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Not enough support for traffic calming at schools
A majority of the people living near two Langley Township schools have voted in favour of traffic calming measures that would reduce speeding, but because the majorities weren’t quite big enough, the proposed speed bumps, traffic signs, rumble strips, raised crosswalks and other slow-down measures won’t get built.
In May, ballots were distributed to the people living near Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School in the 4400 to 4500 blocks of 256 Street and the people living near James Kennedy Elementary school on 212 Street from Walnut Grove Drive to 91B Avenue.
A staff report to council said the vote for traffic calming at Coghlan was 51.2 per cent, while the James Kennedy vote mustered 60.4 per cent.
Since Township regulations require a two-thirds or 67 per cent majority before planning can begin, no work will be carried out.
The requirement for resident approval of traffic calming used to be a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one, but it was raised to 67 per cent a few years ago in response of complaints from opponents of traffic calming programs that had been approved by narrow margins.
With the defeat of the two proposals in May, normally the next two neighbourhoods in line would get surveyed.
That would be the James Anderson Learning Centre on 66 Avenue from 203 to 204 Street and the Langley Fundamental Elementary School on 50 Avenue from 218A Street to 217 Street, but there is a problem.
One of the candidate schools hasn’t actually been built yet.
The school district is reportedly planning to expand James Anderson, a small alternate facility that serves 142 students who require various types of counseling assistance, into a full-blown elementary school.
However nothing definite has been announced yet, Township staff told council.
If the school district doesn’t build a new facility on the site, there is a possibility the older building that houses the centre could shut down.
“If it’s closed in a year and we spent $50,000 on it [for traffic calming] that’s not a good thing,” Mayor Jack Froese said.
So council voted to delay sending ballots to residents near the centre until the Township has a better idea of the district’s intentions.
There are currently 76 Langley neighbourhoods where people have expressed interest in traffic calming programs.