Wednesday, December 17, 2014

City of Langley applying to feds for 203rd Street bridge widening and bike lanes

When I ran for Langley City Council this fall, one of the things that I heard from people in the community is that they are concerned about the volume of automobile traffic flowing through their neighbourhoods. People were resigned to the fact that 200th Street and 208th Street were major thoroughfares, but people wanted safe streets in the rest of the community: streets that are safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists; streets where children could ride their bikes or walk to school; streets where seniors don’t have to worry about being mowed down.

At the last council meeting, City Council unanimously passed a motion to apply to the Federal Build Canada fund for various projects along 203rd Street. The Build Canada fund is the major federal infrastructure funding program for local governments in Canada. This federal program could cover up to one third the cost of the projects the City has submitted.

The City of Langley will be bundling $2.6 million in projects which include:

-Upsizing Watermain - 203 Street from Grade Crescent to 49A Ave to support re-development
-Rehab and add capacity by widening 203 St Nicomekl Bridge – widen for the multi-use pathway (MUP) including bike lane
-Paving 203 Street – Grade Crescent to north approach of Nicomekl Bridge
-Adding bicycle infrastructure on 203 Street from Grade Crescent to 56 Ave/Douglas Cres
-Decommission/abandon 965m of AC Watermain
-Replace AC Sewer on 203 St from Grade Crescent to 49A Ave

While I’m excited to see that the City is working toward putting cycling infrastructure along 203rd, I’m hoping that they will be separated bike lanes. Regular curb bike lanes have not been found to be effective in encouraging the majority of people to cycle. This would be a great chance to provide a much needed north/south bikeway in the City. I hope council doesn't squander this opportunity if they get federal funding.

I’m also concerned about what widening the Nicomekl Bridge means. I’m sure people along 203rd won’t be too thrilled if their street becomes a 4-lane thoroughfare.

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