Langley City is carving out space for cyclists on one of the community’s busy roadways.
As part of the 203rd Street upgrade, the B.C. government is pitching in $440,000 to create a bike path along 203rd Street from Michaud Crescent to Grade Grescent. It will be matched by City funds.
The grant falls under the BikeBC program, a government cost-sharing effort with local governments to create cycling infrastructure.
“The BikeBC grant funding is more than a separated bike path along 203rd Street,” said City of Langley Mayor Ted Schaffer. “It will improve accessibility for residents by enhancing local and regional connectivity to downtown businesses, workplaces and transit, contribute to a healthier community and reduce greenhouse gases by reducing reliance on automobiles and the need for parking in the downtown core.”
The project is part of B.C. on the Move, the B.C. government’s 10-year transportation plan. B.C. on the Move has committed $18 million over the next three years to the BikeBC program.
The bike aspect is one facet of a larger project funded by the City, province and Ottawa, and announced earlier this year.
At the time, it was announced that Langley City would be getting its first roundabout, intended to ease traffic flow at the intersection of 203rd Street and 53rd Avenue.
The City along with the province and federal government announced the project with each pitching in $1.4 million.
The $6.5 into the area economy, help with traffic flow, and make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to travel the corridor.
The project involves a traffic circle or roundabout at 53rd Avenue, widening of 203rd Street from 53rd Avenue to just south of the bridge over the Nicomekl River and widening of the 40-year-old bridge. That should extend the bridge’s lifespan another three to four decades.
Langley MLA Mary Polak noted this kind of announcement would not be possible if the three levels of government did not have their books in order.
The federal money is from the Small Communities Fund that’s part of Build Canada, the infrastructure fund.
Project manager Doug Hyde said the use of a roundabout instead of traffic lights has several benefits. The City will not longer have to maintain and service the traffic lights and traffic flow will be smoother. People don’t sit at traffic lights idling so it’s better for the environment, he said.
“It’s a busy corridor,” Hyde noted.
The new roadway will be single lane and the largest vehicles that could use it are buses.
There’s no dates set but the City will be announcing public consultation on the proposed project.
Under the infrastructure program, the City must complete the project by 2017 or lose out on the funds.
“We’re hopeful that it will be completed by fall of 2016,” said Rick Bomhof, the City director of engineering.