There has been talk of widening 16th Avenue for 30 years without it getting done. During that period, more and more traffic was dumped onto 16th in advance of this now mythic upgrade (speed-humping Zero Avenue to dump its traffic onto 16th, and the punching through 192nd Street to allow industrial park traffic to access 16th).
Now we learn Highway 99 will soon be disgorging its traffic and yet more trucks onto 16th, worsening the nightmare traffic on 16th.
Dumping excess traffic on hapless residents is little different than dumping urban garbage on rural communities simply because you can get away with it. Policy-makers don't live there, so why not?
Yes, I live on 16th Avenue. It is still a country road, one lane in each direction. We have had no garbage pick-up or home mail delivery for 20 years because it is too unsafe.
Approximately 20,000 vehicles roar past my driveway each day. About a quarter of those are large trucks, and in particular, tandem dump trucks loaded with gravel.
Residents here have put up with a lot and with a minimum of complaining, which in retrospect was probably a mistake - no squeak, no grease - the nightmare gets worse.
The biggest problem is that Langley Township balks at any suggestion of developing other east-west corridors to take a share of the traffic. Councillor Steve Ferguson lives on 24th Avenue, so that's out. The elite equestrian community on Zero Avenue that put so much money in Township coffers can never see its heritage ambience sullied, and so the speed humps remain.
Instead, the sacrificial lamb that is 16th continues to pick up all the slack at the expense of its residents.
Is it enhancing safety or enhancing traffic flow that authorities wish to address on 16th Avenue? They claim it is the former, when it is so obviously the latter.
At some point, the up-is-down reverse speak becomes an insult to one's intelligence.
Just do the right thing. A freeway exchange that will worsen a bad situation is not it.
Steve McIntyre, Langley
@ Copyright 2013