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Surrey residents concerned about new route planned through popular park

Click to play video: 'Plans for new road irk Surrey residents'
Plans for new road irk Surrey residents
WATCH: Surrey residents are angry that a proposed new road will go through a popular park. Catherine Urquhart reports – Jun 2, 2017

Surrey residents are outraged by the city’s plans for a new road because it cuts right through their beloved green space.

Hawthorne Park is considered a green oasis by many Surrey residents. Located between Guildford and Whalley, it’s a place to walk, picnic and enjoy nature.

But today, crews were busy removing trees — something the angry neighbours fear may signal the road is a done deal.

“They are taking trees out because of the road,” resident Steven Pettigrew told Global News. “That’s exactly what’s going on here. Where is our input? Where is the feedback from the community?”

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This, as the city says it’s beginning consultations on a new roadway right through the park.

The proposed two-lane road would connect 105A Avenue with 105 Avenue on the other side of Hawthorne Park. In addition, there would be a two-lane southbound roadway linking it to 104th Avenue.

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City officials say the road would provide improved connectivity.

As for the tree removal, they claim it’s happening now to avoid summer heat, thus improving chances of survival.

They deny the blocks-long stretch of blacktop is a certainty.

“There’s nothing in terms of a decision of the exact alignment yet,” the City of Surrey’s transportation planning manager Phillip Bellefontaine said. “We have been doing preparatory work, identifying what trees may be affected and what properties may be impacted.”

Residents fought a similar road through Hawthorne Park in 1986 and won. Now, they’re vowing to do it again.

More than 1,100 people have signed a petition and plan to turn out in force at a public meeting Wednesday at Guildford Park Secondary.

–With files from Catherine Urquhart

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