Letter: Do health and wellbeing of residents have less value than a truck route?

Editor: In Fort Langley, some road segments are planned to be removed from the existing truck route because of their residential nature.

The north part of 216 Street has residential areas which are similar in nature, but is slated to be connected to a major highway accessible truck route.

In addition to residential areas, 216 Street north also includes two elementary schools, two preschools, a daycare, a Township of Langley community park, and a community garden.

Anything more than local commercial traffic through these residential and school areas along 216 Street north benefits someone or something else than the residents and schoolchildren who live and learn here.

Residents and schoolchildren will bear the cost of the truck route through risks and deterioration of their safety, wellbeing and health.

In the Creative Transportation Solutions report delivered to the Township Engineering Department, it is clear that removing truck route designations from Fort Langley residential streets is being done for the wellbeing of Fort Langley residents.

Is the safety, wellbeing and health of north Langley schoolchildren along 216 Street (and all residents in this area) really worth less than the money Township will get for converting a segment of 216 Street into a major truck route?

Governments need to work hard to safeguard the wellbeing of all residents.

It is not easy to balance all the competing objectives, but we do need to put people into this picture, so that truck routes are not given priority over sustainable community planning.

Through an FOI inquiring about highway interchange traffic volume modeling, an email was documented which was written on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, in which Mr. Graeme Cross, the Senior Traffic Operations Engineer at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) stated to Mr. Gerry Fleming (MOTI/Binnie) and Mr. Jonathan Ho (Binnie):

“Strategically, it would be best for the ministry to … ask ToL to be more forthright on their traffic management strategies to keep non-local traffic off of residential street during this interim period until the 192 Interchange is constructed. Also they [ToL] should specifically address commercial vehicles on ToL roads and the safety adjacent to Ecole des Voyageurs and Topham Elementary.”

Let’s work together to find truly creative transportation solutions which safeguard the livability, sustainability and walkability of where people live, not just in Fort Langley, but also along 216 Street north, and throughout the Township.

Geraldine Jordan,