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Quasi-park to get even bigger

MURPHY'S LAW It's a bit of a stretch to call it a park, but the plan to expand it is a positive move nonetheless.


It's a bit of a stretch to call it a park, but the plan to expand it is a positive move nonetheless.

The announcement last week that Delta is close to buying the former KFC site at the corner of Ladner Trunk Road and Arthur Drive came out of the blue, but if the project comes to fruition it has the ability to help beautify the entrance to Ladner Village and make traffic flow a little more smoothly.

Delta's tentative plan, should it acquire the property, is to demolish the building, widen Arthur Drive to make room for a right turn lane onto Trunk Road and expand what's known as Magee Park, although to term it as a park creates an expectation it can't really fulfill.

I walk or drive by that site several times every day and, beyond the occasional person feeding the ducks, I rarely see anyone frequenting the park.

With a fairly busy road on one side and a dirty slough on the other, it's not the first place you think of when considering a family picnic or throwing the ball with the kids, so I'm not so sure enlarging it to intersect with an even busier street is going to make that situation a whole lot better.

However, that doesn't mean this initiative is without merit.

A larger green corridor, even if it's primarily for aesthetic purposes, creates a far more inviting entrance to Ladner Village and adds to the attractive redevelopment taking pace kitty-corner to the site.

Over and above the park, the proposed project should go a long way to addressing the bottleneck that can sometimes develop at that corner, a situation that qualifies as traffic congestion in Ladner.

With an advance green in a couple of other directions, the light can be long for those northbound on Arthur Drive, particularly if you're looking to make a right turn, but stuck behind someone going straight through the intersection. A dedicated right turn lane will significantly reduce that wait time as well as shorten the line of vehicles idling along Arthur Drive that can often snake past the crosswalk by the pedestrian bridge.

This project isn't going to come cheaply, particularly the acquisition of commercial property at a major intersection (a cost won't be announced until the real estate transaction is finalized), so I hear those who might question municipal priorities.

But if you can get past that aspect of the undertaking, there's a lot to like about what's being planned.

Now if they'd only do something about the slough ...