Monday, March 17, 2008

Letter To The Editor - Mar 17, 2008 - From Ed Monteith - RE: IMPROVING TRAFFIC FLOW IN SOUTH LANGLEY

While listening to CKNW Radio on Thursday, March 13, I heard the traffic reporter saying that he was quite surprised by the heavy truck traffic using 16th Avenue. At the time he was reporting about the road rage incident where a young man was run down by a white Ford pick-up. He remarked that for a rural collector road, it sure looked awfully busy. This is not the first time that I have heard someone comment about the constant rush of traffic on that narrow east/west roadway, and the dangers that the situation presents.

I then read in the Wednesday edition of the Times, that the Langley City Engineering Department expressed the opinion that using speed bumps to solve a traffic hazard at a corner on 44th Avenue is not likely in the cards. They are apparently discouraged form any use of speed bumps on collector roads. An interesting comment I thought, given that Zero Avenue is a Minor Collector Road that was speed bumped by our thoughtless township council because of pressure from the few residents with frontage on this road. I have always considered them as rather selfish in their attitude to fellow Langley residents, and not the best of neighbors. They seemed to think that the people living on 16th Avenue should simply accept the traffic that chose that route rather than beat the heck out of their vehicles. They are NIMBYS of the first category in my opinion.

There has been taxpayer money allocated to put in a traffic circle at 16th Avenue and 216th Street due to the high accident rate at that intersection. I think, like others, that this will indeed reduce the number of fatal accidents at that intersection. Over the coming years, as they build more of these circles along 16th Avenue, we will probably see fewer serious accidents along its whole length. The downside is that we can look forward to two problems as a result. The first one is that the traffic circles will slow the traffic quite noticeable at each intersection where a circle is installed. The second one is that as the years pass, and the numbers of circles increase, the traffic will also increase to the point where it approaches gridlock. In the meantime Zero Avenue traffic remains purposely discouraged, and is little used in spite of the fact that it could easily handle a much heavier share of the east/west traffic! That’s plain and simple logic, yet it seems not to be understood by Mayor Alberts and his faithful circle of councilors.

What kind of wake up call will it take to get the attention of councilors Ferguson, Kositsky, Vickberg, Ward, and Mayor Alberts? Will it be when another parent experiences her daughter’s life lost because a careless young driver does not notice a speed bump, and catapults end over end as a result? I saw the aftermath of that needless tragedy, and I am still haunted by it.

Ed Monteith

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