Time Running Out For Surrey To Make Its Voice Heard

Surrey residents have to be asking themselves: “What about us?” The city is on the verge of passing Vancouver as BC’s largest city, but when it comes to transportation, at least, Vancouver’s needs seem to come first.

First, the new rapid bus service over the new Port Mann Bridge bypassed Surrey, and now, Vancouver wants to build a $3 billion subway under Broadway out to UBC.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says that money could build three new LRT lines through Surrey, but she’d be happy with just one. Somehow, Surrey has to make itself heard above the competing bids for attention.

Fortunately, there is one way: The Urban Future Survey. When this legendary survey was first conducted in 1973, it helped set greater Vancouver on its path toward environmental protection, planning, protection of open space and a transit-oriented transportation system.

“This gave us as decision-makers the confidence to pursue policies that might have otherwise been dismissed as impractical, Utopian or too costly,” said former Vancouver mayor and former BC premier Mike Harcourt.

In 1990, the survey was updated. Once again, concerns over air and water pollution topped the list. Policy makers responded with AirCare, upgrades to wastewater treatment plants, and a doubling of our region’s park land.

Now in 2012, transportation is a major challenge, and the current survey will reflect the real attitudes of Metro Vancouver residents to transit versus the auto.

That is, if they participate. And time is running out. They only have until December 31st, the cut-off date for the 2012 edition.

The 2012 survey is being conducted online through PlaceSpeak, a new online public consultation platform developed in BC, and includes all Metro municipalities, from Surrey to Coquitlam.

So far, residents of Vancouver, New Westminster, the District of North Vancouver and Bowen Island have been active, but a sufficient number of Surrey residents to yield a representative sample have yet to take the survey.

To take the survey, Metro Vancouver residents must first verify their home address by registering with PlaceSpeak. The survey takes approximately 22 minutes to complete and can be found at www.placespeak.com/urbanfuturessurvey