LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) — Now that the Peace Arch Park is closed, couples separated by the Canada-U.S. border and eager to see each other in person could start trying something others have been doing.
Since the border was closed to non-essential travel, cross-border partners have been meeting in Langley, at Zero Avenue. A stretch of road, just east of the Aldergrove border crossing, features parallel highways – one in the U.S. and one in Canada.
Couples have been parking on the sides of the roads, getting their lawn chairs out, and chatting–albeit metres apart, and with an invisible border between them.
“There is a ditch or an indentation in that part. The chairs are at least six feet, if not eight, feet apart. One side is on the American side, and one is on the Canadian,” explains Kim Richter, a Township of Langley councillor, who was driving in that area a couple of weeks ago and noticed three separate couples.
“The couples were a variety of ages – an older couple, and a young couple, and then a couple probably in their 30s,” she says. “They can sit there for hours, apparently.”
She points out it’s a very quiet part of her township, with a trailer park on the Canadian side, and farms on either side of the divide. She’s not too worried the shuttering of one park will lead to crowds in Langley.
“With the shut-down of the Peace Arch Park, there could be an upswing. I’m sure council will keep apprised of it. As long as they are socially-distancing, I can’t say there’s an issue,” she says.
Nor is she concerned people might be tempted to go for a hug. She says US border patrol agents often drive that section of highway.
“There’s heavy American presence there. Also there is very sensitive monitoring, or a sensoring system in place there.”
If the gatherings do become an issue, she says facial masks could be required.