If all goes well, the folks along 132nd Avenue will have their traffic-calmed road and it could serve as an example throughout Maple Ridge on how to keep many users happy.
After the Alouette Valley Association bent the ears of Urban Systems last August, residents along the road are now waiting to see what the consultant comes back with when it comes to sharing the right of way with SUVs, cars, horses, bikes, kids and joggers.
“Whether this goes any farther than the design stage, remains to be seen,” said Bruce Hobbs, a local resident who’s campaigned for years to make the stretch between 216th and 232nd streets safer.
The road is one of three selected as pilot traffic-calming projects this year by the District of Maple Ridge. The other two are 124th Avenue, in the Shady Lane area, and River Road.
Hobbs said after hearing from residents on how they want the 132nd Avenue corridor to have room for all uses, the consultant will create a design to try to achieve that and hopefully present it in the new year.
Hobbs said the goal is to create a “linear park” that would be both a recreational corridor and a traffic artery serving the growing suburbs in Silver Valley to the north, along 232nd Street.
“It would still carry a significant amount of traffic.”
A major goal is to have enough space for all users, with traffic moving at safe speeds.
“You want traffic flow, but you don’t want traffic speed.”
High speed doesn’t necessarily relate to good traffic flow, he added, citing the huge volumes of traffic that use narrow Fern Crescent to get to Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Hobbs said finding the room on the narrow road for all users is a challenge.
Some residents, though, would be willing to give up the front few metres of their property to the district without compensation, in return for more space.
One horse, How-D, was killed in 2004 after being clipped by a vehicle on 132nd Ave., while another horse had to be put down in 2006 after suffering the same fate on that road.
Once all three pilot projects have been implemented, the district will review its draft traffic calming policy.
The Alouette Valley Association has been campaigning for several years to turn the street into a recreational roadway and have put up decorative signs to beautify the road.