Thursday, August 13, 2015

Safety first: proposals to enhance three crosswalks and one park in the City of Langley

One of the things that I’ve been trying to advocate for in the City of Langley is for safer streets for walking and cycling. Making streets safer for people to walk or cycle will attract even more people to these modes, further enhancing safety. There is safety in numbers. Besides the health, social, and environmental benefits that comes from walking or cycling, active modes of transportation are the most cost effective ways to get around for both residents and government.

One of the ways to create safer streets is to enhance crosswalks. The City of Langley’s Public Safety Advisory Committee recently made a recommendation to improve crosswalks at three locations in the city:

  • 54 Avenue and 203 Street;
  • 54 Avenue and 204 Street; and
  • Michaud Crescent at 201 Street.

Improving these crosswalks was researched by both City of Langley and ICBC staff. This three locations are being proposed to be included in the 2016 capital budget. ICBC noted at the Public Safety Advisory Committee meeting that they will help fund improving the 54 Avenue crosswalks if City Council approves the budget for these projects.

The two 54 Avenue crosswalks currently have unlit, overhead crosswalks signs and zebra stripes. Even so, people usually blow through them when they are driving. I experience near-misses of being hit when crossing at 54 Avenue and 203 Street weekly. ICBC has recommended flash lights that can be activated when crossing plus overhead lighting.

Michaud Crescent at 201 Street is currently an unmarked crossing. Most people in BC don’t know that any intersection is a legal crosswalk. Marking the crosswalk would clarify this for people driving at Michaud and 201.

ICBC has recommended that curb extensions, narrowing the road at a crosswalks to improve visibility of people walking, should be part of enhancing all three crossing locations. Hopefully City Council will approve the budget for this, and doesn’t cheap out.

On another safety topic, Rotary Centennial Park is located behind the Fraser Crossing Mall at Fraser Highway and the Langley Bypass. The park has no viability from any street, and is very isolated.

Location of Rotary Centennial Park. Select image to enlarge.

Because there is limited visibility into the park, the park's facilities have become frequent targets of vandalism. In addition, it has become a prime location for illegal activity. Recently, the park has also become an illegal campsite. The City is looking to complete a “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Review be commissioned to identify potential immediate and long term solutions to address the current undesirable environment at Rotary Centennial Park.” It will be interesting to see the recommendations of this review which I hope that City Council will act on.

For more information about the crosswalks and proposed CPTED study, check out the latest City of Langley Council agenda.

No comments: