Pedestrian pathway on Shady Lane

Construction on the road between Laity and 216th streets has riled some residents

Construction of a new sidewalk and sewer line along Shady Lane, otherwise known as 124th Street, is almost complete.

But there could be further work to slow down traffic, if council decides later to add that to its business plan.

Construction on the road between Laity and 216th streets has riled some residents, who say digging close to the heritage trees that give the street its name could harm or kill them.

Coun. Cheryl Ashlie pointed out that some residents even say that the district’s arborist is in a conflict of interest, by monitoring a project of the district, which employs the arborist.

But public works manager Frank Quinn said the arborist is like any professional who works for the district and approves a project – that person is as liable as any outside professional.

“We have the best people we can possibly get,” added Coun. Linda King.

Residents are also concerned about speeding traffic, but that could drop as a result of the narrower road, created by the new sidewalk.

However, Coun. Al Hogarth said when traffic backs up on 128th Avenue, it goes on to Laity Street.

“This is going to be a huge challenge and it’s not going to get any better.”

Council heard 18,000 more vehicles have been added to Maple Ridge streets in the last decade.

King said council has to decide is if streets will meet standards friendly to pedestrians and cyclists – or for cars.

“This will be a big challenge as we try to grapple with increased traffic.”

Quinn said there has to be a balance in designing roads for all three user groups.

Coun. Craig Speirs said ivy growing up trees, as noted in the arborist’s report, poses the biggest danger. “I think they should just outlaw English ivy. It’s just wrong.”