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Langley gets many ideas for pedestrian project

A future pedestrian improvement project on Anthes Avenue in Langley brought about 40 people in Wednesday to hear the proposed plans, ask questions and give suggestions on what they would like to see.

Freeland resident Quin Clements of the consulting civil engineering firm Davido Consulting Group, presented two options on walkway plans for Anthes Avenue.

Curious Langley residents — who wanted to know exactly how their driveway or walk through town could change — came to the meeting. It was held by the Planning Advisory Board, Design Review Board and the Langley City Council.

Clements explained to the crowd that the walkway project would have a different scope between Second and Fourth streets than between Fourth and Sixth streets. Between Second and Fourth streets, considered to be part of the commercial core, would have sidewalks. Between Fourth and Sixth would have a paved walkway as it is considered to be part of the city’s residential area, he said.

Henry Gallagher, on the board for the Langley United Methodist Church, questioned Clements about how the plans could change the church’s front lawn. He pointed out both plans show a decrease in the yard in front of the church, and asked if the project would replace the existing stairs.

“There will be stairs that replace your stairs,” said Clements.

Gallagher also asked what kind of retaining wall would be implemented, as the plans either specify a bus stop or parallel parking in front of the church. Clements said he disliked the boulder-type rocks used in the retaining wall behind the current bus stop.

“More big ugly rock would be worse,” said Gallagher.

Also debated was the possible move of the bus stop, and whether it would be more disruptive than beneficial to move it a few feet up the road in front of the church.

Mary McLeod, a resident of Third Street behind the church, asked if it was possible to move the bus stop in front of the police station on Second Street. McLeod said she sees the Langley Police Department constantly patrolling the bus stop, and wondered if the need to watch the parking lot would be necessary if the bus stop was moved.

One thing that many seemed to agree on, was keeping Anthes slightly curved. Langley residents said it is aesthetically nicer, and keeps many drivers from barreling down the street as if it were a race track.

“It slow us down,” said Langley resident Paula Kerby. “We never drive very fast up or down. We actually love that quality of Anthes.”

Doug McLeod, who lives on Third Street, questioned whether the bus stop could be moved in front of the Porter Building, across the street from its current location. The change would also require a change in direction from the route Island Transit takes, but it would be a welcome change. He said the noise generated from the buses powering up Anthes Avenue was loud and jarring, especially at 5 a.m. If the route were reversed, he said, less noise from the buses could be heard by residents in the city.

Clements said he would look into the consideration of McLeod’s suggestion to move the bus stop and change the direction of Island Transit’s route.

According to Clements, alternative one would have 53 parking places between Second and Sixth streets, while alternative two would have 38 parking places. If alternative two is used, almost 23 new parking places would be added to Langley.

Many agreed while more parking spaces are needed in Langley, they want parking to be aesthetically pleasing, and not a sea of cars parked down the street.

“There is a need for parking and there is a demand for parking,” said mayor-elect Neil Colburn.

Langley residents Hal Seligson and David Whyte both said that keeping the project attractive, and visually interesting would be more beautiful for the long-term vision of Langley.

Langley Mayor Lloyd Furman said the city will conduct a number of public meetings on the plans for Anthes before construction begins. All of the comments made at the meeting will be decoumented and considered before another draft of the plan is revised. No land acquisition is needed, according to the proposed plans, and construction is projected for spring or summer 2004.

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