Township council has voted to hold off on the 32nd Avenue Cycling Connector until an opponent of the project can be heard at council’s July 11 meeting.
The work was to begin after the Canada Day weekend and would have continued over the summer months. However, only the removal of the painted centre line has been done up to this time.
Aldergrove resident Wade Rayner had requested to speak at council’s June 25 meeting but submitted his request too late. However, at the suggestion of councillor Bob Long, further work on the project will be suspended until Rayner can be heard at the July 11 council meeting.
Notification to residents was sent out in June and had sparked a considerable outcry about the planned removal of public parking on the north side of 32 Avenue. A petition against the project has also been circulating among the residents.
Coun. Long had also moved that in cases when substantial amounts of public parking were being removed there should be improved notification in the process. He said there had been memos circulated within the Township about the project but he had wrongly presumed that the lost parking would only be temporary while the work was being done.
Coun. Long told The Star that he felt council and staff were “blindsided” by the realization that all of 32 Avenue’s street parking on the north side would be lost in creation of the cycling lanes on both sides of the street.
He also questioned the need for cycling lanes on 32 Avenue, as the vehicular traffic has been significantly “calmed” by the speed bumps installed in front of the elementary school and public park.
“My feeling is it’s not warranted at this time and should be suspended until the area densifies more,” Coun. Long said. “There are other areas where this work should be a higher priority than 32 Avenue.”
Suspension of the project would require a majority decision by council, and would also require reimbursement of the $40,000 share funded by the Cycling Coalition in partnership with TransLink and Langley Township, Coun. Long noted.