Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 26, 2017 Council Meeting Notes: Investing in bringing positive activities into Downtown Langley during the day and evening

Downtown Langley is the heart of our community. Besides being a place to shop, it is the civic centre of Langley. As such, it is the place where people gather, celebrate, relax, protest, and remember.

I’ll be honest, there is negative activity that occurs in our community and in our downtown. While Langley City is a safe community —we invest significant dollars into policing— policing alone will not bring positive activity to a community.

One of the most effective tools to reduce the perception of crime, and reduce negative activity, is to bring positive activity to an area. This is one of the reasons why Langley City council decided at its Monday night meeting to invest $45,000 (in cooperation with the Downtown Langley Business Association which will be investing an additional $10,000) this year to bring more positive activities into our core through a series of new initiatives. These new initiatives are as follows:

McBurney Plaza Activities: Several tables and chairs and a piano will be set up at McBurney Plaza for public use from 9 am to 7 pm in July and August. “Big” games will be offered by the City’s recreation staff during lunch time 2 days per week in July and August from 10 am to 2pm.

Laneway Activation: Transform Fuller Lane into a space to socialize and play. Brightening up the space with mural(s) on walls, additional lighting, pavement marking for activities (e.g. basketball), install a basketball net, and keeping the space clean and enjoyable with more frequent street sweeping.

An example of laneway activation in Downtown Vancouver. More information: http://hcma.ca/project/more-awesome-now/

Pilot Parklet Program: Provide a place for people to sit, relax, and enjoy the City during the summer months from May to October of each year. The City will construct a parklet at a designated location as a pilot project and the parklet will be ‘adopted’ by local businesses for use by their patrons and the general public.

An example of a parklet: 3876 Noriega Street Parklet in San Francisco. Source: San Francisco Planning Department

Pilot Evening Activities: A night market is a perfect way to spend a weekend evening during the summer. The night market is fun for the whole family, offering everything from food trucks to live music to shopping and games for the kids. It is envisioned that the north side of McBurney Plaza will be adult oriented and it will be used as the entertainment area while the south side of McBurney Plaza will be used by vendors for the night market. Wine serving will be offered within the entertainment area.

Traditionally, there hasn’t been many public events in the evening in our core. A night market will hopefully be just the first of many events to make our downtown a fun and inviting place during the evening.

These new initiatives will further cement Downtown Langley as a place where there is always something positive, fun, and interesting going on, enhancing the role of our downtown as the true centre of Langley. I’m very excited about these projects, and I will certainly support more projects like these in our core in the future.

Tomorrow and Thursday, I will be posting about the other items covered at Monday night’s council meeting.

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