Letter: No time to wait on 16 Avenue traffic light installation

Editor: The headlines over the past many months pretty much say it all — ”Change in works for “deadly” 16 Avenue”; “Councillor pushes for 16 Avenue safety upgrades”;   “Light Up 16 Avenue”; ‘’More traffic coming to 16 Avenue.”

I believe that the council meeting of April 11 was yet another positive and constructive step forward in dealing with the long standing safety issues and concerns of the community regarding 16 Avenue.

The engineering report clearly supports the concerns that the community has been raising for many years.

The list of short-term improvements are positive, especially in the area of creating pull-out bays so that the RCMP and other enforcement agencies can operate safely when carrying out needed enforcement.

However the traffic signal issues cannot wait six to 15 years to be addressed. The time is now. Enough talk.

As Coun. Quaale said, “a do-nothing scenario is not an option anymore.”

A plan urgently needs to be put in place to have crossing signals installed in the short term at all the major north / south crossings. I believe there is enough data to show that the need is immediate.

As a resident in south Langley I agree, as Coun. Fox stated, there is a clear disconnect between the reality of what we encounter every day, many times a day and the need for solutions now.

I do commend council for unanimously supporting Coun. Fox’s motion to have all major intersections along 16 Avenue looked at as potential locations for traffic lights and to expedite the study.

Township engineer Paul Corderio also made it clear that signals will improve safety for north-south traffic. Is that not a major component of what is being discussed as a priority?

I absolutely do not buy into the view that traffic lights could lead to more catastrophic collisions and that more rear-end collisions will occur.

Should we then be considering removing traffic signals at all high-crash locations in order to make them safer?

I would say not, and that maybe drivers should be adjusting their driving behaviour when approaching any intersection, and follow at a safe and appropriate distance to avoid a rear-end collision coming into an intersection.

A signage campaign to carry out awareness and education as the intersections have traffic lights installed, coupled with enforcement, is an absolutely great component in order to have drivers adjust their driving behaviour.

This is especially true for the trucking industry who feel that it is OK to follow at the extremely close distances they do on 16 Avenue.

Once the King Road connector is complete you can be rest assured it will have a devastating effect on 16 Avenue, right from Abbotsford through Langley and Surrey and onto Highway 99.

The time to act is now. Council hopefully will put our money where their mouth is in the interest of public safety.

If they don’t, I hope they truly understand what the risk is to both the community and themselves.

Timing is everything and the time to act is now, or live with the consequences of inaction.

I am confident that on the surface it appears council are getting their “ducks in a row” and are setting themselves up to do the right thing.

Lets all hope so, because if not, living in Langley — and particularly South Langley — will be increasingly more dangerous regarding traffic safety and I can assure you more deaths will occur.

Peter Thiessen,

South Langley