Aldergrove residents are ‘done waiting’ for safer 29 Ave.

Stretch of road where a 10-year-old boy was struck last February remains a safety hazard, Margo McPhelan told council on Monday

Aldergrove residents are growing impatient over the speed with which the Township is responding to safety concerns.

“We will not sit quietly anymore while nothing gets done,” Margo McPhelan told council on Monday evening.

“We’ve been polite. We’ve been patient. We’re done waiting.”

Of particular concern is 29 Avenue between 264 and 272 Streets where 10-year-old Nico Pike was struck as he crossed the street with a friend. There is no crosswalk between those two streets.

The Shortreed Elementary school student was injured in the February accident, and is reportedly back at school for a limited number of hours each day.

Aldergrove residents have come before council several times in the past to discuss ways to make their streets safer, but McPhelan noted in her earlier presentation, the dynamics changed. New parks have been built and old ones expanded, school catchment areas have changed, and traffic calming measures have been a “very positive step” in keeping the community safe.

The dynamics changed again when Nico was injured.

McPhelan told council in February that many students, parents and neighbours witnessed “something extremely tragic and traumatic”  when Nico was hurt.

On Monday, McPhelan was back before council, reiterating the need for something to be done on 29 Avenue.

“We are here before you once again to assert that this project needs to get under way soon, as opposed to later,” McPhalen said.

Mayor Jack Froese told McPhelan that a report “is not an instant solution. I wish it was, but it’s not.”

The report, released from in-camera on Monday night, was not made public until Tuesday morning.

It states that 29 Avenue traffic calming measures are not a priority.

The report also reveals that the Township may face legal action over the incident that injured Nico.

The report said that as part of the review process, 29 Avenue where it fronts Aldergrove Community Secondary and the adjoining park, “has not been identified as a top priority location for traffic calming,” which is estimated to cost $100,000 to $125,000.

A review of collision history fronting the high school “does not indicate any previous similar incidents.”

Based on federal and provincial guidelines that would indicate if a crosswalk was warranted, as well as traffic volume, staff concluded that a crosswalk is not warranted.

The 29 Avenue stretch was among 40 locations reviewed for traffic calming and was not considered a priority. Old Yale Road in front of James Hill Elementary, and 44 Avenue adjacent to Alice Brown Elementary, are the top priorities for traffic calming measures.

The report indicated that the cost for 29 Avenue traffic calming could be placed in next year’s budget, subject to the Langley School District modifying entrances to Aldergrove Secondary.