Thursday, August 13, 2020

What would you name the parklet at 5999 Production Way?

Unnamed parklet at the corner of Fraser Highway and Production Way

Since I’ve lived in Langley City, I’ve always been curious about the parklet at the corner of Fraser Highway and Production Way. How did it come into existence? And most importantly, why is it unnamed?

Location of unnamed parklet - 5999 Production Way. Select image to enlarge.

With so many serious things going on right now, sometimes it is good to have a little fun.

What would you name this parklet? Complete my Totally Unofficial Name-That-Park Survey. I’d like to know.

Complete the survey at: https://forms.gle/xn2B6isk6ErVh6uo9

I will of course share the results.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Official City Statement: Curb-side Recycling in Langley City

As I posted about in July, there was a recent change to residential recycling in Langley City. Through the provincial government’s Extended Producer Responsibility program, industrial sectors are responsible for recycling the products that they produce. For packaging and printing material, Recycle BC is the industry-funded organization that is responsible for residential recycling throughout the province. In Langley City, Recycle BC handles all single-family, townhouse, and apartment recycling. Langley City, the municipality, has no role in residential recycling. Neither property tax nor municipal fees are used to pay for recycling services in Langley City.

Single-Family Recycling Bins

Regardless, Langley City council and staff have received a number of complaints about the recent changes to the single-family curb-side recycling program for our community.

Langley City has released the following statement:

In 2014 the Province mandated that a producer-run recycling program be implemented as a means of incentivizing reduced packaging and waste by producers. As of January 2015, Recycle BC began overseeing single-family recycling collection in the City of Langley and the City was no longer involved in the curbside recycling collection program. At that time the City eliminated the recycling component of the utility fee on residential tax notices and the service is now provided at no cost to curbside collection customers.

The new contractor, GFL Environmental, is enforcing collection rules more vigilantly than had been done in the past. Recycle BC has determined that proper sorting is imperative to the success of the recycling program as contamination results in recycling being redirected to the landfill. This will mean that we all need to be more diligent in sorting our recyclables. For more information please visit https://recyclebc.ca/langley/.

If you have any questions or concerns about the curbside collection program, please contact the collection contractor, GFL Environmental, at 778.765.3662 or srrecycle@gflenv.com. If unsatisfied with their response, then contact Recycle BC at 778-588-9504; Toll Free 1-855-875-3596 or info@recyclebc.ca.

We recognize that this transition has presented some frustration to our residents. We all share the common goal of seeing this program succeed as it is an important piece in protecting our environment.

Thank you for your patience and your commitment to recycling during this transition period. For more information about garbage, recycling and organic waste in the City, visit https://langleycity.ca/city-services/engineering-parks-operations/garbage-green-bin-recycling

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Langley City and Surrey had highest transit usage in the South of Fraser

As I posted about last week, the number of people that used transit set a record in 2019. I also noted that the new 503 Fraser Highway Express which has limited stops between Surrey Central and Langley City, and provides local service to Aldergrove, was the fastest growing route in Metro Vancouver. This information is contained in TransLink’s 2019 Transit Service Performance Review.

TransLink has provided information on transit ridership by municipality, sub-region, transit service type, and route. The following table shows the average weekday boarding by municipality in 2019.

Municipality Average Daily Boardings Population Boardings Per Capita
Surrey 156717 584526 0.27
Delta 11072 109490 0.10
Langley Township 10768 130924 0.08
Langley City 5921 27718 0.21
White Rock 1327 21027 0.06
City of North Vancouver 30396 57325 0.53

I took TransLink’s data and combined it with the 2019 BC population estimates to get the boardings per capita. The higher the number, the more people in a municipality choose to use transit. This can be due to access to frequent transit routes; a good mix and number of shops, offices, schools and residents along corridors; and, good walking/cycling access to transit.

In the South of Fraser, Surrey had the most boardings per capita followed closely by Langley City. Delta, Langley Township, and White Rock had less than half the boardings per capita as Surrey and Langley City.

I also included the City of North Vancouver in this table. The City of North Vancouver is 11.8 square kilometers which is similar in size to Langley City. Like Langley City, it is also an urban centre. With SeaBus and bus service, the City of North Vancouver has more than double the boardings per capita as Langley City. This shows that we still have room to improve in Langley City.

Langley City’s proposed draft Official Community Plan is focused around building a city with transit and active transportation in mind. As we grow, I believe that we will continue to see more people choose to take transit.

We are in a pandemic right now, but Official Community Plans last for decades. Once we find a cure for COVID-19, people will continue to choose transit as a preferred way to get around in our region.

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Fraser Valley (including Langley) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in BC

Every week, the BC Centre for Disease Control releases an updated surveillance report for COVID-19 cases throughout the province. There is one set of maps that I have been paying close attention to:

Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Health Service Delivery Area of Case Residence. Select map to enlarge. Source: BC CDC

As you can see, Metro Vancouver is divided into five geographical sub-areas. Langley City is in “FS” or Fraser South. Our sub-area has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Metro Vancouver both in absolute numbers and as a rate per 100,000 population over the last 14 days.

We are right next to Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack which are in “FE” or Fraser East. In the last 14 days, this part of the province had the highest confirmed case count in BC and the highest rate per 100,000 population.

I’ve been following the rolling trend for Fraser South and Fraser East, these Health Service Delivery Areas have seen some of the highest numbers over the last month.

This next table shows the percentage distribution of the population of BC and select COVID-19 statistics by age range.

Percentage distribution of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths by age, compared to the general population of BC, January 1 – August 6, 2020. Select table to enlarge. Source: BC CDC

What is interesting to observe is the relationship between age and COVID-19 cases. People between the age of 20 and 39 are overrepresented when it comes to COVID-19 cases.

While there have been confirmed outbreaks, I have to wonder if some people feel that because they are “healthy” and do not live in the more densely populated areas of the Lower Mainland, that they have a lower chance of coming in contact with other people who could transmit COVID-19.

No matter where you are in BC, we must all follow the same guidelines: Hand washing, distancing, masks, and bubbles. House parties, dinner parties, and games nights are high-risk activities no matter where you live.

I meet up with friends at parks, and we kept our distance. This is a lower risk way to visit friends.

I miss getting together with friends at their homes, but I also do not want to get COVID-19, spread it, or put an older person at risk of hospitalization or death.

I know there are some people that will continue to ignore the recommendations of the BC CDC, but I hope that this number will shrink. While the number of COVID-19 active cases has increased in the last month, the number of hospitalizations has remained stable. This number needs to remain stable.