Above: Wade Rayner speaks against the 32 Avenue bike lane at Township council Monday night. Council voted to hold a public consultation meeting by the end of the month; below Dan Millsip of HUB Cycling Langley defended the proposed bike lane and warned that a suggested share-the-road alternative would be ineffective.

Public forum ordered on Aldergrove cycling lane

Both sides of 32 Avenue bicycle lane debate made presentations to Township council on Monday night

Opponents of the 32nd Avenue Cycling Connector in Aldergrove will get the public forum they wanted.

Township council made the decision Monday night after Aldergrove resident Wade Rayner presented a 140-name petition that asked council to agree to continue the stop work order currently in place and hold a public forum “to allow the voices of the taxpayers and voters that will be directly affected to be heard.”

Rayner had requested to speak at council’s June 25 meeting but submitted his request too late.

At the time, at the suggestion of councillor Bob Long, further work on the project was suspended until Rayner could be heard at the July 11 council meeting.

The 32nd Avenue connector is meant to be part of a regional cycling corridor that connects Surrey, Langley City, Langley Township and Abbotsford.

The Aldergrove project is designed to allow cyclists to divert from the busy Fraser Highway by using 32 Avenue from Station Road to Highway 13.

When notification to residents was sent out in June, the news that public parking on the north side of 32 Avenue would be eliminated for a cycling lane produced a public outcry and led to the petition drive.

“We are specifically opposed to the significant loss of the on-street parking spaces in front of our homes,” Rayner told council.

“We feel that there was a lack of public consultation.”

HUB Cycling’s Langley committee chair Dan Millsip defended the project at the same Monday night meeting.

“The parking (on 32)  is not nearly utilized to capacity,” Millsip said, citing Township figures that show 11 per cent to 19 per cent of 32 Avenue is used for parking at any given time.

Millsip said parking doesn’t get hard to find until an 85 per cent level of use is reached.

“We are well below that threshold,” Millsip said.

A suggestion that the road could be designated as “bike-friendly” by putting up share-the road-signs rather than giving bikes their own lanes would not work, Millsip said, citing studies that show such programs are not effective.

Mayor Jack Froese didn’t see the need for another public forum, because the Township has already held several stakeholder meetings (in January 2011, January 2012 and April 2013) on the project.

“We’ve had the input,” Froese said.

Councillor Kim Richter said residents should get the forum they asked for because the parking issue didn’t come up at the previous meetings.

“There was nothing in the (proposed) plan that specified loss of parking,” Richter said.

The vote was five-to-four in favour of a new public forum, with councillors Kim Richter, Charlie Fox, Michelle Sparrow, David Davis and Bob Long supporting the forum, while mayor Jack Froese and councillors Petrina Arnason, Blair Whitmarsh and Angie Quaale were against.

No date or location for the forum has been set yet.

Millsip said HUB Cycling was “disappointed” by the decision to hold another public forum, but understands the residents’ concerns about parking and thinks the issue can be resolved.

“We want to make it work,”  Millsip said.

“We do get where they’re (residents) coming from” Millsip said.

HUB will participate in the forum, whenever it is held, Millsip added.

Just Posted

Coleman decides against running for Surrey mayor

‘I’m a Langley guy,’ MLA says

Glow Langley returns bigger and brighter this Christmas

Organizers will also introduce Harvest Glow — a celebration of autumn

Aldergrove Food Bank leader ‘retires’

Darlene Isaak has a ‘legacy written in the hearts and bellies of the vulnerable’

A closer look at law enforcement for RCMP junior cadets

Annual Langley event marks 13th year

Langley man arrested for alleged voyeurism at BCIT

Burnaby RCMP have arrested a 48-year-old man after he allegedly took photos of a woman in a washroom

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read