Well another weekend has just passed where Fern Crescent and the surrounding Silver Valley residents have been held virtual prisoners in our own homes due to the traffic volume along Fern Crescent.
I realize that Golden Ears Provincial Park is one of the most popular provincial parks and understandably families want access to it, along with the local popular destinations such as Crosses Cabins Park, Maple Ridge Park, and of course the South Alouette River.
But, Fern Crescent is a residential road already over stressed and never designed to be the sole access to one of the most popular provincial parks in British Columbia.
The present City of Maple Ridge council, in its ongoing lust for development in the area, continues to put the cart before the horse in approving more and more development without providing any secondary access and exit routes.
All traffic still must flow onto Fern Crescent to either access or exit the Silver Valley area resulting in gridlock every weekend in the good weather.
To try walking or bicycling along Fern Crescent you take your life in your hands with the traffic issues as there are only narrow shoulders with no protective barriers to shield you from the motorhomes, trucks pulling large boats, and – of course – the commercial trucks pulling tandem trailers for the developments being approved along there.
Last year, two of our good friends and Fern Crescent neighbours on our morning walk were struck from behind by a vehicle, which went off the road onto the small shoulder. It resulted in numerous broken bones and a trip to emergency.
Residents know that on the weekends you need to stay at home as you won’t be able to get out or back to your property due to traffic.
Something needs to be done.
I have expressed my frustration on this issue with the City of Maple Ridge engineering department on previous occasions, and their response has been that Fern Crescent is considered an arterial road as if this is justification for the high volume of traffic residents put up with.
Looking up the definition of an arterial road it is “a high-capacity urban road the primary function is to deliver traffic from collector roads to freeways or expressways and between urban centres at the highest level of service possible.”
So, Fern Crescent, a narrow winding two lane residential dead-end road with no safety barriers for pedestrians, bicyclists, horse riders, etc. has been labelled by the city as such in its Official Community Plan – in its justification for the volume of traffic along it.
This has been going on for years, now only getting worse.
Maple Ridge residents deserve better.
If council is going to keep approving more and more development in the area, it should at least provide residents with more than one access to and from it.
It’s a disaster waiting to happen and the city knows it.
Doug Stanger, Maple Ridge
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