Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Township of Langley Planning Staff Are Swtiched ON

I make it a habit of attending the Township of Langley special and regular council meetings. Yes, I do have a life! But I find a wealth of information about our community in these meetings. If we are going to advocate for something, then we should understand the big picture and we also have lots to learn from mayor, council and staff if we are open to listen.

At yesterday's Special Council Meeting at the Township, there was a fairly quiet, but dynamic thing that took place. While most people might overlook its real impact and significance, it did not go unnoticed by me. A member of our community is looking to develop an adult community in the Jericho/Latimer neighbourhood area, not far from the new Langley Events Centre. This development will be very unique in that it would include a "Health Care Co-Op". The man who's family owns the land assures me that this would be "real health care" and will not compete with the present government system. He's also very interested in Light Rail Transit. Stay tuned as I've asked him for more information on this health care co-op concept and will Blog about it just as soon as I get the information.

Now back to the council meeting.... In the discussions related to this project, Paul Crawford, Manager of Long Range Planning for the Township prepared a report that you can read in its entirety here. In this report to council, Mr. Crawford presented options for the planning and development of this area. The significant thing is, Township staff are recommending that these plans be carefully laid in order to preserve the future 200th Street Transit Corridor, and to include dedicated cycling and walking areas, as well as pedestrian crossings. The report speaks of Rapid Bus, and we at SFOT would love for it to be streetcars, but we are pleased to see staff taking some great initiative here. Besides, plans for buses can always change to streetcars quickly :)

Staff and Mr. Crawford are speaking here about that concept we have mentioned often here - complete roads. Roads that support inter-modal transportation options and planning for a sustainable community in this area. The concern is to preserve plans for proper density and design of buildings that are complimentary and sustainable.
... as it is important therefore, that the 200th Street corridor be planned as a complete unit with a consistent vision that ensures that the uses, densities and design of buildings are complementary and sustainable, that 200th Street is designed to function as a transit corridor, that future development is appropriately designed to relate to 200 Street and that pedestrian and cyclist movements are integrated into the plan.
Thank you Paul Crawford and Township Planning Staff. Well done! Nice to see the Township switched on and moving in a terrific direction that will create sustainable communities with practical and diverse transit options. Thanks to Jason Chu, Strategic Planner at the Township of Langley for helping me to find the report and that goldmine in the Township website!

Traffic Calming
In other council news, the Township has experimented with a couple of area radar unit signs that display current speed to area drivers. The units have served the community well as traffic calming devices. Paul Cordeiro, Manager, Transportation Engineering with the Township reported that they have located some neat mobile units that can be moved around to different areas and will cost just $15K each. The Township will be purchasing four (4) these mobile units, which incidentally are solar powered. Great stuff! Money well-spent!

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