For months now I have been reading letters written in opposition to the 216th interchange, especially on the north (Walnut Grove) side.
I’d just like it to be known that not everyone in Walnut Grove opposes these changes. Some may even welcome them (gasp!).
What I’ve heard from the ‘other side’ is that this new interchange will poison our children, create a highway within Walnut Grove, and pretty much life as we know it will be ruined.
I just can’t envision it that way.
So, for the record, I’d like to let you know why I’m in support of the 216th interchange:
It will provide a quicker commute with better access to and from the highway.
For me, less road rage, less wasted gas and more free time are bonuses.
Proper bike lanes will be created which will (hopefully) encourage more people to ride rather than drive (a serious problem out here in the ’burbs). And if not at least those who ride for leisure will be safer doing so.
Proper sidewalks running the length of 216th. Right now the sidewalks end here and there. Definitely not great for someone with kids, a stroller or a wheelchair. We need continuous sidewalks to create a safer environment for pedestrians.
Well marked crosswalks. Better yet, I’d love to see pedestrian overpasses at both schools for the safety of the young’ins walking to/from school.
One of the improvements slated for the interchange is upgrades to culverts carrying spawning salmon.
We all know our wild salmon are becoming more and more scarce, so why wouldn’t we want to see improved fish habitats?
I don’t know if LEPS or the salmon enhancement societies/hatcheries have chimed in on these improvements but I’d love to know their stance. I do know past highway upgrades have included fish habitat upgrades and now we have salmon spawning in these streams and rivers again. This is a huge plus.
One thing I don’t understand at all from the people opposed to the interchange is the thoughts that it will become a huge highway and affect Walnut Grove in such a way that enjoyment of life will be sacrificed.
I don’t believe trucks are going to want to take an extra jaunt through our community when 200th Street access is available.
And if you’re still concerned this will happen, why not ask for vehicle weight restrictions at the new interchange?
Change is coming folks. Instead of being scared and trying to run from it lets make it work in our favour.
And yes, I do live on 216th.
Kristy Braun, Langley