The annual Cranberry Festival was the Fort event most-attended by local residents, according to a community survey. (Langley Advance Times files)

Fort residents love heritage, concerned about truck traffic in recent survey

The annual survey by a local community group found the same themes emerged repeatedly

The Fort Langley Community Association conducted its third annual survey of Fort residents, and the results show a strong sense of community, along with concerns about traffic and development.

“The big takeaway is the amount of vehicular traffic and how it impacts the village,” wrote Andy Schildhorn, president of the Fort Langley Community Association. “Survey respondents have growing concerns with more higher density development in the commercial core without addressing these issues will be problematic in the future.”

Sent out in 2018 and presented to council and to a public meeting this spring, the 2018 survey had the highest response rate yet, with 535 people filling out a survey.

People were asked what they liked about the Fort, what community activities they participated in, and what word best described the town.

Respondents said they most liked walking and cycling, with the community’s heritage character and sense of community also ranking highly.

“Community” was the word that represented the Fort to the most respondents, with “Home,” “Unique,” “Quaint” “Village,” and “Heritage” also used in multiple answers.

Respondents were most likely to have visited the Cranberry Festival, with more than 400 people saying they had attended. The Fort’s Farmers Market was in second place, and Remembrance Day services rounded out the top three.

Several concerns were raised repeatedly across the survey.

When asked “What Fort Langley issues are most important to you?” More than 300 people named “heritage character,” and almost as many picked “truck traffic.” More than 250 picked “tree protection,” with “crime” receiving the fourth most answers.

“From what we can see from the 2018 survey, is for the FLCA to concentrate on persuading mayor and council to finalize moving the truck traffic out of the village and to finish the sidewalks along 96th Ave. to Wright St.,” said Schildhorn.

Under the “other” category, development was a dominant issue.

“Most comments are either against further development or wanting to resolve development-related conflicts,” noted the survey.

Traffic issues, particularly trucks on Glover Road and other major routes were brought up repeatedly, and ensuring sufficient parking for new homes or developments was also raised. Maintaining the Fort’s heritage character was also a recurring theme.

Of those answering, 64.7 per cent lived in the village of Fort Langley, 20.7 per cent in Bedford Landing, and 13.8 per cent on rural acreage.

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