Pedestrians need crosswalks, say Langley residents

The safety of seniors and children was at issue as local residents continued to call on Langley Township council for improved crosswalks.

Gary Hee was the latest person to call for safety improvements near the site of September’s fatal accident involving a driver and two elderly pedestrians.

Hee lives near the stretch of 72nd Avenue between 200th Street and the Langley-Surrey border where the 83-year-old man was killed and his 79-year-old wife was injured.

Hee said his daughter lives even closer.

The sides of the road are difficult to walk on, and a deep ditch in one area makes it impossible to walk on the shoulder, Hee said.

He said the Township and Surrey need to work on cross walks and stop signs for the area.

“Eight years is a long time to wait,” said Hee.

The problems will only get worse as more people move in with new development, he said.

“The population count in that area is undoubtedly increasing,” said Hee. That will also increase traffic.

He wants to know why some side streets in the area have sidewalks, but a major road like 72nd Avenue does not.

Langley Township’s policy has been to expand roads and build sidewalks by having developers build them. In areas where development is patchy, like much of Willoughby, this has resulted in areas where sidewalks abruptly end and roads suddenly narrow as they pass undeveloped land.

Similar points were raised by Adrienne Alford-Burt, another delegate Monday.

She was calling for improved crosswalks at Lynn Fripps Elementary and the newly-opened Yorkson Middle School, in north Willoughby.

“Neither of these crosswalks are functionally complete,” said Alford-Burt.

There’s a lack of lighting, of advance signage, and of speed control measures, she said.

A crosswalk on 84th Avenue near Yorkson ends in a ditch on the north side of the road, she said.

The designs are not inclusive of disabled people, said Alford-Burt.

When councillors mentioned why parts of the sidewalk network aren’t finished – some land in the area around Yorkson aren’t developed yet – Alford-Burt said she doesn’t expect developers to build sidewalks for other people’s children, it’s the responsibility of the government.

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