The new 216th Street interchange, at the freeway, opened in early September, 2020. (Langley Advance Times files)

The new 216th Street interchange, at the freeway, opened in early September, 2020. (Langley Advance Times files)

Signs banning big trucks from 216th may have to wait

With TransLink the B.C. sharing jurisdiction, the Township council voted to get more info

What can Langley Township do to restrict large trucks from using 216th Street north of the Trans Canada Highway?

Township council asked staff to look into that after debating a plan that called for more enforcement and more signs barring big vehicles from the stretch of 216th between 88th Avenue and the highway.

“The residents of 216th Street are extremely concerned about the volume of traffic that is going on a non-truck road,” Councillor Kim Richter said at the Monday, March 8 virtual council meeting.

Her motion called for installing more signs on 88th and 216th that would direct trucks not to use that road to get to the highway, by April 1 or as soon as possible. It also calls for asking the Langley RCMP to enhance enforcement of the rules, and for “no engine brakes” signs.

The debate was less about whether the Township should try to ban trucks, but about whether they could.

“A truck is allowed to make its way to at ruck route by the shortest possible route,” said Mayor Jack Froese.

The Township is still waiting for a TransLink study to conclude to see if it can reduce the speed limit in front of an elementary school on 216th.

READ MORE: School zone speed limits for Langley school wait on TransLink study

Several councillors expressed a frustration that they can’t simply legislate signage, because they don’t know how much control they have over trucks.

“Our hands are tied in a lot of areas, but that isn’t to say we can’t keep active and aware of this particular area,” said Coun. Steve Ferguson.

Coun. Eric Woodward expressed a wish to simply put up the signs and see if other levels of government would take them down, rather than waiting for permission from TransLink and the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Others noted that getting rid of all trucks simply isn’t going to happen, especially because trucks making local deliveries don’t have to stick to designated truck routes.

Every email and letter the council received asked for the removal of all trucks, said Coun. Bob Long.

“Well, that’s unfortunately not going to happen,” he said, suggesting crossing guards and enforcement as alternatives.

Richter called for something to happen sooner rather than later, and opposed a plan to ask Township staff for more information.

“I think the public and the residents that live in that area have been very vocal and very concerned for a long time now,” Richter said, saying their fears are being realized. “I think this just needs to get done.”

In the end, council voted to ask staff for more information before proceeding. Richter, Ferguson, and Coun. Petrina Arnason were opposed.

If the Township does vote to ask for more enforcement, Froese said the RCMP has been receptive to requests in the past, and typically targets high-crash areas.

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