Letter: Grove interchange history murky

Dear Editor,

Mr. Lambert has implied that the people who are opposing the 216th Street interchange are either misinformed or are lying. [“Report gives true history,” Nov. 24, Langley Advance] The Walnut Grove Community Plan does not mention an interchange at 216th Street in its written materials.

The only mention of an interchange in the community planning documents is the 200th Street interchange. There is no mention of an additional interchange in the sections of the Stage 3 Neighbourhood Plan where one would expect to find them.

In fact, even in Section 8 “Requirements of Other Agencies,” the word interchange is not used, but instead it states that “The Ministry is, however, contemplating plans for a possible future connection at 216th Street.”

What is clear from this is that the type of connection is undefined, that the proposal comes from the ministry and not from the Township and that the Township did not plan Forest Hills in a manner consistent with the expectation that a full interchange would be placed at 216th.

Master Transportation documents and many bylaws are not available from the Township website. It was not until I requested documents under the Freedom of Information Act that I found the 216th interchange mentioned in the 1988 Master Transportation Plan.

That plan provides scenarios should an interchange be built and also if it should not be built.

The 1999 Master Transportation Plan Stage 1 Report makes no mention of an interchange at 216th. In fact the only interchange mentioned is the one on 200th.

Lots of transportation and planning changes have occurred in the intervening almost three decades.

In addition, there has been lots of research on the adverse health effects of air quality and noise because of busy roads.

Recommendations which have flowed from this research include the one that schools and homes should not be located within 150-200 metres of such roads.

In Canada, busy roads are defined as those carrying 15,000 vehicles per day. The Township projects that 22,000 vehicles per day will use a 216th interchange north (27,000 going south) and these figures may be low.

The BC Trucking Association has written a letter to the ministry in support of the 216th interchange as an alternative to 200th Street to get to the South Fraser Perimeter Road and Golden Ears Way.

How cutting through Walnut Grove to get to these other locations in other municipalities benefits Langley is questionable.

Is Mr. Lambert perhaps one of the people advocating for the 216th interchange because it will benefit him or his business or the business of someone he works for?

Well, this is a matter of health and safety, and from our point of view, our health and safety and the health and safety of the kids at the elementary schools trumps Mr. Lambert’s convenience.

Christine Burdeniuk

Langley

 

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