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LETTER: Commute between Langley and Abbotsford must get provincial attention

A former resident must still commute to Langley for work and finds the drive worsening

Dear Editor,

This letter was sent to Premier John Horgan.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this correspondence. I’m a concerned citizen of Abbotsford who commutes to Langley every day for work: an affliction shared it seems by a lot of people.

I moved to Abbotsford from Langley about six years ago. At that time, the traffic situation was not a concern; you could even call it pleasant. A short 25-minute drive with no accidents generally meant that very little disruption to both my personal life and my employer.

However, each year has brought a consistent escalation in the overall volume of vehicles on the road and at least anecdotally a disproportionately higher number of motor vehicle accidents that seemingly correlate with this migration to the east.

It’s no secret that there’s a number of factors such as housing affordability that have forced many, such as myself, to the valley for a better quality of life. But these phenomenon have created an absolute mess of gridlock, consistently several times a week trying to get to Langley.

And if it were just a matter of my time, I could almost accept it, but people are hurt and dying on the roads because of the conditions that now exist for commuters going between Langley and the Fraser Valley for their jobs.

Mr. Horgan, I support you as a premier; I found that your message was in line with your and Mr. Weaver’s values and objectives in the last election cycle. I’ve also been very happy with the transparent and pragmatic approach you have taken with the governing the province since your election. The previous government’s plan to address the nightmare that is the commute to and from the Fraser Valley, was frankly a joke; the plans for expanding the highway were mediocre at best.

Now I understand that perhaps you don’t want to encourage more people commuting and rather force the issues of alternative modes of transportation as well as carpooling, but realistically, those are several years away. We need a solution now.

My family is doing its part; we just purchased a PHEV [plug-in electric vehicle] to drastically cut down our emissions, but my wife and I still need to be able to get around in the morning and during the day, due to the nature of our jobs, and we need to share the roads with not only the massive volume of commuters, but truckers moving goods as well.

There needs to be a radical and immediate expansion of our highway system all the way from Langley to Chilliwack, and it needs to happen now. I know these things can take time, but if there is the will to act, all it takes is a first step.

Mr. Horgan, thanks for taking the time to understand our concerns. I know I share them with a very substantial number of my community. I could go on; I know you’re busy, but I am more than happy to share more thoughts on the matter and even contribute further to meaningful dialogue and action in any way that I am qualified to do so.

Hamud Mirza, Abbotsford

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