Letter: make voices heard opposing Langley’s 216th Street interchange

'We do matter and we stand a better chance to stop this with greater numbers.'

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my concerns regarding the proposed 216th interchange.

I first and foremost want to make it clear that I m not apposed to change and progress.

I am not a ‘not in my backyard’ person.

I am, without a doubt, a person who puts the needs and concerns of citizens first before the almighty dollar – this I can say with 100 per cent certainty.

My family has lived in Walnut Grove for 25 years and have come to truly love this community.

We first lived in Forest Hills, then after 13 years moved across 88th Avenue along 216th Street.

I raised two beautiful daughters in this community and we are now seeing our grandchildren grow up here, as well.

I am very concerned about how this interchange will affect our future health and well being.

I have become part of a wonderful group of people with the same ideas that I have.

We, however, are finding so many who don’t want to get involved because they feel defeated and have the misconception that our opinions don’t matter.

They are wrong. We do matter and we stand a better chance to stop this with greater numbers.

Moms and dads of kids that go to Topham, this strongly affects you.

Where are you all going to park for drop off and pick up  when delivering your little angels to school a.m. and p.m.?

216th will be four lanes and you will not be able to park along that road anymore, not for any reason: school plays, family fun nights, sports activities… no parking at all.

How about your children trying to make their way across the street, or the noise interrupting their concentration while in class?

How about the pollution coming from the trucks, that they will be breathing in during recess and lunch?

Think about all of this, then say to yourselves, “I can’t make change happen.”

Okay, now how about all of those families who rely on their secondary suites for income to help pay their mortgages?

We all know approximately 75 per cent of the homes along 216th have one.

So you are using your garage as storage and your driveway holds your family cars.

Where are your tenants going to park when they no longer have the temporary parking along 216th anymore?

Most of the subdivisions only have parking on one side of the roads.

So I ask you again: do you think this is important enough to make your voice heard to try to make change?

I would ask you to think long and hard about the quality of life you want for your families.

We can make change happen we just have to try.

Remember if you don’t try you have no right to complain down the road when it really becomes clear this was a very bad idea (much like the 200th Street interchange).

There are far better places to put a four-lane truck route than a residential street with two elementary schools.

Colleen Ash, Walnut Grove

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