Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Enhanced crosswalk coming to 45A Avenue. Understanding the extent of the speeding problem along 208th Street.

208th Street acts as a regional highway through Langley City even though it is not a provincial highway or part of TransLink’s Major Road Network. This road has a posted speed limit of 50km/h, but I know many people regard this speed limit as a suggestion.

For people who want to cross 208th Street by foot, the only safer locations in the past were Fraser Highway, 51B Avenue, 48 Avenue, and 44 Avenue. There is a significant distance between these locations, effectively cutting off the east end of the Uplands and Blacklock neighbourhoods from the rest of the City for people walking.

Between speeding and a lack of safer crosswalks, people’s quality of life along this corridor has been negatively impacted.

In 2018, City council approved, and City staff constructed an enhanced crosswalk at 50A Avenue, cutting the distance between safer crossing locations from about 750m to 440m between 51B Avenue and 48 Avenue, providing a significant time saving up to 5 minutes for people walking.

It is about 840 meters between the safer crossing locations of 48 Avenue and 44 Avenue. After a robust discussion at Monday afternoon’s council meeting, council approved building an enhanced crosswalk at 45A Avenue for a total cost of $140,139. Once built, it will reduce the distance to a safer crossing location to 570 meters, providing time savings up to 3 minutes for people walking.

Considering that most people will only walk about 10 minutes to a location, it is crucial to reduce walk times.

Council also passed the following motions that I put forward:

WHEREAS speeding is an on-going concern for residents along the 208th Street corridor;

WHEREAS police enforcement results in a short-term reduction in speeding at specific locations as police must be physically present at these locations;

WHEREAS speed cameras at intersections provide a long-term reduction in speeding at specific locations as they are always present;

WHEREAS Langley City has speed “flasher” signs which can record speeds at the 208th Causeway and 208th Street Hill;

WHEREAS speed cameras are installed and managed by the provincial government and its agencies; and

WHEREAS the provincial government and its agencies need evidence that speeding or crashes are significant issues along specific corridors before considering installing speed cameras at intersections:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Langley City staff activate the speed recording feature of the speed “flasher” signs along the 208th Street corridor; and

That Langley City staff present back to Council a report that shows the minimum, maximum, and 85th percentile speed for vehicles at the 208th Street corridor “flasher” sign locations over the data recording period.

This motion will lay the groundwork to lobby the provincial government to reduce speeding along 208th Street.

Finally, to reduce the risk of crashes at Grade Crescent and 208th Street, a restricted turn median was installed to prevent left turns from Grade Crescent onto 208th Street.

New median at 208th Street and Grade Crescent.

Over time, I hope that 208th Street will become a safer 50km/h corridor where residents that live on the east side of 208th Street feel connected to the rest of our community.

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