Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MoT and Setbacks

I snapped the following pictures on the weekend about a government jurisdictional sign that I saw on 200th Street by the Langley Bypass to give you an idea of how much control the Ministry of Transportation has in the area.

Ministry of Transportation Boundary on 200th Street

Looking North, Langley Bypass in the Distance

Most people don't know this, but the Ministry of Transportation has something called controlled areas. A controlled area "is the area within a radius of 800 metres from the intersection of a controlled access highway with any other highway [this is any public road]. This power ensures that local government rezonings within Controlled Areas do not affect the integrity of provincial highways in developed areas."

The Langley Bypass is a controlled access highway. With the Ministry's mandate to move as much much traffic as possible on the Langley Bypass, it comes as no surprise that we have the kind of big-box development along that route today. Thanks to regulations, I don't believe that the Ministry of Transportation would even be allowed to make the Lanlgey Bypass more livable. I've talked about provincial highways before, but I truly believe that a urban provincial highway standard needs to be developed that balances provincial transportation needs with local livability. When I was in Europe and in San Fransisco, I saw boulevards that allowed for both local and through-traffic use. It would be great to see this kind of thing in BC.

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