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Langley residents protest “death road”

VANCOUVER — Residents call it “death road.” But it’s also known as a busy stretch of 72 Avenue between 196 Street and 200 Street in Langley. There have been three serious crashes in the area, one of which recently killed a senior citizen.

Just over a week ago, two seniors were struck while crossing 72 Avenue. A 79-year-old woman was rushed to hospital, and her 83-year-old husband died. In November, an 11-year-old boy who was rollerblading was hit and last April a young woman walking in the area was hit by a driver who fled the scene, after her body was flung into a nearby ditch.

Now, residents are taking action. They’re gathering signatures to show the Township how big a problem the streets have become.

“This area has a lot of seniors and a lot of little kids. It’s a busy intersection. There’s really no where to cross between 200th and 192 safely,” one local resident told Global News.

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Neighbors say there has been a lot of residential development in the area, but the infrastructure has not kept up. They want lights, crosswalks and sidewalks to keep pedestrians safe.

“People have been complaining that for five to eight years since they moved in, the progress has been rapid but the safety concern has not been kept up to par,” said petition organizer Gary Hee.

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese said the area is under transition and they are working to get the necessary improvements implemented.

One crosswalk is scheduled to go up at 196 Street but not until the fall of 2015, and it could be many years more before they fix the rest of the problems.

–With files from Darlene Heidemann.