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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 email@example.com
< --- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org