Wednesday, June 17, 2020

June 15 Council Meeting: Updating Traffic Calming Policy. Allowing Mid-Block Crosswalks. Washroom Vandalism.

Over the last few years, Langley City has been busy installing traffic calming throughout the community, focused around parks and schools. The City receives a steady stream of traffic calming requests from residents.

There was no formal policy in place for how residents could request traffic calming for an area. Council approved an updated traffic calming policy which now includes a formal traffic calming investigation process.

A resident will need to get 10 signatures or 50% of residents (whichever is less) in an area that would benefit directly from traffic calming. This is a low barrier, but a barrier nonetheless to ensure that there is some level of support for traffic calming.

If the required signatures are received, City staff will complete a traffic assessment to determine if traffic calming would be appropriate for an area. If traffic calming is appropriate, staff would develop a plan and present it to residents in the area to be traffic calmed to receive at least 50% support. If this support is received, it would go to City council for approval.

Because traffic calming is in high demand, requests are prioritized. Areas near parks and schools receive the highest prioritization for traffic calming.

An example of a mid-block crosswalk.

One of the other common requests from residents is to install mid-block crosswalks. Some example locations for mid-block crosswalks include near Penzer Park to connect the Powerline Trail, at Grade Crescent to connect the Pleasantdale Creek Trail, and near Brydon Lagoon at 53 Avenue.

The City had an old policy which made it cost-prohibitive to install mid-block crosswalks. This policy was from 1986. I was extremely pleased that council repealed this policy on Monday. This will now allow mid-block crosswalks following modern best practices to be installed.

Council discussed using solar power for crosswalk flasher, and anywhere where it could be used. We passed a motion to ask staff to consider using solar power wherever it is feasible.

On the topic of traffic safety, council was informed that the tall grass that is planted near intersections along 56th Avenue (between Glover Road and the Langley Bypass) will be relocated to Uplands Dog Park. This will improve sightlines. The grass will be replaced will other shorter plants.

Finally, there has been significant and on-going vandalism to the washrooms at Penzer Park. People are kicking-in the washroom doors at night to vandalism them, resulting in costly repairs.

Langley City crews recent replaced the washroom doors at Linwood Park with reinforced, outward-opening doors to reduce vandalism. This has been successful in reducing vandalism. Council approved doing the same thing to the Penzer Park washroom doors for a cost of $15,249.

The Rotary Centennial Park washrooms will also be receiving these doors to allow the washrooms to be re-opened this summer.

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