Thursday, July 9, 2009

News in Langley

It has been a busy news week in civicness in Langley. First off, BC Hydro has preserved the passenger right on the Interurban alignment through Langley.

Second, it seems that the 208th Street corridor and the Downtown Master Plan are causing a bit of a storm in the City. I’ll start off with the Downtown Master Plan.

I’m a big supporter of downtown plan as it will help Langley City become more accessible for sustainable transportation. There is tons of underutilized, grayness in the core of the City that is screaming for new development. The site in question that has people upset is the Langley Prairie School site. Last year, the City demolished the heritage school that was on that site. Now they have put out a public offering for the site. I’m sure people still have the memories of last year's demolishing fresh in their minds. It would appear that the main concern is the perceived loss of “view” that comes with higher density developments. That is a valid concern and an issue that Vancouver has dealt with for some time. I also believe there is a bit of we-don’t-want-change-becauseness as well. The City's Spirit Square is the perfect example. Some people got very upset that there was going to be change at Douglas Park. After the square was built, people are happy. I think that once people start to see the benefit of living in a revitalized Downtown Langley, they will be more open to change.

208th Street is another issue. The City staff wanted to restrict left turn access from/to 208th Street at 46A Avenue and 208/Newlands Drive due to a high collision rate. This is now a political no-go, and it's back to the drawing board for City staff. One good thing about the 208th Street improvement will be the provisioning of proper bike lanes.

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