Monday, October 19, 2015

Slowing down traffic by Nicomekl Elementary School

53rd Avenue in the City of Langley was originally designed to be a Langley Bypass of sorts when it was built back before I was alive. When the actual Langley Bypass was built, the plan to make 53rd Avenue into a major thoroughfare was drop. Of course, the sections of 53rd Avenue that were built are wide enough to support a 4-lane highway; it is no surprise that people regularly drive with speeds that far exceed the 50km/h speed limit along the corridor. I live along 53rd Avenue, and can attest to the high speed of motor vehicles along that road.

Nicomekl Elementary School fronts 53rd Avenue at the corner of 200th Street. At 201A Street, there is a marked zebra-striped crosswalk. People driving regularly ignore the crosswalk, and routinely disregard the 30km/h school zone and playground zone. The City of Langley recently installed a speed limit sign that tells you when you're driving too fast, but this has had minimal impact on vehicle speeds.

Residents along 53rd Avenue submitted numerous requests to have the City of Langley traffic calm the area around the school, and improve the visibility of the crosswalk at 201A Street.

The City sent out ballots to residents in the area, and found that 79% of them supported traffic calming. Because of this, City staff hosted an open house in September to present serval traffic calming options for people to choose.

Option 1:
Speed Tables
Curb Extensions
Raised Crosswalk
Cost: $49,000

Option 2
Speed Tables
Curb Extensions
Raised Crosswalk
Bike Lane
Cost: $52,000

Option 3
Speed Tables
Cost: $9,000

Option 4
Speed Tables
Raid Crosswalk
Cost: $18,000

Proposed traffic calming option that received the most support from residents near 53 Avenue by Nicomekl Elementary School. Select image to enlarge.

The majority of the residents picked option 2 which includes bike lanes. One of the side benefits of bike lanes is that their painted lines actually cause people driving to slow down further as people driving perceive the vehicle travel lane to be narrower than it actually is.

I’ve been advocating for a community where people can feel safe walking and cycling. Looking at the results of this open house, it seems that I am not alone. I hope that Langley City Council supports option 2 for the section of 53rd Avenue between 200th Street and 201A Street at tonight's council meeting.

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