Gary Krieger (left)

Gary Krieger (left)

Petition sends council message

Vocal opposition to the city’s proposed road diet plan for 43rd Avenue has been recorded.

Vocal opposition to the city’s proposed road diet plan for 43rd Avenue has been recorded.

Now, the city has received official written opposition to the plan that calls for reducing 43rd Avenue from four lanes to three between 27th and 32nd Streets, and adding bike lanes.

Harald Kober and Gary Krieger, two men who run businesses on 43rd Avenue, presented Vernon Mayor Wayne Lippert with a petition containing more than 1,000 names opposed to the plan.

“This petition contains the signatures of 1,063 people,” said Kober, who operates Roko Service, to Lippert outside city hall Wednesday afternoon.

Kober organized a lunch-hour protest to the plan last week that drew more than 50 people.

The protest, said Krieger, helped attract more signatures. He said more than 160 names were signed on the petition at his shop after word of the protest got out.

“I think that’s a positive sign showing the city is behind not three-laning our road,” said Krieger of 43rd Avenue.

“It’s very busy. I think it shows the commercial corridor is definitely being looked at and attended to.”

Krieger said his biggest concern is creating bike lanes in front of his store. He said he’s not opposed to bike lanes, just not there.

“If the city is going to be expropriating land (for bike paths), it’s going to crush a lot of businesses up and down the street,” said Krieger.

Lippert took the presentation and will add it to the information already received as the matter comes before Vernon council at its next regular meeting Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Lippert said no final decision on the plan has been made.

“There was a decision made after a proposal for a possible grant from federal gas tax money came through to apply and carry on through our processes,” said Lippert.

“If the grant came through, we’d look at moving ahead with the project but not before getting public input. This council has always been about trying to get input on all of our projects.”