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Mother and daughter press Township for crosswalk

Geraldine Jordan and daughter Elisabeth make a case for a crosswalk at 216 Street and 88B Avenue at Langley Township council Monday afternoon.   - Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
Geraldine Jordan and daughter Elisabeth make a case for a crosswalk at 216 Street and 88B Avenue at Langley Township council Monday afternoon.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

As Geraldine Jordan made her case for a crosswalk at 216 St. and 88B Ave., her five-year-old daughter Elisabeth sat beside her at the overhead projector in the Langley Township council chamber, helping her mother by placing maps of the intersection under the lens.

“We wanted to bring this forward before there is an accident,” said Jordan, who was speaking for Friends of the Crosswalk (FOX), a group of Walnut Grove residents who support a marked pedestrian crosswalk for the intersection.

In a nine-page written submission filed with the Township, FOX argues pedestrians crossing the intersection “are at significant risk of physical injury because of high traffic volume, limited sight line, four lanes of traffic and vehicle U-turns.”

Children at three schools, École des Voyageurs, Topham Elementary and James Kennedy Elementary use the intersection, the submission states.

A Township estimate places traffic flow at 5,160 vehicles a day, more than other intersections that have marked crosswalks, pedestrian signals or full traffic lights, FOX says.

The submission goes on to suggest the Township estimate may have understated the actual traffic flow by as much as 25 per cent, because the method used failed to include U-turns and drivers turning in and out of the neighbourhood.

The Township engineering department has suggested pedestrians should use a nearby crosswalk at 216 St. and 88 Avenue, but FOX said that would mean people going 400 meters out of their way.

And there are at least three intersections in the Township where crosswalks are even closer together than the proposed 88 and 88B crossings would be, one right next to municipal hall.

In addition to the crosswalk, Jordan said a traffic expert has suggested adding rumble strips to 216 Street to encourage traffic to slow down.

Her submission included a copy of an Oct. 11 letter to the editor about a near-miss in the intersection, which appeared in the Langley Times.

More than 150 individuals and five businesses have signed a petition calling for the crosswalk.

The mother-daughter presentation received a sympathetic, but guarded response from council.

The proposal will be considered for inclusion in the Township budget in the new year, they were told, but crosswalks aren’t cheap.

Councillor Charlie Fox said it would cost about $100,000 to put one in at that location.

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