Getting ahead of the train, instead of being run over by it.
That’s how Langley City’s council and senior officials see their new Nexus of Community plan, developed in advance of the arrival of light rail from Surrey.
It could be eight to 10 years before the light rail line from Surrey is extended to Langley City. But the City is planning now. What kind of a community will greet the rail line, and the new opportunities and disruptions it will bring?
It certainly won’t be without challenges. Other communities have had issues with crime around SkyTrain stations. And the construction of the line itself is likely to disrupt local traffic patterns.
But the benefits are easy to see. Thousands of residents will have new options when it comes to getting to and from work, school, and recreation. People from Vancouver, Burnaby, and the Tri-Cities will have the opportunity to discover Langley.
The goal of the next decade, for the Township and Surrey as well as the City, is to make sure the downsides are accounted for and the benefits maximized.
Kicking enough loose change out of TransLink to properly fund bus connections to the new train is vital. The City’s plans include other worthy goals, such as creating more walkable communities with gathering places. But we also need to ensure interconnectivity between City and Township, and our neighbours in Surrey. That may even mean shared infrastructure – always difficult, but worth it in the end if we can also share the benefits when the rail line comes to town.