Ingrid Keen wants a smaller-scale future for 240th Street. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

‘Maple Ridge should rethink wider 240th Street’

Resident says four lanes will ruin neighbourhood

Maple Ridge should opt for a more people-friendly environment for 240th Street, not a four-lane expressway that will turn the road into another Lougheed Highway or Dewdney Trunk Road, says Ingrid Keen.

Her house is located on 240th St., with her front lawn and the sidewalk just metres from the curb. If the city expands the road from two to four lanes, the thoroughfare will be just steps from her front door, and from dozens of other houses that line the street.

Keen moved into her house in June and says the road isn’t that busy and questions why it would be widened to four lanes.

“It’s going to make it a really ugly street,” Keen said.

“We have to start thinking about not creating faster and faster routes and think about the people who live along those routes,” added Keen, who suggests that other neighbours who feel the same way, let city council know how they feel.

She pointed out that vehicles already go more than 50 kilometres an hour and proposes some kind of traffic calming to slow down traffic and enhance a neighbourhood atmosphere.

Widening to four lanes will also remove the curbside parking, which is already a problem, she added.

Keen moved to Maple Ridge from Burnaby and didn’t check on the city’s long-term plans before buying because of the time constraints of the hot housing market.

According to Maple Ridge’s strategic transportation plan, 240th Street is an arterial road and serves regional traffic, connecting local destinations. As an arterial road, it’s destined to have four lanes, at some point.

“It’s always been arterial and it’s always been expected to be four lanes, but not for some time,” said city engineer Dave Pollock.

That will be determined by the growth of traffic volumes, which usually increase two or three per cent a year.

He said the city has posted signs explaining that the parking lane could at some point become the extra driving lane, but that won’t happen for the foreseeable future.

Pollock added that 240th Street is an important link north and south, but that, currently, traffic volumes are “satisfactory.

“So we have no plans to widen it now.”

If the road ever is expanded to four lanes, it only requires shifting of road markings, including bike lanes, so that the current curb remains and rebuilding isn’t necessary.

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