Residents along Aldergrove’s 32nd Avenue are fine with bike lanes – but they don’t want to lose parking, either.
Locals visited a Langley Township open house to learn more about proposed bike lanes that would be built along both sides of the street.
Adding the bike lanes would mean removing parking from the north (?) side of the street.
Township staff started the work earlier this year, but locals objected before it was complete.
Nadine Cloutier collected signatures on a petition that convinced the council to put the project on hold for more consultation.
“I’m not against bike lanes, I’m for share the road,” said Cloutier.
Cloutier has lived on 32nd Avenue tof 13 years.
“For me to lose my parking, it’s really hard,” she said.
Her family has three vehicles and three parking spots on their property.
So when relatives visit, like Cloutier’s elderly mother, it would mean jaywalking or walking some distance to the nearest crosswalk.
Cloutier said she would support the lanes if parking can remain on both sides of the street.
Langley Township says it has data showing that parking use is relatively low on the street. But Paul Cordeiro, head of the Township’s department of transportation, said it isn’t wide enough for two lanes of parking and two bike lanes.
“There’s not enough space to accommodate both things at the same time,” he said.
Fraser Highway is too narrow for bike lanes, as well as being much busier. The bike lanes along 32nd were intended to allow cyclists to bypass busy Fraser all the way from 264th Street to the border with Abbotsford at 276th Street.
Dan Millsip of the HUB cycling group is hoping the project will still go ahead, and encourage more people to use cycling to get around.
“People aren’t going to ride there if they don’t feel safe riding,” he said.
Bike lanes encourage and increase ridership, he said.
Norm Stelnicki said there already isn’t enough parking near the west end of the street, near a pub.
“I think the money should be spent on making the neighbourhood friendlier for everyone,” he said, including cyclists and pedestrians.
Council is expected to reconsider the project once public input has been gathered.
The lack of a specific notification before the lanes were installed annoyed several local residents.