Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Traffic (de)calming in the Township of Langley

Nobody likes people cutting through their neighbourhood, but everyone likes cutting through other people's neighbourhoods. To address rat running through neighbourhoods in the Township of Langley, the Township has a Traffic Calming program. The program allows a concerned citizen to get their neighbourhood traffic calmed if 50% + 1 of the local area residents support calming.

Traffic Calming being installed at 98th Avenue and 203rd Street (May 2009).

Prior to the completion of the Golden Ears Bridge in 2006, local residents were concerned about traffic cutting through their neighbourhood in the area. In response, the Township of Langley traffic calmed their neighbourhood. Now two years later in a “have your cake and eat it too” moment, the residents are back demanding that the traffic calming be removed as not only does traffic calming slow down “rat runners” (or in this case heavy industrial traffic,) but it also slows down people who live in the neighbourhood. The Township balloted the neighbourhood and found that about 54% supported removing the traffic calming; not a very strong majority. As the Township noted that the cost of removing the traffic calming would be the same or more than the installation costs, they are recommending that the traffic calming policy be amended to require 67% support to add or remove traffic calming. Increasing required support to the pre-2009 level of 67% will ensure that only neighbourhoods that truly support traffic calming will receive it and likewise only neighbourhoods strongly oppose calming will have it removed. The 98th Avenue traffic calming/de-calming could cost the Township more than $200,000 if the weak 50% + 1 mandate is allowed to stand. Talk about waste!

1 comment:

Blair said...

This is less an issue with traffic calming and more an issue of incredibly badly designed (and confusing) traffic calming. I live a few blocks away and run the area regularly so thought I had a sense of how to get around. I then tried to visit a house for sale in the neighbourhood and got stuck in a confusing series of wrong turns and wrong directions. Even with Google Maps it is challenging to plan your route.

The issue in this case is that traffic calming should not turn a neighbourhood into a maze that only the most highly trained can circumnavigate.