In the past few years, thousands of people have moved to Langley â€“ the majority moved into the Willoughby neighbourhood.
This increased population is evident on our congested roads and in our overcrowded schools.
Parking is at a premium; when homes are built as closely together as they are in Willoughby â€“ thereâ€™s one to 1.5 metres between each home, naturally, itâ€™s difficult for visitors to find available space on the roads.
In the three years I have lived in Langley, I have witnessed huge changes in my Willoughby neighbourhood. There are five condo/townhouse developments being built along 208th Street between 84th and 77th Avenues. More than 2,400 people live in the Yorkson Creek development alone.
Oddly, in the Township of Langley, infrastructure follows development. We build, and then we react.
To illustrate, there have been a number of people hit on 72nd Avenue between 200th and 192nd Streets over the past few years. Sadly, an elderly gentleman was killed this past summer. Unbelievably, there is not a single pedestrian-controlled crosswalk in those entire eight blocks.
My parents, who live in a quiet community on Vancouver Island, visit my family and me every three months, and every so often, they comment on the changes they see in Willoughby:
My Father: Gee 88th and 208th feel like rush hour in downtown Vancouver (referring to driving on these streets at 4 pm on a weekday).
My Mother: My goodness, thereâ€™s a lot of portables at that school. Thatâ€™s ridiculous (referring to Mountain Secondary).
My Father: I hardly recognize this block anymore. Itâ€™s all townhouses now (referring to the another development along 84th).
My Mother: It feels almost claustrophobic here; this development is insane.
While my parents enjoy visiting their family, they are always very relieved to return to the tranquillity and beauty of their Vancouver Island town.
On Wednesday night, I watched the mayoral debate on Shaw and heard our current mayor state that Willoughby is a â€œbeautifulâ€ community; I found it an interestingâ€ adjective to apply to our neighbourhood.
is such a subjective term. I would like to know how many of our city planners and current councillors actually live in Willoughby.
Please take the time to study the candidates who are running in this municipal election. Spend an hour; spend a couple of hours figuring out which candidates â€œspeak to you.â€
The decisions that are made at the municipal level affect us directly, so if youâ€™re a Canadian citizen of voting age, please get out on Saturday, Nov. 15, and make your mark. Your vote does count.
Cara De St. Remy, Willoughby