does anyone at City Hall look at the traffic mess we live with?
In addition to these upgrades lets also add to the list 2 seemingly updated arterial road areas that are already deeply congested. It is hard to believe that any quality and accurate planning was completed prior to their build.
- 24th street at Croyden Road. This is a complete dysfunctional mess.
- 32nd avenue which congests back across 152 street because the freeway entrance is completely dysfunctional.
All of the public services for Grandview are in serious shortcoming due to the massive building boom. The Surrey School Board has been vocal about the infrastructure short comings due to the massive building boom. The Province has only recently recognized the error of not building schools based on reality rather than some out dated modelling.
Councillor Starchuk and Councillor Woods with your backgrounds in Fire Security and Policing we would hope you can recognize the importance of proper infrastructure for Fire and Police to be able to do their jobs safely for themselves and the citizens they serve. Are the modest fire stations at 32nd and Croyden and the one at 176th and 20th avenue sufficient for the existing Grandview citizens not including the thousands of new citizens coming? These have been there for years with no expansion, in fact the fire stations at 32nd and Croyden have had their expansion eliminated due to a recently completed townhouse project surrounding it Are there any policing increases planned for Grandview, there currently is low visibility?
My Grandview home is in crisis. We can not emphasize strongly enough that we need urgent help.
We invite you to meet with us and let us show you the unliveable conditions we have described.