‘Stop 128th road extension’ say Fern Crescent residents

When Fern Crescent residents complained about 34 more houses planned nearby for the 240th Street area, Maple Ridge council and staff...

Rob Blokzyl

Rob Blokzyl

When Fern Crescent residents complained about 34 more houses planned nearby for the 240th Street area, Maple Ridge council and staff came up with a solution.

But no one asked the residents affected by that solution what they thought.

“There’s been minimal consultation,” said Tara Blokzyl, who lives with her husband Rob on 128th Avenue, off Fern Crescent.

“We had no idea because if you look at the application when it first came out, there was nothing, it shows nothing on our road.”

The couple has received no letters or explanation from the City of Maple Ridge about plans to extend 128th Ave. eastward half a kilometre so it can connect with Fern Cres.

The result will be 128th Ave. connecting one side of the Fern Cres. loop to the other, straightening out the road to Golden Ears Provincial Park, one of the busiest in the province.

Connecting 128th Ave. also will remove busy traffic from Fern Cres., where the 34 new houses will go. The developer of those new homes will pay about a third of the cost of the road.

But Rob Blokzyl said the city has no plans to upgrade or widen 128th Ave. or add sidewalks so it can accommodate the heavier traffic.

The road will be more dangerous because of the sharp turn off on to 128th Ave. than the existing Fern Cres., which is wider and has some shoulders, he added.

The family could lose driveway access for their $250,000 garden suite they’re now building on the corner of the road.

“I would never have put the building here if I’d know this was going to be the main road,” Blokzyl said.

The family has lived on their one-acre property for 17 years.

“We’ve invested our money to make a real nice family home … and these people have just shafted us. It’s just ridiculous.”

The city recently bought property to make a park in the area, said neighbour Larry Kirkwood, who’s lived on 128th Ave. for 32 years.

“There’s nothing for pedestrians along here, there’s nothing for anybody along here,” Tara Blokzyl said.

The Silver Valley area plan calls for trees and sidewalks and proper roads, but Rob Blokzyl said he’s been told there’s no intention of doing that on 128th Ave.

The property is located in southeast corner of the Silver Valley area.

For vehicles eastbound from the park, a curving left-hand turn is required to get on to 128th Ave.  metres from a residence on the corner of Fern Cres.

The road wasn’t supposed to be a major connector so homes were built closer to roadway, he said.

“It’s all to make the development go through.”

The initial proposal would have had residents getting to their new homes by using Fern Cres., at a point where there’s a horseshoe bend in the road.

Mayor Ernie Daykin said the area has some industrial property on 128th Avenue and there will be a park nearby.

“I’ll have to look at the context of the neighbourhood. I didn’t think there would be a huge impact on a lot of houses in there.”

The new road, though, will get a good portion of the 600,000 vehicles that use Fern Cres., he added.