Monday, May 10, 2010

Langford, what I make of it

Last night I had to pick up Sheila from a mother's day martini party in Langford in the Glen Lake neighbourhood. I got out there earlier than planned and did a bit of a drive in some of the places I have not been.

I drove along the road that goes in front of the new Eagle Ridge Community centre. The land is still mainly undeveloped, but it now leads to the first corner of the Westhills development that is complete, Lakeview Ridge.  The houses are decent enough, but they all look very much the same, there is no variation in the look.

What I found interesting about Attree ave (Langford Parkway may be the name, I have different names on different maps)  is that is does not connect to any of the existing streets on either side.  Neither Leigh road around Langford Lake or Glen Lake road connect to it.  It just feels wrong not have a connection

In the past it was mainly along Goldstream ave that there there new stone faces three to five story condo developments with ground floor retail/commercial, but that is not case any longer.  The stone facing on Goldstream is also evident in the work at Westhills and elsewhere in Langford.  An example is some of the new buildings on Peatt.

Peatt is on the way to becoming a major street now that it properly connects with Phipps and on through to the mall.  I was surprised to see some of the buildings that have been constructed along the street, condos with ground floor commercial and that same stone facing.

I also see this same sort of development at the corner of Jacklin and Sooke road.  What I am seeing is nice integration of living space, retail space and white collar work space.   The ability to walk is emerging but requires the infrastructure to allow for it.

Along with these developments I see that Langford is creating decent sidewalks, they are looking at how to make the town walkable and seem to be doing a good job.  They are making walking a priority in a way that Saanich is simply refusing to do.  Langford seems to have the money to not only build sidewalks, but to make them wide and aesthetically pleasing.   For me this begs the question, why can't Saanich do the same?   Why is Saanich obsessed with the car and not willing to make walking a priority.

While it is fashionable to think negatively about Langford, I am have to say they are going in what seems to be the most progressive direction with a lot of how they are are developing.   Yes, people can crap on the big box stores, but they need to be somewhere and the location where they are seems to make sense.  Bear Mountain is also something people hate, but ultimately it is offering more housing for the region without infringing on farm lands.  

Stew Young may not be an easy man for some to deal with, but no one can deny he seems to be only mayor in our whole region that has any vision of the future.

I am going to try driving out there again, but this time with a camera and take some pics of the aspects that I saw that impressed me.
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