On the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 3, the Langley public works director delivered a notice to our shop stating that the reconstruction of two crosswalks on First Street in downtown Langley would begin the next morning. Some merchants received the notice, most did not. The project led to the closure of the road, construction noise and mess, and the loss of many parking spaces. The project would last through the end of the year. Revenues plummeted. Local business owners and their employees plan for months for this season. Visitors and locals come to Langley to wander the streets, enjoy the shops and restaurants and be wowed by the holiday decorations.
That this project was scheduled at this time shows a stunning lack of concern and understanding for our friends and neighbors who live, work and shop in Langley. The response from Mayor Tim Callison has been callous indifference.
The rationale for the timing is that grant money needed to be spent, and there was no choice. For a project three years in planning, this points to gross mismanagement on the part of the mayor and the public works director.
Looking forward, all of us with a vested interest in Langley need to be wary. This project has a budget of $250,000. The upcoming infrastructure project has a budget of $7 million. Imagine these disruptions and indifference multiplied 28 times.
But there is a happy ending. Due to the persistence of the business owners and the public, after seven days of construction and road closures, the project on First Street has been halted until after the first of the year. Local merchants have decorated the construction barriers, the road is open, parking has been restored and Langley is once again an idyllic seaside village, decked out in holiday decor and definitely open for business.
David and Holly Price
Owners of edit.