Letter: ‘Demonizing’ residents doesn’t fix problems on 216 Street

Editor: Re: ‘Aggressive’ behaviour sparks TOL policy review, (the Times, June 23)

Perhaps the frustration of the public stems from the malarkey being fed to us by the bureaucrats and the politicians with respect to the 216th interchange and the truck route.

In 1988, it was estimated that 15,000 vehicles would cross the interchange into North Langley if it were built. Recent figures we have received from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have varied from 11,000 vehicles per day to 22,000 vehicles per day sometime in the future.

We have been told that there will be virtually no increase in traffic volume north of 88th Avenue and we have also been told that 3,000 of an estimated 14,000 (or 17,000) vehicles using the interchange north will divert in either direction at the intersection of 216th and Telegraph Trail. Some volume numbers we have been provided are based on the eventual improvement of the 192 Street interchange, something that has not been approved and for which there is no planned date for completion.

We have been given equally confusing and outright ridiculous information with respect to the proposed truck route. It is estimated by consultants hired by the Township that approximately 50 trucks per day use the current truck route north of 88th Avenue along 216 Street.

We have been given estimates for the proposed truck route of a truck every four minutes along 216 Street during peak hours, without an estimate of expected daily volume of truck traffic. We have been told, on the one hand, that trucks won’t use 216 Street, because it is will be too difficult for them and, on the other hand, that it is absolutely necessary to the movement of goods to have a truck route on 216 Street.

In the provincial sound assessment study, it was estimated that 10 per cent of traffic using the interchange north would be truck traffic and at the estimated 14,400 vehicles per day, that is about 1,300 trucks, far in excess of a truck every four minutes.

Staff at the TOL “information session” told some people that they expected three per cent of the vehicles to be trucks, but at the same time admitted that estimation of traffic volume numbers is more of an art than a science.

There is no need for an alternate route into North East Langley as claimed by the Township. 192 Street works for trucks coming from the west. 176 Street, once connected to 96 Avenue, provides access to Golden Ears Way, the South Fraser Perimeter Road and Port Kells, without crosswalks, school zones and residential homes along the way.

Trucks should be on 200 Street and on 232 only. Deliveries to Save-OnFoods and IGA in Walnut Grove do not require a connection to the major road network at 216 Street. Trucks are allowed to travel from the nearest truck route to the point of delivery. We aren’t asking to stop regular deliveries. We are asking that trucks, on their way to other municipalities from Highway 1 and Highway 10, not be able to use Walnut Grove as another New Westminster.

Truck transportation is a regional issue and as such Langley should be thinking about all access points to the north east portion of the municipality, including those from nearby Surrey.

Why make a truck route where the bureaucracy admits that it really isn’t needed? Fix 200 Street if the problem is the 200 Street interchange. What happens if the Township and the Ministry are way off on their estimates of the volume of truck traffic? They will try to fix it with inadequate and ineffective measures to minimize the problems they created.

Demonizing us as an angry mob may make the politicians and the bureaucrats more comfortable with their bad decision-making, but it certainly does not validate the information they provide to us nor their weak arguments.

Christine Burdeniuk,

Walnut Grove