I’ve taken some shots at Surrey mayor Dianne Watts for complaining about transit in Surrey, when a big part of the problem is the intrinsic difficulty of building a good transit system for low-density sprawl.  So I was interested to find a few nuggets about Watts’ plans to build a city centre in Whalley in Ian Bailey’s piece on Watts in the weekend Globe.  Bailey’s pretty excited about handicapping a horserace that’s still many years away — if it ever happens at all — but he’s good enough to put some actual news in his article too:

The City Hall and a public square are to be done in about four years, eventually followed by a 1,600-seat performing arts centre and new central regional library. Streets will also be reshaped, and life brought to this sprawling city of five component communities, including Fleetwood, Guildford and Cloverdale.

City hall, a theater, a library, and a public square?  That’s sounds like a pretty good start to me.  But I’m really interested in how Watts and her people are thinking about “reshaping” streets.  Does that mean they’ll be looking at how to make streets around this downtown core more walkable?  No parking lots in front of the library?  Let’s hope so.

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