July 24, 2006

Not your father's suburbs

SkyTrain opened in 1985. Twenty-one years later, the suburbs along the line have come of age. Looking northwest from atop a building at Gateway in Surrey:

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  1. Surrey is more dense that most people think, though dense in a very car-dependent way. Still there is time and hope that it can be made better.
    Alas, I was driving out to Mission last weekend (yes, I know, driving) and saw a huge new suburban development along the highway on the eastern side of Langley. Huge. On perhaps the edge of the ALR.
    So this is why we are twinning the Port Mann, I thought. It is not so that we can ease up traffic for the existing residents south of the Fraser. It is so that more suburbs can be built, which brings money to local municipalities (and correct me if I’m wrong, subsidized by the rest of us through the GVRD infrastructure). That these new developments, likely spurred by the prospect of a twinned Port Mann will also clog it in short order, seems completely lost to those stewing in gridlock on their morning commute.

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