Thursday, April 4, 2013

Township of Langley Cycling Update

Last night, I attended the third annual Greater Langley Cycling Coalition’s stakeholders meeting. This is a chance for all organizations in Langley that have an interest in cycling and cycling infrastructure to get together and share what they are up to. The Township of Langley’s transportation department was at last night’s meeting and shared the progress they are making on cycling infrastructure improvements in that community. The Township provided an overview of the projects completed in 2012, and the projects they plan to work on in 2013. I’d like to share some of the highlights.

-Completed 224 Street Shoulder Widening
-Completed 48 Avenue and 222 Street Bike Lanes
-Received funding for Allard Crescent Shoulder Bikeway

-Complete 200 Street Bike Lanes (72 Avenue to 86 Avenue)
-Complete Fraser Highway Bike Lanes (228 Street to 264 Street)
-Complete 96 Avenue Shoulder Bikeway (204 Street to Glover Road)
-Complete 40 Avenue Shoulder Bikeway (200 Street to 240 Street)
-Complete Glover Road Shoulder Bikeway (Highway 10 to Mavis Avenue)
-Complete 48 Avenue Cycling Project (210 Street to 222 Street)
-Complete a 5 year cycling infrastructure funding plan with an open house for the plan scheduled in June 2013

As you can see, 2013 will be a busy year for cycling projects in the Township. Right now the Township of Langley sets aside about $160,000 for cycling infrastructure improvements in the community. This is over and above the money spent on building shared off-street trails and money spent on incorporating cycling infrastructure into major road capital projects. The Township of Langley is working on developing a 5 year cycling infrastructure funding plan, and part of that plan will also be to ask Township council to double their annual investment in cycling infrastructure. This is important because the Township relies on grants from TransLink, the provincial and federal governments, to build cycling infrastructure. Most of these funding programs are fund-matched. So every municipal dollar spent on cycling infrastructure could actually translate into two dollars of infrastructure. The proposed increase in municipal funding for cycling in the Township is a positive sign, and should be a wake-up call for the City of Langley, which spends $0 annually on cycling-only projects (though they do build cycling infrastructure into major road capital projects.) I’m pretty excited about the future of cycling in the Township of Langley.

One last general observation about cycling infrastructure in the Township of Langley, is the plan to build an extensive network of off-street, shared-use trails and on-street bike lanes in the urban parts of the community, and provide well-signed, wide shoulders for cyclists in the rural parts of the community. I think the most exciting part of the plan will be the build-out of the off-street network as research shows this is how to attract people to cycling.

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