The 32 Avenue connector in Aldergrove is designed to allow cyclists to divert from the busy Fraser Highway by using 32 Avenue from Station Road to Highway 13. Pictured is 32 Avenue near Station Road.

Council approves Aldergrove bike lane on 32 Avenue

Despite some opposition from residents, the 32 Avenue Connector Cycling Project will proceed in Aldergrove

Construction of a controversial bike lane along 32 Avenue in Aldergrove has been given the green light by council.

On Monday evening (Dec. 12) Township council voted 6-3 in favour of continuing the project to install bike lanes along 32 Avenue from 264 Street to 276 Street, and up 276 Street from 32 Avenue to Fraser Highway, as part of the Five-Year Cycling Improvement Plan.

Councillors Kim Richter, Bob Long and David Davis were opposed.

The 32 Avenue connector is meant to be part of a regional cycling corridor that connects Surrey, Langley City, Langley Township and Abbotsford. The Aldergrove project is designed to allow cyclists to divert from the busy Fraser Highway by using 32 Avenue from Station Road to Highway 13.

However, many residents were outraged that the project would also require the removal of 110 on-street parking spots, and as a result, a 140-name petition was presented to council in July by Aldergrove resident Wade Rayner, asking that a public forum be held “to allow the voices of the taxpayers and voters that will be directly affected to be heard.”

That forum was held in September, and despite many residents voicing opposition, the majority of council agreed that the project should move ahead.

“To me, leadership is about providing what we need for right now but it’s also about looking into the future and looking at what we need down in the future,” said Coun. Blair Whitmarsh. “Cycling is an important part of our community and it needs to be enhanced and grown, and safe routes are critical.”

As Whitmarsh pointed out, according to the Township’s project update report, a parking survey showed that only 19 per cent of the 273 parking spaces available on 32 Avenue and 276 Street were being utilized. After the removal of spots for the bike lane project, staff predict the remaining parking spaces will have a 32 per cent utilization rate.

“We don’t need to provide that parking, we are not obligated to provide additional parking beyond what they (the residents) already get in their own homes,” Whitmarsh said.

“And so, for that matter, we should be moving straight ahead. It’s crazy that we’re back here discussing it. And we should be moving quickly to get this done as quickly as possible.”

“I really agree with the idea that we are trying to be leaders, looking at our community in the future, so we do have to have a vision,” Coun. Petrina Arnason added.

“I think there’s been a lot of work and, honestly, I really appreciate the feedback from the community members because they do live there, it is important that we consider that. But our job is to balance interests.”

Other members of council said that 29 Avenue, as suggested by several of the opposing residents, would be a better route.

“I attended that open house and the residents in the area are not opposed to cycling. They are really much keener on having it down where the high school is, and the library is, and the skate park is, and where the new pool will be. And I think they’ve got a very valid point,” Coun. Kim Richter said.

“I just think we should be listening to the residents of the area. It’s their home, it’s their neighbourhood, and I trust their opinion when they say that it should be down on 29th not on 32nd.”

“If you cycle down that street (32 Avenue) you have no problem negotiating that road and navigating through there because it’s a big, wide, straight road,” said Coun. Bob Long.

“(Bike lanes are) not required on 32 Avenue, it’s a waste of money to go there. It doesn’t even connect on either end, it should be located to the south of Fraser Highway to service far more of our facilities and I think it makes much more sense on the south side.”

Prior to council’s vote, members of the Langley chapter of HUB Cycling spoke to council, asking for their support on the project.

“Improving transportation cycling in the Township of Langley is not exclusively about bicycles, but it is about how bicycles are a tool for achieving additional city goals,” said Stanley Yntema, a HUB Cycling member.

“This vision for better multi-modal transportation bicycling infrastructure can be realized more fully to a commitment not only to the 32 Avenue project, but much further beyond to Abbotsford and Surrey as out region continues to grow and develop.”

— with files from Dan Ferguson

F.1 32 Ave Connector Cycling Project by Miranda Gathercole on Scribd

Just Posted

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

Rail upgrades will cost Langley Township $6 million

The council may borrow money to fund the federally-mandated upgrades.

Pulled teeth connects teen with Langley Christmas Wish Breakfast charity

Kennedy Montano has been helping out the local Christmas Bureau for past two years

Amoured vehicle used in rural Langley raid

Neighbours describe VPD pursuit of three vehicles onto Langley blueberry farm

Chilliwack trustee slated to speak at Culture Guard rally

Barry Neufeld listed as honoured guest by group that rallies against LGBTQ discussions in schools

VIDEO: Langley concert and five new songs inspired by Canada’s 150th

Familiar faces from Langley Community Music School were asked to create Canadian pieces for Nov. 25.

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Huge grain, potash terminals proposed for Fraser Surrey Docks

Surrey’s mayor is embracing the projects, but Delta’s mayor has concerns about emergency crew access

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Michael Buble announced as 2018 Juno host in Vancouver

Awards will celebrate Canadian talent in March

BC Hydro issues storm safety tips

Bulletin indicates “electrical contact incidents resulting in serious injury are on the rise.”

B.C. flaggers rally after colleague struck in Okanagan

Traffic Control Personnel respond to colleague being hit in Lavington

UPDATE: Washington Governor Jay Inslee visits B.C.

Premier John Horgan talks trains, trade with southern neighbour

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

Most Read