As Langley resident Greg Drew explained how traffic has increased on Allard Crescent, the formerly quiet country road near Derby Reach Regional Park where he lives, he had to raise his voice to be heard over the noise of a loud motorcycle passing by.
It was in the middle of the day on Sunday, July 26, and Drew, a retired firefighter, was seated in his backyard patio, behind his home and away from the road.
As Drew talked, several more noisy performance cars and motorcycles passing by on Allard forced him to raise his voice again.
“It was the most peaceful country lane you could imagine,” Drew recalled.
In the more than 30 years Drew has lived on Allard, he said the number of people driving down the road has skyrocketed, and many of them are going well over the speed limit.
“You could impound cars for excessive speeding all day,” Drew commented.
Rob Kugel, a neighbour, had come by to visit after an anxiety-inducing encounter with several motorbikes.
“There were at least 10 motorcycles on my tail, and on a curve, they all went around,” Kugel said, shaking his head.
When Kugel first moved to Allard about 25 years ago, he estimated there was “maybe five cars a day” coming down the road.
But now, the numbers are much higher, and the residents who spoke with the Langley Advance Times said Allard is popular with owners of speedy cars and motorcycles looking for a chance to go fast on a winding road, well-removed from urban areas and police speed traps.
“Traffic calming is what we need,” Kugel said.
Another resident of the area, Fred Berg, explained the early evening is when the problem is worst, when the noise arrives well before the “high-end” cars and motorcycles are seen.
“You can hear the cars when they get off Glover Road ,” Berg described
“They just rock on until they come to the corner [of Allard and McKinnon]. It’s crazy.”
Berg worried about the many bicycle riders who share Allard with sometimes impatient drivers, who can be heard honking horns and yelling when they get stuck behind a formation of cyclists.
“It’s ‘bike city’ out there, and they [cyclists] think they’re on a winding country road.,” Berg declared.
“Most have no clue people are using it as a racetrack.”
Robert Symington, another long-time resident, said “year after year it’s been getting worse.”
“The speed of these cars freaks me out,” Symington commented.
“I’ve never seen the police with radar, ever.”
Drew and his neighbours say they have asked the Township to install speed bumps, and to have radar traps set up, to little avail.
Allard used to have speed bumps, they recall, but they disappeared when the road was re-paved several years ago.
They all say it is only a matter of time until there is a serious accident.
“It’s going to happen, mark my words,” Drew predicted.
For Drew, who has lost a son and a stepson to speeding, the issue is personal.
Drew launched a non-profit group to campaign against unsafe driving, Jammin’ 4 Jay, after his 17-year-old son, Jay died in 2003 after he lost control on a corner and slammed his Eagle Talon into a tree at a high rate of speed.
In 2015, his stepson Evan Archibald, 22, died when a jeep driven by a 17-year-old at a high rate of speed ran into the bus stop where Archibald was standing in Surrey.
The Langley Advance Times has reached out to the Township of Langley for comment.