Letter: Not resisting change, but looking for a better solution

Editor: Re: J. Jansen’s letter of Dec. 27:I am a part of the group of Walnut Grove residents Mr. Jansen refers to in his letter and want to clarify that while Linda Nash has sent many letters to the paper, she does not speak for our group.

Her views are her own and do not always align with others in the group.

Many I have talked to aren’t resisting change, they are only trying to find ways to reduce its impact on where we live. I don’t speak for the group either, but will share with you my own point of view and some research I have done relating to truck routes.

Mr. Jansen states we need more truck routes in Langley but does not acknowledge that the genesis of the North Langley truck route review was a request to remove truck routes from Fort Langley.

The proposed changes will actually reduce the number of truck routes. It does, however, propose a new route into Walnut Grove’s residential neighbourhood to make up for some of the routes they want to remove from Fort Langley. They’re essentially moving the “truck issue” down the road, so to speak.

The Township’s truck review correctly states that the Albion ferry is no longer in service and that, “Land uses within Fort Langley require local deliveries, not extensive commercial traffic,” yet fails to acknowledge the same land use exists in Walnut Grove.

Mr. Jansen also states he believes trucks will not use 216 Street north and instead use 200 Street.

Many TOL councillors and staff I have talked to echo this view. If true, why designate 216 Street north as a truck route? During the May 8, 2017 council meeting Creative Transportation Solutions consultant Gary Vlieg stated the purpose of a truck route is to allow the Township to let long-haul truckers, unfamiliar with Langley, know where (they want) and, more importantly, where they don’t want trucks to be. If council would prefer trucks use 200 Street, why put a plan in place telling truckers to use 216 Street?

Township staff have stated they can’t stop trucks from using a provincial interchange. Yet in my research I have found information to the contrary.

I have emails from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure stating they will post signage on the highway to support any Township decision on truck routes.

This signage would direct trucks to use the interchange the TOL wants them to use.

There are a number of examples where other cities have been allowed to put controls in place; In Surrey off Highway 1 north into Fraser Heights, both 72 and 64 Avenues in Delta off Highway 91 and in View Royal (just outside of Victoria) at Highway 1 and Helmcken.

Each of these cities have implemented Gross Vehicle Weight restrictions on roads coming off highway interchanges.

These restrictions are designed to keep large commercial trucks from travelling through residential areas while still allowing local delivery of goods and services. If other cities can do this, why can’t Langley?

Some council members seem concerned with losing major road network funding from TransLink if such restrictions are put in place.

I have emails from TransLink stating roads with GVW restrictions still qualify for funding. Both 72 Avenue and 64 Avenue in Delta have GVW restrictions and still receive MRN funding.

Yes, Mr. Jansen, the new 216 Street interchange will provide a much needed way to help spread out traffic congestion in Langley, but is a residential neighbourhood the best place for large trucks?

With upcoming improvements to the 200 Street interchange,shouldn’t we be directing trucks there?

Like other cities have done at their interchanges, 216 Street should be an access point for commuters, residents and local deliveries in and out of Walnut Grove. Wouldn’t this be a more effective way to spread the congestion?

Should they choose, TOL council can put rules in place to help make this happen.

I am not resisting change, only looking for solutions that might mitigate the change coming to my neighbourhood. Solutions I believe would meet the needs of council, truckers and the residents of Langley.

Kevin Hanna,

Langley

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