Children participating in the HUB Learn2Ride program at the 2016 MEC Langley BikeFest.
2016was a very exciting and busy year for the members of the HUB Langley Committee.
We've been extremely fortunate to have had opportunity to meet and work with a lot of very passionate and dedicated people in both the City of Langley and the Township of Langley (and a few other municipalities) who want to see better cycling infrastructure and are working hard to make it happen.
Here are a few of the highlights and accomplishments of 2016:
- The year started off on a sad note as City of Langley Councillor Dave Hall, an avid transportation cyclist and staunch supporter of cycling in Langley succumbed to a fight with cancer on January 4th. A few weeks previous he had resigned from council. Councillor Hall very much encouraged the efforts of the HUB Committee and he will be greatly missed by all.
- Had our first ever meeting with Township of Langley Engineering.
- We had our first meeting with the Langley District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC).
- We received notification that we were awarded a City of Langley Community Grant for which we had previously applied. The funding allowed our committee to offer a HUB Learn2Ride program at the 2016 MEC Langley Bikefest. A huge thank you to the City of Langley for their generosity as it helped us to get bike safety training to 42 children.
- Attended our first stakeholder meeting with the City of Langley to discuss the 203rd Street Project.
- We provided our first letter of support to the City of Langley for upcoming work on the 203rd Street Project.
- Moreno Zanotto gives a presentation about BikeMaps.org at our monthly meeting.
- Provided the City of Langley with a letter of support for the 48th Avenue project.
- Committee purchases action camera to use with Road Assessment Rides.
- We ask the City of Surrey to host a tri-municipal meeting with engineering departments from Surrey, City of Langley, and the Township of Langley. It's the first time in history that the engineering departments from all three cities meet together at the same time. The meeting is a huge success and opens a dialogue about cycling connectivity between the three municipalities.
- We conduct our Committee's first ever Road Assessment Ride - 203rd Street from Michaud Crescent to Grade Crescent.
- Our first ever meeting with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (216th Interchange Project).
- Provide letter of support to the Township of Langley for funding for the Northeast Langley Connector Project.
- Met with Township of Langley engineering to discuss improvements to cycling around West Langley Elementary School as well as 208th Street connectivity.
- Our committee hosted a HUB Learn2Ride program for children between the ages of 8 - 12 at the MEC Langley Bikefest. 42 kids participated on what turned out to be a blistering hot day. More info is posted on our blog.
- Hosted a joint Bike to Work Week station at the Golden Ears Bridge with the Maple Ridge and Surrey committees.
- Attended the Township of Langley Public Engagement Charter Open House.
It is brought to our attention that the construction of bike lanes on 32nd Avenue in Aldergrove have been stopped due to resident complaints. Our committee discusses strategies on how to proceed.
Dan and Stan presenting at Council Meeting
- We appear as a delegation at a Township of Langley council meeting to explain the importance of the 32nd Avenue route regionally and locally. Council votes to suspend construction of bike lanes until a public meeting can be held.
- We initiate an email and social media campaign. In three days 36 letters of support from cyclists are sent to the Township of Langley.
- The committee does a Road Assessment Ride of Glover Road between Douglas Crescent and Langley Bypass.
- HUB Volunteer Appreciation Picnic at Stanley Park.
- Construction upgrades start on 203rd Street.
- Members of our committee attended the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place Conference in Vancouver.
- HUB Langley Committee has an information booth at the BC Rivers Day Festival at Derek Doubleday Park.
- Attended Public Information Session about 32nd Avenue bike lanes in Aldergrove.
- We perform another email and social media campaign to encourage cyclists to submit a completed questionnaire for the 32nd Avenue bike lane project. Approximately 50 cyclists submit questionnaires and letters in support of the bike lanes.
- The committee provides letters of support to the City of Langley for funding for the 53rd Avenue and 202nd Street projects.
- Met with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to further discuss the 216th Street Interchange. We previously asked for the design to be changed to have multi-use paths on both sides of overpass (instead of only one side) -- MoTI agrees to change design and invite us to work with them on road markings, way finding, and signage.
- We discuss at our monthly meeting and agree to develop and host Cycling Infrastructure Tours in 2017. These tours will be specifically designed to provide education and to showcase good cycling infrastructure and will be designed with a focus toward community decision makers.
- Met with Surrey Engineering to discuss the Cycling Infrastructure Tours. The City of Surrey Engineering agrees to partner with our committee to host the tours and to showcase their infrastructure.
- Township of Langley Engineering submits report with recommendations to council regarding 32nd Avenue bike lanes.
HUB Volunteer Christmas Party in Vancouver.
Depiction of completed cycling lanes on 32nd Avenue.
- Provided City of Langley with letter of support for funding for Glover Road cycling improvements.
- HUB Langley Committee presents as a delegation at the December Township of Langley council meeting.
- Township of Langley council votes in favour of continuing bike lanes on 32nd Avenue in Aldergrove.
I'd like to extend a heart-felt thank you to everyone who participated and supported the HUB Langley Committee -- your input and hard work is very much appreciated and contributed to the success that we experienced this past year. A huge tip of the hat to all the hard working folks at HUB's head office -- your guidance and support has assisted our committee in ways that we can't express. I'd especially like to thank Tony Bisig, Mitchell and Katherine Nurse, Aven and Reed Poynter, Stanley Yntema, and Michael Ge for the tireless commitment that you've given to make this committee a good one.
Although we're relatively new to the community, the HUB Langley Committee has been welcomed by local government officials and staff. It has been very encouraging working with the municipalities and community groups and we look forward to another year of striving to make Langley a better place to get around on a bicycle.
Ride safe and have a great 2017.
Submitted by Dan Millsip, HUB Langley Committee Chair
Families and cyclists in Aldergrove are urging the Township of Langley to proceed with the introduction of new bike lanes which would create a safe and direct route through the area.
Earlier this year, the construction of much-needed bike lanes began on Aldergrove’s 32nd Avenue were quickly put on hold due to residents’ concerns about it leading to a lack of parking.
Removal of the centre line on the road had already taken place and the project, which was approved by council in 2013, was due to start in earnest over the Canada Day weekend before being halted at the last minute to allow for an extended public consultation.
The lanes, which the Township of Langley marked as the second highest priority in their Five Year Cycling Improvement Plan, are a vital component of the 37km Fraser Highway which would create a direct cycle route between the cities of Surrey and Abbotsford.
Some local residents have tried to put a stop to the plans as they oppose the removal of 97 parking stalls to make space for the lanes. Surveys by the Township’s engineers have shown that even with the addition of the bike route, on average 70% of stalls would be free at any one time.
By creating the lanes, the Township of Langley hoped to create a sustainable and safe route that would lead to reduced congestion and vehicle emissions, as well as encouraging more people in the area to bike or walk.
“We need safe passage for cyclists of all ages around the dangerous section of Fraser Highway in Downtown Aldergrove.” – Heath MacKenzie, owner, Cranky’s Bike Shop.
Local cyclists fear that if the council reneges on the plans it could have a significant impact on the area. Dan Millsip, Chair of HUB Cycling’s Langley Committee which advocates for better bike infrastructure, said: There is a need for a focusing on direct and connective routes in Langley and the Metro Vancouver region.
With the plans now in jeopardy, other potential solutions such as ‘Share the Road’ signs have been proposed but research has shown these provide no safety benefits and in many cases increase conflict between cyclists and drivers.
The Township of Langley Engineering Department has submitted an updated report to Council about the plans which council will put to vote on Monday, December 12. If you would like to comment on the plans, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This letter from HUB Cycling was submitted to local newspapers in early December, prior to the December 12 council meeting.
At the July 11, 2016 Township of Langley council meeting, a decision was reached by council in a 5-4 vote to provide a public forum for residents to express their concerns about the planned infrastructure for 32nd Avenue in Aldergrove despite the cycle plan being previously approved by council in 2013.
Council announced that a public forum will be held within the month.
Looking west on 32nd Avenue from 266a Street - Monday, July 4 @ 3:30 PM
While we understand and appreciate the concerns of the residents, which are mainly about the reduction of street parking and the public consultation process, the HUB Langley Committee have also reviewed the Township of Langley Engineering department's plans including the decision to remove the parking on the north side of 32nd Avenue and feel based on the parking survey data that we've seen, the plan is sound and makes good sense.
It's worth noting that in discussions with residents and in their presentation to council the residents have made it very clear that they are not opposed to cycle lanes - the main concern is the reduction of parking spaces and the perceived lack of public consultation.
There are currently 244 on-street parking stalls available on 32nd Avenue from Highway 13 (264th Street) to 276th Street - after construction there will be 147 stalls on the south side of 32nd Avenue (engineering chose to retain parking on the south side because the north side has only 97 spots available).
Data has been collected showing that parking on the street is at a capacity of 11 percent to 19 percent usage according to Township's engineering department. We have viewed the Township survey data and did our own visits to the street over the past few weeks to count cars and our findings are within the range of the Township's data findings with one exception where we later learned that a problem in a townhouse complex forced several residents to park their cars on the street for a couple of days.
Looking east on 32nd Avenue from 266a Street – Monday, July 4 @ 3:30 PM
In discussions we've had with transportation engineers we have learned that the threshold for parking is 85 percent -- this is the point where people will have to start to have problems finding parking spots on the street. If we consider that there are more spots available on the north side of 32nd Avenue, removing the parking from north side of the street will increase the usage on the south side by less than twice the amount then the percentage of parking after the bike lanes will be at approximately 32 percent of available stalls -- which is still much, much lower than the 85 percent threshold and will leave ample parking on the street for residents.
Our parked vehicle findings on five visits - totals are for the entire 2.7 km route:
||Approx. Time of Day
||Number of Parked Cars
|Sunday, July 3
|Monday, July 4
|Monday, July 11
|Wednesday, July 13
|Saturday, July 16
* We learned later that the spike in the number of parked cars in the area just west of the school on July 11 was due to a burst water main in a townhouse complex which forced several cars to park on the road for a couple days.
32nd Avenue looking west from 270th Street - July 3 @ 9:00 PM
We'd prefer to see bike lanes through Aldergrove on Fraser Highway as there are many benefits of having bike lanes on a main road that passes through a downtown area -- benefits include more visible exposure of bike lanes (so that people driving can see cyclists and say to themselves "hey, I could do that"), the financial benefit to businesses along the route (cyclists have jobs and spend money), and of course a more direct travel route.
Unfortunately for cyclists in Aldergrove, there is no development in the works for the section of Fraser Highway between 270th and 272nd. This area realizes a lot of congestion due to high traffic volumes, trucks, and limited space. As it is today, this section of road is only suitable for those who are capable of cycling with traffic -- far from All Ages and Abilities (AAA) which is what HUB Langley would like to see. Hopefully, down the road when redevelopment takes place in the downtown of Aldergrove, we'll see AAA cycling facilities included in the mix.
Looking at maps for alternative routes around the downtown Aldergrove section of Fraser Highway it quickly becomes obvious that the most logical and most direct bypass route around the downtown Aldergrove section of Fraser Highway is on 32nd Avenue and 276th Street.
32nd Avenue looking west from 276 Street - July 16 @ 1:30 PM
This 2.7 km by-pass around the dangerous bicycling section of Fraser Highway in the downtown of Aldergrove is a vital component of a 37 km Fraser Highway route that spans from the City of Abbotsford, through the Township of Langley, the City of Langley, to the King George Skytrain station in the City of Surrey. With 30 km of this route already hosting established cycling lanes, this connector through Aldergrove is of great significance to HUB's UnGaptheMap initiative.
If you're inclined to ride further west, you can ride from King George station through Surrey mostly on separated bike lanes to the Patullo Bridge and connect with the Central Valley Greenway which is a continuous bike trail (and nearly all separated from traffic) from New Westminster to Science World in Vancouver.
While we wait for council to announce a meeting date for the public forum, we at HUB Langley are researching options and reaching out to several stakeholders and decision makers in the community to find a resolve that will put this important project back on track.
The Issue: 32nd Street cycle lane construction halted
Construction on the 32nd Avenue connector (a new bike route that bypasses Fraser Highway around the centre of Aldergrove) has been halted due to complaints from residents along the street. The main issue appears to be parking related. Township of Langley Engineers have conducted traffic parking surveys and found that parking along the route is only being utilized from 11 percent to 19 percent of capacity -- meaning that there's a huge surplus of empty parking spaces along the route all day and night.
Engineers have determined that the amount of needed parking can be reduced to a single side of the roadway which means there will be room enough to install cycling lanes on both sides of the street.
In 2012, after public consultation, council approved the plan for this route, along with other roads in Langley in a 5 year plan for the development of a cycling network. This past week, after construction was already underway, complaints were lodged from residents who said that they were unaware of the planned construction and changes. This resulted in council halting construction of the bike lanes on 32nd Avenue last week until one resident can voice his argument against the project at this coming Monday's council meeting (July 11 at 7:00 PM). HUB Langley has also submitted an application to speak at this meeting.
For cyclists, the route is extremely important as it provides safe travel around the downtown section of Aldergrove along Fraser Highway which you'll know if you've ridden there, is quite hazardous for cyclists due to an extremely narrow roadway with high traffic volumes, large trucks, and no bike infrastructure. There are no plans in place for substantial redevelopment of the area so it will likely be many years before we will see cycling lanes on Fraser Highway through the Aldergrove downtown core.
What can we do?
There are two things to do:
1. Write a letter supporting the planned bike lanes on 32nd Avenue
And then send it to the Mayor and Council of the Township of Langley. Letters must be sent via email to Township of Langley by this Friday at 4:00 if they are to be included in the information packets that council receives before the Monday meeting. This doesn't leave much time so write your letter today and send it off right away and please, don't delay. We've provided a sample letter at the end of this email that you can copy and paste but we recommend that you change it a bit to make it your own.
Your voice matters -- writing a letter is the best way to be heard and each and every letter will make a difference. Council needs to be made aware that this cycling infrastructure is a vital part of a Fraser Valley bicycle corridor that connects the City of Surrey, the City of Langley, the Township of Langley, and the City of Abbotsford. Let's tell them!
Currently, 31 kms of the 37 km Fraser Valley corridor along Fraser Highway has cycling lanes. This 2.7 km addition in Aldergrove will leave only a short section in the City of Langley remaining to make it complete. We can make it happen.
Letters must be sent to email@example.com by this Friday, July 8, 2016 at 4:00 pm.
2. Attend the Township of Langley Council meeting on July 11
Show your support for cycling in Langley. Get involved in your community.
The meeting takes place at 7:00 pm at:
Township of Langley Civic Facility
20328 - 65th Avenue
Langley, BC V2Y 3J1
View the meeting location on Google Maps
Support Letter Template
Following is a sample letter that you can copy and paste and use as is or as a template to write your own letter. Please send your support letter in an email to Township of Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org
< --- copy and paste the following --- >
Mayor and Council Township of Langley
Dear Mayor and Council,
I would like to express my support for the construction of bicycle lanes on 32nd Avenue from 264th Street to 276th Street, and on 276th Street from 32th Avenue to Fraser Hwy.
The 32nd Avenue connector is a vital section of a Fraser Valley cycling route that spans the length of Fraser Highway from Surrey Central to Abbotsford connecting the Fraser Valley from east to west and allows safe cycling around the bicycle unfriendly section of Fraser Highway in the Aldergrove downtown core.
It is my recommendation that Township of Langley Council lift the stop work order to allow construction of bicycle lanes along the 32nd Avenue corridor to continue.
[INSERT YOUR NAME HERE]
< --- end of copy and paste letter -- >
Please don't delay, the deadline to submit your letter of support is this Friday, July 8th at 4:00 pm. Send your email support letter today to email@example.com