First, the shaded rear window prevents cyclist from seeing whether there is a driver in the vehicle and therefore a possibility that the door may suddenly be opened into the cyclists lane. Here it happens. Imagine what the scenario would be if the driver did not look in the mirror to see if the bike lane was clear, there was a vehicle passing a cyclist, regardless of the experience level, at the same time the door was being opened in close proximity to the cyclist, who had to react quickly. Whatever the reaction, the outcome will not be pleasant for the cyclist. (John Evanochko photo)

Letter: Township must ensure bike lanes are part of election discussion

One Walnut Grove resident wants to hear about more alternative transportation options for Langley.

Dear Editor,

I would like to support and echo the opinions expressed by John Evanochko [Langley bike lanes still too dangerous for young cyclists, March 26 online Letters, Langley Advance].

Langley Township’s indifferent approach to bike lane infrastructure leaves much to be desired.

Walnut Grove is only three kilometres from east to west, and two kilometres north to south.

We have restaurants, a movie theatre, beer and wine stores, a library, community centre, gift shops, a yarn store, pharmacies, grocery stores, medical services, nearly everything you could want, within a six square km area.

Much has changed in the 30 years during which this community has developed, but little has been done to allow for any active transportation choice.

Most of the above amenities are along 88th Avenue, but the trail system mostly stays away from the business of Walnut Grove.

Bicycling along 88th Avenue leaves much to be desired.

A four-lane arterial road with posted speed limits of 50 km per hour, drivers regularly go 30 km per hour faster that limit and there is no separation for cyclists from the speeding traffic.

I’ve been passed within inches with little traffic on the road, and frequently catch up to the drivers who risk my life in their rush to get to a red light.

I’m grateful to the drivers who slow down until they can safely pass me, but having experienced multiple close passes within a few blocks, I’m not surprised most people ride their bikes on the sidewalk.

It has been shown time and time again that if you give people safe, efficient cycling infrastructure, they will use it.

Imagine if we had a safe route for Walnut Grove residents to cycle to the Carvolth Exchange – it could be quicker than the bus that winds through town.

Translink’s 10-year plan includes a bicycle parkade for Carvolth, but the exchange currently exists as an island, the bike paths adjoining it ending at 86th and 88th Avenues, with nothing to connect it to the communities to the north and south.

There aren’t even sidewalks from Carvolth to the Willoughby developments just south of it, or to the office plaza just to the west. It’s been there for five years.

How we allocate space on our roads is a result of decisions by our Township council.

We have a municipal election coming in the fall, and I hope we see alternative forms of transportation – transit, cycling, and improved pedestrian access – discussed during the campaign.

I want prospective candidates to know it will be a significant factor in my voting decisions and I’m sure I’m not the only Township resident who wants transportation improvements beyond simply widening roads for more cars.

Sarah Kikkert, Walnut Grove

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