LETTER: Langley schools not treated equitably when it comes to road safety

A Walnut Grove woman is concerned about student safety at two area schools.

Dear Editor,

I have a very real concern about the safety of vulnerable school children. It is also challenging democracy in Langley.

Specifically why are some children more protected than others?

The plan is to have no speed abatement on 216th Street north by L’Ecole des Voyageurs and Topham Elementary yet these schools will be 25 feet from a highway interchange. This is the only example of its kind in all of Metro Vancouver as health and safety guidelines were ignored.

When engineering staff is challenged, they say it is not possible because 216th is an arterial road yet North Otter Elementary is on an arterial road with 30km/hr and flashing lights. Engineering staff said they didn’t want to upset the parents when 248th Street became an arterial road so allowed the 30k zone.

Mountain Secondary is fully fenced and has 30 km/hr, plus it is a secondary school.

In other words, what gives? This is discrimination.

Other schools are fully fenced, have 30 km/hr [limits] and speed humps.

I am speaking for all the vulnerable children who cannot speak for themselves. 50 km/hr means drivers will often be exceeding this as they already are coming off the freeway. These speeds will heighten the problem. Hence the reason “Develop with Care” guidelines recommend a large buffer zone for protection.

A unique and dangerous situation deserves a unique solution. Therefore, I am appealing to our council to ensure all children are safe and protected. If no speed abatement is posted, our council is simply creating an accident/fatality waiting to happen.

Interestingly, many communities have paid adult crossing guards ie. Surrey and Abbotsford. Why isn’t Langley following this example?

Linda Nash, Walnut Grove