Monday, July 18, 2011

Overpasses in Langley

If you’ve driven up 200th Street lately, you’ll notice that there is a beautiful pedestrian overpass at 68th Avenue. It replaced a previous surface crosswalk because people did not stop for pedestrians. A traffic engineer told me that pedestrians tend to avoid overpasses whenever possible because of the work involved in climb up a bunch of stairs or a ramp; it's easier to cross at the surface. I wondering how successful this overpass will be. Los Vegas is the perfect example as they had to construct barricades to prevent people from cross at street-level.

Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard.
Surrey is another good example as they removed a pedestrian overpass at King George Boulevard and 152nd Street a few years ago. I’m not saying that this overpass is a bad idea, in fact, it's probably needed to help kids who need to get to the school which is on east side of the structure.

Speaking about overpasses, it looks like the 204th Street Overpass is having some negative externalities. I hear that one of Langley's larger employers may be looking to relocate due to the access issues created on Duncan Way which is now under the overpass. This follows the trend of other business that have left the area. While the overpass certainly helps move traffic along, this overpass like all overpasses, tend to create areas of blight. This is why I’m always a bit leery of their construction. While Langley is firmly committed to the construction of overpasses due to the rail line, I have to wonder if its fair that we are sacrificing parts of our community for the sake of moving stuff from China for Eastern Canada.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think they should punch through some more at grade roads. The issue with Langley isn't the overpass so much as the amount of train crossings. Outside of relocating the train line out of Langley Center, if they were to punch through some more connections then you'd have your answer.

The overpass was put in place to give access to emergency vehicles so they can get across the line during an emergency. You can't have an ambulance or fire truck sitting at a crossing waiting for a 200 car long train to pass. That's potential deaths right there.

But there are still very few ways in and out of Langley center. And the 204th overpass did make access to Duncan Way that much mroe difficult. Unfortunately due to the way business are situated south of the line you'd have some issue. There really should be a crossing at 202 street for example. I think 202 should be at grade punched through all the way to 201a. Langley center is really poorly designed when it comes to road infrastructure and when they put int he strip malls I don't think there was much thought put into traffic movement. That's why everyone crowds up and down 200th and it is an absolute nightmare 90% of the time.

Maybe the ultimate solution is simply relocating the train line outside of Langley center. Where would you run it though? Not many areas they could without cutting a huge swath through ALR. Only option I could see in relocation would be to divert it North at HWY 99 and have it run up and around Surrey along the SFPR. It would then pop out in Port Kells and meet up with the current line. Be some major reconstruction though but they could do it.