Township of Langley Council passed a motion to look at 200th Street as a high density corridor a few years ago though this initiative hasn't really gotten off the ground. The Township finds itself in a bit of a catch 22. Without density TransLink (on a good day) will not provide service, but without transit it’s harder to make the case for density. Of course a lack of transit should not be used as an excuse to prevent an area from becoming pedestrian and cyclist friend. Recently a proposed office development at 8506 200 Street came to Public Hearing in the Township.
|Proposed Development at 8506 200 Street|
The development is consistent with the current plans for 200th Street, but one of the alarming "features" of this project is the huge parking lot. Research shows that large parking lots are right up there with blank concrete walls in dissuading people from walking or cycling. In the City of Langley, for example, all residential parking is essential required to be underground. This creates a pedestrian friendly environment. The Township should seriously look at making structured parking a requirement for areas like 200th Street which they eventually want to see transformed into an urban corridor because right now it seems like more land is being wasted on parking than actual buildings which generate jobs for people and income for the municipality. The Township should also consider free-market priced on-street parking to ensure that retail businesses always have some spots available along their block. Interesting enough, on-street parking actually makes pedestrians feel safer because it provides a buffer between them and busy traffic.