Abbotsford wants light rail

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The Abbotsford public wants light rail! (didn’t we already know this?)

And according to newspaper feedback, clearly there is a clamouring for the return of the interurban – AND WHY NOT – we could have an initial regular service, inexpensively, within 2 years.

I think the public understands that the Interurban track is not “the perfect alignment,” but better to get started NOW on the track to sustainability, than to wait another 20 years!

Article from the Abbotsford News:

Å desire for improved light rail in the Fraser Valley has so far dominated the responses made by the public to the Abbotsford News, as part of our Path Ahead campaign.

With B.C. and the nation facing turbulent economic times in 2009, newspapers throughout the Black Press chain are asking the public what they believe will be the best ways to jump-start the economy.

With key industries experiencing financial challenges, fewer job opportunities and residents curtailing their spending, the question is timely.

Judging by the responses to date, available at http://www.abbynews.com, an improved light rail system is almost the unanimous choice of local residents.

“With rising oil prices, a transitioning economy, growing population and increasing environmental concerns, light rail transit is a must have for the southern Fraser Valley,” username “live2ride” writes, describing the project as a “no-brainer.”

“I really believe that one of the best investments the federal government can make is to accelerate the restoration of the Interurban,” continues “caseysman.” “A modern passenger rail system will help get people into Vancouver during the Olympics, and facilitate sustainable development in the Fraser Valley for decades to come.”

According to “tugboat,” a rail system would “bring the entire valley together.”

“OldAbbyDave,” meanwhile, supports the construction of a new light rail train station in downtown Abbotsford.

“Kodii” says Abbotsford may have to be content with improvements to the McCallum and Clearbrook Interchanges, and an extension to the airport runway, as “those are going to bring jobs now.”

Kodii agrees, however, that the number one priority should be a project to connect Abbotsford to Vancouver, preferably a light rail system.

Public comments for the Path Ahead initiative are still being welcomed at http://www.abbynews.com.

One note regarding the comment by Kodii: initial upgrading of the Interurban track, including track surfacing, replacement ties, ballast upgrade, rail replacement, and the installation of crossings, is necessary for regular high-speed light rail service, and can be done immediately, creating many local jobs. A shovel-ready, shovel-worthy project.

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