File photo

Township scraps truck route designation on 216 Street

Despite lack of designation, trucks will still be allowed to use the Walnut Grove road

The Township of Langley has abandoned its plans to add a truck route along 216 Street from the new Highway 1 Interchange north to 88 Avenue.

Council voted unanimously to remove the controversial designation on June 25 as part of a revised North Langley truck route application to TransLink.

Trucks will still be able to use the road, however, as 216 Street is the most immediate path between the freeway and the designated truck route on 88 Avenue.

Council’s decision comes after TransLink rejected the original truck route application made last year — which also included removing truck routes in Fort Langley — based on the findings of a technical review by Urban Systems.

“The Urban Systems review indicated that the addition of 216 Street to the truck route network, while providing resiliency to the network, was not a substitute for the east/west connectivity being changed and would not change the results of their analysis,” a staff report states.

“The TransLink memorandum concurred that the addition of 216 Street to the truck route network is not a significant factor in terms of goods movement to northeast Langley.”

For months, residents in Walnut Grove have campaigned against the truck route proposal, citing concerns with air pollution, noise and safety for students at two nearby elementary schools.

READ MORE: Walnut Grove residents push for truck ban on 216 Street

READ MORE: Walnut Grove mom pleads with TransLink to ban trucks on 216 Street

The Township has now asked the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to install signs on Highway 1, advising trucks to use the 200 Street Interchange as a preferred route instead.

Part of the reason the Township applied to have 216 Street added to the truck route network in the first place was to receive Major Road Network funding.

That doesn’t appear to be an issue anymore. A review of TransLink’s MRN is currently underway, and a draft set of criteria has been proposed that no longer requires the truck route designation, so long as no actions are taken to prohibit trucks from using the road.

MOTI has also hired environmental consultant, Hemmera, to prepare a Health Impact Assessment that uses traffic modelling projections to assess the air quality, noise, safety and walkability of 216 Street.

“As 216 Street is not currently being proposed to be added to the truck route network, the finding of the HIA would not have a material effect on the proposed revised North Langley Truck Route application to TransLink,” the staff report states.

“Staff will provide a separate update to council regarding the HIA findings once it has been received.”

In addition to 216 Street, the revised North Langley truck route application includes modifications to:

  • Remove the truck route designation for Glover Road from 88 Avenue to the Fraser River;
  • Remove the truck route designation for 96 Avenue from 216 Street to Glover Road;
  • Remove the truck route designation for Mavis Avenue from Glover Road to River Road;
  • Remove the truck route designation for River Road from Mavis Avenue to 240 Street;
  • Remove the truck route designation for 88 Avenue east of 264 Street;
  • Designate Rawlison Crescent from 232 Street to 240 Street as a truck route; and
  • Designate 240 Street from Rawlison Crescent to River Road as a truck route.

A public hearing style meeting will be held once the bylaw proposing these amendments comes forward to council.

When voting on the revised application, Coun. Kim Richter asked to remove a second clause that stated the truck route designation will be reviewed two years after the 216 Street Interchange opens. Her amendment was carried unanimously.

“I don’t think it’s very fair to those residents who have spent four years fighting this, that we’re going to tell them in two years that they’re going to have to fight it again,” Richter said.

Mayor Jack Froese noted that, regardless of the wording, a future council can still choose to review the truck route designation.



miranda@langleytimes.com

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