This June

Crashes prompt change in South Langley

Langley Township wants to speed up improving 16th Avenue.

Langley’s busy 16th Avenue recorded 673 collisions, with 274 causing injuries or deaths between 2008 and 2012.

That data comes from a new report that suggests both short- and long-term plans for Langley Township and other agencies to upgrade the often-deadly road.

The report was presented to Langley Township council Monday afternoon, and was created by TransLink in collaboration with a number of other partners.

It comes in the wake of the latest death on 16th Avenue, the crash that claimed the life of a 79-year-old woman at 224th Street last Friday.

The report reveals a rate of serious accidents that is higher than one per week, along with numerous other accidents that only cause damage to vehicles and other property.

Among the highlights from the report:

• Average daily traffic in Langley was 12,000 to 13,000 vehicles per day

• Truck traffic is 13-16 per cent of all traffic, higher than normal

• Of the collisions only nine per cent involved trucks

• 36 per cent of crashes were rear end collisions

• 14 per cent were loss of control crashes in which a car left the road

• 11 per cent were animal related

• 15 per cent of left-turn and opposing collisions involved drivers turning into or out of driveways

Councillor Charlie Fox, who lives in the area, has been one of the most vocal at the council table about safety upgrades to 16th Avenue.

“We just have to get these intersections controlled,” said Fox.

Council voted for an expedited look at all major intersections to see which of them should have traffic signals.

They also adopted a series of recommendations, one of which is the creation of 100 metre long pullout lanes.

The lanes will allow the RCMP to pull over cars, for slow-moving farm vehicles to pull over to let traffic pass, and for Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers to inspect trucks.

“These recommendations are not soon enough,” Fox said after Monday’s presentation.

Coun. Angie Quaale, who called for increased RCMP presence on the road, noted the rate of crashes was more than one a week with injuries or deaths.

“I think the do-nothing scenario is not an option for us anymore,” she said.

Because 16th Avenue is part of TransLink’s Major Road Network, the $2.75 million in proposed short term upgrades would be partly funded by TransLink and partly by the Township. Funding could also be sought from ICBC, which will kick in money to reduce accident rates at high-crash sites.

The medium-term costs are anticipated at $11.53 million.

In the long term, 16th Avenue is expected to be widened to four lanes, with a central double-left turn lane.

Traffic volumes are only expected to increase, as Abbotsford is planning a road re-alignment that would connect King Road to 16th.

By 2031, the current two-lane version of 16th would be over traffic capacity.


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