Editorial: Middle of the road solution for historic Old Yale

We’re happy to see Township council take a ‘middle of the road’ approach when it comes to upgrading Old Yale Road in Murrayville.

Although no timeline has yet been set for the improvements, we do know a bit more about what’s in store for B.C.’s oldest concrete road.

Once improvements have been made, drivers will no longer have to rattle their way over broken hunks of concrete. Neither will crews take both a literal and figurative steamroller to the route’s rich history.

Instead the option chosen — Commemoration — will pay tribute to the road’s origins, with a 375-metre strip of newly-poured concrete close to Five-Corners and some form of heritage display depicting its history, while the remainder of the road will be resurfaced with silky smooth asphalt.

One of the most attractive aspects of the design, from our perspective at least, is the plan to include both a sidewalk and separated multi-use path for the convenience and safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Old Yale is a direct and very picturesque route for anyone who wants to peddle or hoof-it between Langley City and Murrayville.

Currently, though, it can be a pretty hair-raising experience to walk along the narrow strip of road, which has no shoulders and, in places, drops off sharply into a grassy ditch on either side.

With no traffic calming measures in place, even the rough surface isn’t much of a deterrent for some drivers, who like to  build up a head of steam along the (relatively) rural road.

Taking into account the presence of an elementary school, we’d suggest that a chunk of the estimated $4.6 million budget would be well spent on speed humps or something similar before a surface is laid that will be even more inviting to all the would-be Mario Andrettis out there.