Regarding your article [Langley Township mulls new study on 208th Street widening, Feb. 22, Langley Advance], I believe that there can be indeed a solution to this congested roadway.
However the following important points needs to be taken into consideration. The roadway should be broken down into I suggest three sections.
Firstly, the 208th Street section between 80th Avenue north and the new twinned overpasses:
I believe this section should be addressed immediately because the new overpass is nearly completed and four lanes should be constructed in concert with it. The public are expecting it to be four lanes and it makes sense.
The second section of 208th Street should be from 72nd to 80th Avenue:
This second [strip] has many different property owners and will need to be negotiated taking into consideration existing applications in the works and owners who are still contemplating development.
And the third section should be from 64th to 72nd Avenue:
Some sections of this road are in the ALR and will need to be negotiated through this government agency.
To pay for the 208th Street roadworks, the Township of Langley needs to consider the following:
• Partnerships with other levels of government whether regional district, TransLink, provincial, or federal governments.
• Development Cost Charge (DCC’s) paybacks to landowners in return for property given up for roadworks along the 208th Street corridor.
• Expropriation of land for roads (something expensive and often difficult to do)
• Borrowing for Roadworks (short term only, where pay back would be acquired when landowners develop)
• Public/private partnerships… where a landowner would work with the Township of Langley to put in the services and be given an incentive prior to developing their property (services first, buildings later). This would increase the value of their property.
If all of these measures can be put into play in a timely manner, I believe the 208th Street corridor can indeed become four lanes sooner than later.
However, it can’t be on the backs of huge tax increases and long-term debt.
Steve Ferguson, former Township councillor and Langley resident