Afternoon rush hour on Highway 1 near McCallum Road, on June 23, 2016. (Dan Ferguson/ Black Press)

Fraser Valley traffic congestion going under the microscope with provincial study

Growing FV region needs ‘mobility enhancements’ for economic growth, livability, says province

The problem of traffic congestion in the Fraser Valley is going under the microscope.

B.C.’s ‘Restart Plan’ includes a new transportation planning study for the valley that will zero in on traffic congestion and transportation demand.

“We know that more and more people are choosing the Fraser Valley to live, work and raise their children,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a release.

Decisions on transportation and development in the region impact every part of the province, as well as the valley, in terms of economic recovery, trade network resilience and housing, so traffic solutions are key.

The Fraser Valley Transportation Study will help develop new transit and transportation networks, invest in solutions that support both regional growth and liveability, and build on existing data and studies.

Local governments have been lobbying provincial reps to do something concrete about the unrelenting traffic congestion for years, including a big push in favour of highway widening efforts.

“One of the most significant challenges facing the City of Abbotsford and for the Fraser Valley region continues to be transportation,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun. “We know that effective and efficient transportation systems generate employment and economic development, as well as job creation for local communities.

The study will provide “useful” data, as economic growth is contingent upon a “safe, reliable and efficient multi-modal transportation network; especially as communities look to expand markets for our key local sectors, such as manufactured goods, agri-foods and aerospace,” Braun added.

The study will look for effective ways to reduce future traffic congestion, increasing worker mobility, cutting commute times, and managing traffic demand.

Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove praised the study initiative that’s getting underway, noting it recognized challenges and opportunities for transportation and land-use planning in the Fraser Valley.

City of Chilliwack officials have been anticipating this study since February when the provincial government presented its 2020 budget and introduced the notion of “Fraser Valley Integrated Transportation and Land Use Plan.”

“We have seen a dramatic increase in highway traffic from Langley to Chilliwack as more people move to our community from Metro Vancouver,” Popove said. “Chilliwack also serves as a major rest stop for truck drivers transporting goods throughout the province, creating additional congestion on an already overfilled highway.”

“We hope the province will continue to work in close collaboration with local government on their plan,” Popove said.

The Fraser Valley Regional district has been playing a significant role in the lead-up to the study and has been vocal about the region’s needs on behalf of local governments.

FVRD officials fired off a letter to the MOTH arguing the province: “must expedite the widening of Highway 1 to support HOV/bus lanes as a means of improving the viability of transit, improving public safety and supporting the broader Fraser Valley and provincial economy; and that the Province work in collaboration with the Fraser Valley Regional District and member municipalities to ensure that Fraser Valley interests and requirements are fully reflected in the plan.”

Feedback is being sought from residents, business owners, and the province is working with local governments and First Nations.

“Findings will inform transportation and development projects that consider trade corridor needs,” according to Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson. “We want to focus on continuing to create a good quality of life for citizens in the Fraser Valley, and we are asking what solutions will contribute to this in a positive way.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack’s love affair with the car continues

READ MORE: South of Fraser Community Rail still pushing


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Fraser Valley Regional DistrictProvincial GovernmentTransportation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Family of Maple Ridge police shooting victim still pushing for inquest

Kyaw Din’s family critical of IIO finding police not guilty of wrongdoing

Green Party announces candidate for Maple Ridge-Mission

Trenholm running for first time in a closely contested riding

Air quality across the Lower Mainland could worsen slightly

AQ health index could see ‘low risk’ gravitate into ‘moderate risk’ from Vancouver to Hope

Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge invited to take part in virtual National Seniors Day gathering

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons invites people to take part in an Oct. 1 event online

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read