A local parent is concerned about students getting to D.W. Poppy Secondary safely. (Black Press Media files)

A local parent is concerned about students getting to D.W. Poppy Secondary safely. (Black Press Media files)

LETTER: Rural Langley school not safe to walk to, parent argues

Langley School District asked to reconsider ‘courtesy’ riders in the D.W. Poppy Secondary area

Dear Editor,

We live at 244th Street and 60th Avenue, and from the previous email received from the Langley School District, my children are considered courtesy riders.

I’m wondering how this is determined and by who? And how I contact the person In charge of determining children’s eligibility based on distance, I assume that more factors are considered and it’s not nearly determined based on strictly kilometres, I would also assume the guideline for any calculation is based off of a safety protocols and safe route planning. I assume that the distance is based off children using crosswalks or safe crossing paths, I assume that the path either has a sidewalk or a safe shoulder to walk on without the potential to be struck by a car.

Yet for some reason this has not been done with our route or the children on our street that attend D.W. Poppy Secondary. For our children to walk to school they would have to walk to 56th Avenue and cross three lanes of traffic on a blind corner to be able to use a sidewalk on one portion of the path not the entire route on snake hill, at two of the busiest times off the day.

The other option would to be to walk with traffic and have to walk on the road with traffic as some sections of the path do not have shoulders to walk on, also 240th and 56th is a flashing light with no crosswalk, and a extremely busy morning and afternoon commute route. Further to this matter, this area is even more dangerous in rainy conditions as the road is not lit with street lights and extremely dangerous in snowfall as the road is narrow and winding.

The other option is for the children to walk up to 248th Street and 56th Avenue, and use the crosswalk at the intersection, but this route which in my opinion is the only logical option would mean the children are walking over five kilometres to school.

In my opinion this is not a courtesy route but a essential route to protect the children in the area from the potential of walking in unsafe conditions.

A simply Google search will show news coverage of serious car crash collisions on this route, an ICBC statistic search will show that from 2014 to 2018, 45 collisions have been reported on 240 and 56th, another 42 collisions have been reported on 248th and 56th, six collisions on 244 and 56, six collisions on 250 and 56, and seven collisions on 246 and 56.

I think it’s safe to assume that the above stats show this route poses safety concerns for any children walking on this route.

I am requesting this route be changed from a courtesy ride to a essential route for the children of this area of 244th and 60th, so that the parents in our area don’t have to worry about potentially not having a seat available to them, that they don’t have to miss work to personally drive their children to school everyday to make sure they arrive safe, and not to have to bare the burden of a extra expense because they are labeled a courtesy rider, when reality is that the only safe route to take is over five kilometres.

Please advise how I contact the person in charge of this determination and how this matter is going to be addressed, Langley School District. If you are unfamiliar with this area I would suggest taking a drive down this route to judge for yourself the safety concerns or I would be more then willing to provide pictures/video of this route.

Krystle Harbridge, Township

CC: Langley School transportation department, superintendent Gord Stewart, D.W. Poppy administration, MLA Rich Coleman, Township Mayor Jack Froese

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