Monday, December 19, 2016

Building better streets in the City of Langley: 56 Avenue, 201A Street, and 203 Street

The City of Langley has several roads that are highway-sized, yet have traffic levels which could be comfortably handled by a side street. These streets were built in an era where roads like 53rd Avenue were planned to handle traffic volumes similar to the Langley Bypass. This never happened, nor will happen now.

These highway-sized roads create some challenges such as people treating them like speedways, but they also provide tremendous opportunity. 203rd Street is a great example. This highway-sized street has been redesigned with wider sidewalks, protecting bike lanes, parking, and narrower travel lanes which encourage people to keep the speed limit.

203rd Street of the past. Select image to enlarge. Source: Google Street View.

203rd Street today with wider sidewalks, protecting bike lanes, narrower travel lanes, and parking. Select image to enlarge.

With the recent week of snow, it has been interesting to see how people use our roads. I snapped the following pictures last night.

Parallel parking on 201A Street in the snow. Select image to enlarge.

This street is officially parallel parking only, but as you can see, people are angle-parking. The road is so wide that you could support angle-parking on both sides of the street, and still have room for travel lanes. The following picture shows where people actually drive on that road.

Snow on 201A street shows which part of the street is not used for travel. Select image to enlarge.

As you can see by the snow, there are whole sections of the road that aren’t used. This extra space could be used in the future for wider sidewalks, protected bike lanes, and more parking.

The City of Langley will be replacing the watermain and storm sewer under 56th Avenue between Glover Road and the Langley Bypass. 56th Avenue is a highway-sized street. As the pavement will need to be replaced anyways because of the underground work, it is a good opportunity to rethink the design of this street.

This is what 56th Avenue looks like today.

56th Avenue today. Select image to enlarge. Source: Google Street View.

This is what is being proposed for 56th Avenue.

Proposed plan for 56th Avenue, east of 206th Street. Select image to enlarge.

Proposed plan for 56th Avenue at Salt Lane. Select image to enlarge.

The City of Langley is seeking your feedback on the design. You can find out more information at the City’s website, and feedback will be accepted until December 23rd.


Unknown said...

I think this type of forward thinking is going to be very beneficial to the residents of this section of road and would love it to be applied along 51b ave from 208th west to 203rd to provide traffic calming along this highway sized corridor that regularly sees high speed traffic and excessive noise .

Anonymous said...

The bike lanes for 56th Avenue should be placed between curb and parking lanes.

jim said...

I agree with anonymous, except I'd like to add that there needs to be a buffer between the bike lane and the parking lane. Otherwise it is a door zone bike lane and it is more dangerous then it was with the current layout. There is room to do that.