Editor: Regarding your article in the Feb 23 Langley Times regarding “208th Widening,”
I believe that there can be indeed a solution to this congested roadway.
However the following important points needs to be taken into consideration:
The roadway should be broken down into, I suggest, three sections.
First, the 208 Street section between 80 Avenue north and the new twinned overpasses.I believe this section should be addressed immediately because the new overpass is nearly completed and four lanes should be constructed in concert with it. The public are expecting it to be four lanes and it makes sense.
The second section of 208 Street addressed should be from 72 Avenue to 80 Avenue.
This section has many different property owners and will need to be negotiated taking into consideration existing applications in the works and owners that are still contemplating development.
And the third section should be from 64 Avenue to 72 Avenue.
Some sections of this road are in the ALR and will need to be negotiated through this government agency.
To pay for the 208 Street roadworks, the Township of Langley needs to consider the following:
• Partnerships with other levels of government whether regional district, TransLink, provincial or federal governments.
• Development Cost Charge (DCCs) paybacks to landowners in return for property given up for roadworks along the 208 Street corridor.
• Expropriation of land for roads (something expensive and often difficult to do)
• Borrowing for roadworks (short-term only, where payback would be acquired when landowners develop)
• Public/private partnerships, where a landowner would work with the Township of Langley to put in the services and be given an incentive prior to developing their property (services first, buildings later). This would increase the value of their property.
If all of these measures can be put into play in a timely manner, I believe the 208 Street corridor can indeed become four lanes sooner than later.
However it can’t be on the backs of huge tax increases and long-term debt.