Q7 for a Better Langley: ROAD SAFETY

BETTER LANGLEY: Do you believe that the Township of Langley should official adopt Vision Zero? If so, what would be some specific ideas of the program you would like to see implemented over the next 4 years?


A note about highlighted answers: Better Langley favourites are selected based on progressive principles of economic and environmental sustainability as researched through the works of Jeff Speck, Charles Marohn, Charles Montgomery, Donald Shoup, Melissa & Chris Bruntley, Charles Schwartz, Ken Greenberg and many others. Additionally, my academic background in political science, philosophy, religious studies, and real estate all provide both knowledge base, process of critical thought, and, yes, biases. In order to reduce personal bias, answers were read anonymously, separate from the candidate before selecting a “favourite” to highlight. Non-highlighted answers are not necessarily “bad” answers – sometimes more explanation was desired.



SPARROW (Independent): I believe we need to create a political movement around road safety by joining and supporting the Vision Zero movement. Vision Zero began decades ago in Sweden and has now become an international movement. Vision Zero provides a framework for not only raising the profile of pedestrian safety but also providing real ways to change it. 

Road safety is now being considered a public health problem, in fact the World Health Organization has labeled road traffic collisions as a major global health hazard and as one of the leading and fastest growing causes of disability and death. Vision Zero Canada has considered traffic collisions to have reached the level of an epidemic and it aims to give the same attention that other communicable diseases have received worldwide.

Vision Zero makes the statement that road traffic accidents are not actually accidental at all but are predictable and preventable, this places road safety measures as a shared responsibility between transportation and public health officials. 

As mayor I want to facilitate discussions around road safety the kind that include real and proven new ways of thinking. Justifying biking investments, the benefits of curbside parking, building slow flow streets, the immense and undervalued use of street trees and lighting, our need for a community wide walkability study are all much needed conversations that need to occur when looking at our road infrastructure. It is not enough to just say we need to “fix it” or to talk about the mere completion of our road infrastructure that is still needing to occur, we need to think bigger… we need to think better

WHITMARSH (Independent): Vision Zero is a systematic way of viewing public and road safety. I support a road network that is safer for people to use whether driving a vehicle, riding a bike, or walking. Vision Zero assumes that people are responsible for their own driving behavior but mistakes will happen. Well designed roads that reduce the impact of driving errors and having a systematic approach to road safety is something I support. Whether it is called Vision Zero or not, we must have safe roads for cars, appropriate speed limits, and more separated paths for cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy. We must work together as a Council, Township staff, community experts,and the public to ensure we have the safest roads possible

WOODWARD (Contract with Langley): This is something we will consider further. Thanks for the question.

COLEMAN (Elevate Langley): It would be a mistake to assume the Township of Langley staff have not been working towards similar objectives.

Vision Zero increases traffic safety standards to a very high level. It aims to achieve the shared goals of zero traffic fatalities and zero severe traffic injuries.

It also recognizes that people (drivers & pedestrians) make mistakes and it holds the road network and municipality accountable for those mistakes.

It is definitely a worthy goal and the first step should be to sit down with ICBC and the RCMP. This is not a project that the Township can achieve on its own.


GARDNER (Independent): The idea behind Vision Zero is that road deaths and injuries are preventable and unacceptable. This should be a non-controversial position amongst anyone who does not see human life as expendable. Vision Zero began in Sweden in the 1990s and has been successful across Europe. I support the creation of a Vision Zero task force to promote intergovernmental and community cooperation in designing safer streets, separated bike lanes, and better planning.

ELEVATE LANGLEY (Group Response): It would be a mistake to assume the Township of Langley staff have not been working towards similar objectives.

Vision Zero increases traffic safety standards to a very high level. It aims to achieve the shared goals of zero traffic fatalities and zero severe traffic injuries.

It also recognizes that people (drivers & pedestrians) make mistakes and it holds the road network and municipality accountable for those mistakes.

It is definitely a worthy goal and the first step should be to sit down with ICBC and the RCMP. This is not a project that the Township can achieve on its own.

WARD (Independent): Although I am not an expert in traffic design I do believe we should prioritize safety. The strength of Vision Zero is that it is a multidisciplinary approach to design with a view on eliminating all fatalities and severe injuries as a result of traffic accidents. It brings in all stakeholders to implement safety improvements through design and policy. I believe in the safe mobility of all Township of Langley citizens. Sharing the road can be challenging at times so we need to find ways for everyone to get around safely. Safety should be council’s number one job. I would like to see the Township of Langley begin by first educating ourselves on Vision Zero and looking at cities which have been implementing this program for some time like Toronto has since 2016. It is important to note that Langley has, for many years being implementing various strategies with respect to pedestrian and public safety with road improvements such as speed humps, bulb outs, raised crosswalks, and narrowing lanes.

ARNASON (Independent): Yes. I believe that this programme would be extremely beneficial if implemented in the Township in order to reduce the incidences and severity of accidents. Anecdotally and statistically, the programme has proven to be very successful in reducing the amount of traffic accidents and fatalities between pedestrians and vehicles in a number of neighbouring jurisdictions. For example, I believe that the City of Surrey has set a positive example based on the implementation of its Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan. The framework of this policy promotes safe road design, appropriate vehicle speeds, creating a culture of safety for all road users, promoting safe and well-maintained vehicles, and effective post crash care. Some of the key elements which I would support which could be initiated over the next 4 years could be: 1) reviewing street lighting standards in order to improve pedestrian visibility 2) implementing a timeline for the roll out of fully protected left turn lanes which involves installing a separate set of signal timings for left turning vehicles 3) budgeting for safety improvements such as leading pedestrian intervals 4)the scope and timing to instal special crosswalks, where warranted, for safer crossing. If re-elected, I would support direction to staff to review and bring back a high level report to Council outlining costing and an implementation timeline to adopt a tailored Vision Zero strategy for Langley Township.

CHANG (Independent): I am wary of any statement that uses the word “all” Really? “…all accidents, diseases and harm at work are preventable”? I am also leery of global, top down measures. On the other hand, I am sure that we can and should work to mitigate harms! So, my answer is Yes, we should implement the best and most practical ways to mitigate harms.

PRATT (Independent): Yes, we should adopt Vision Zero. We should do this to prevent further injuries and fatalities when they could otherwise be avoided, and we can start with a redesign of the most dangerous roads and intersections in the Township. We have the data on where these are, we have the designs that are the most safe, and we just now need the political will to make the decision to make the necessary design changes. We could also be changing how we enforce the fines and consequences that should be in-place and enforced against unsafe driving practices. Perhaps the most tangible and achievable ideas in the program are those that involve the creation of complete streets that have a focus on active and public transportation, which if we are to make our streets safer and help people get around easier, are initiatives we need to work on immediately.

MORAES (Independent): What parent would not support a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. We need more bus routes thru Langley, bike lanes and safer roads with sidewalks.

CONTRACT WITH LANGLEY (Group Response): This is something we will consider further. Thanks for the question.

RESPONDEK (Independent): I think Vision Zero can be successful as long as it has input/integration with the vehicle and bike (or alternative transport) infrastructure. If all these organizations can communicate and work effectively with each other and get on the same page then we should see a huge leap in safety in the future. These organizations should be trying to accomplish the same thing.

RICHTER (Independent): No idea. But I would like to get some clear data on the costs and effectiveness of a “Vision Zero Policy”.

This is a brand-new concept that has never come to Township Council in the time I have been on it.

To date (over the past 20 years), nothing on this has ever been formally provided to Township Council. There has been no community champion for this, and any posted on-line results seem inconclusive.

Intuitively though, it does seem to make some sense.

TOWNSLEY (Independent): Yes I do. As a former Trauma Nurse, I have seen the results of vehicular collision and fatalities at 30kmh. As a human being, I never want a family to hear that someone they love has been in an accident.

I would like to see a formal plan for development of separated bicycle and walking paths. I would take this plan and dovetail it into an opportunity to use boulevard trees to separate vehicles and bicycles for safety. This would also reduce heat islands in the Township.

As for speed control, I see an opportunity to address the dangerous speed on 16th avenue. I have petitioned for an “agritourism zone” in agricultural areas that would reduce speed and promote walking, riding and cycling with priority given to out of vehicle traffic.

SUARÉZ RUBIO (Independent): I completely support Vision Zero and look forward to be part of its logistics, think tank, and implementation in the Township of Langley. I already have some great ideas to implement.

POITRAS (Independent): Vision Zero is a great goal; I would need more information on what it would mean to officially adapt Vison Zero for the Township. I would like to see this as a collaborative effort with other levels of government because I am unsure with my limited exposure to Vison Zero is a project that the we can achieve on our own. I would support looking at this closer.

DARNELL (Independent): This is a lofty goal. The impact on safety, traffick and pedestrians is certainly worth exploring.

JOEHL (Independent): I believe that the ultimate goal of any planner should be to minimize negative outcomes, including death and serious injury. I don’t know if “adopting” Vision Zero will be anything more than lip service, but it would be beneficial to use this certain criteria when creating new infrastructure to cut down on unnecessary suffering or loss of life.

VAN POPTA (Contract with Langley): I’ll admit to not being well enough read on Vision Zero to comment properly. On the surface it seems like it is something we should look into, but I won’t comment further at this point.

KUNST (Independent): Vision Zero is an amazing initiative that I would like to see us adopt. Its starts with education and collaborating with stakeholders. I would like to see this considered as a strategic priority that staff and council can work towards adopting so we can do the necessary traffic safety assessments, set goals to increase safety on our streets

Do you believe in a more economically and environmentally sustainable Langley? Do you believe in the work being done here? Do you want to support the work of Better Langley?

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