The Sunshine Coast’s population is growing and tourism is on the rise, but our roads are literally crumbling. I can’t remember the last time any major infrastructure projects were undertaken here. The recommendations of the 2011 Integrated Transportation Plan are gathering dust, along with the 2005 Gibsons Bypass plan and the 1995 Gibsons Bypass study.
The problem affects the whole coast but because Area E is so close to Langdale, we see a huge amount of through traffic. Three roads particularly concern me:
Reed Road has become the bypass whether we like it or not. Thanks to the traffic light at North Road and apps like Google Maps, ever more traffic is funnelling along Reed and Henry–rural roads that were never designed for the volume. Paved shoulders are needed on both sides of Reed, and signage to encourage traffic to turn onto Payne rather than Henry, which is a narrow road in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
- More than 300 households are accessed via Highway 101 between Henry Road and Lower Road, a dangerous stretch of road with no alternate route. Residents have to battle daily to get on and off a highway with a 80 km/hr speed limit and ever increasing traffic. For pedestrians it’s especially dangerous. In recent years two pedestrians have been killed crossing Highway 101 from bus stops. A lower speed limit is needed, as well as pedestrian crosswalks at Poplars Mobile Home Park and Oceanmount Drive.
- Unless the Town of Gibsons builds a new route to Gospel Rock soon, new development will add up to 250 households of traffic onto Pratt Road. That road is already busy, and the intersection at Pratt and Highway 101 is at capacity.
The Regional District does not have authority over roads in Area E, so we have to bring pressure to bear on the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to make changes. Working with other governments on the coast, we need to pin MOTI down to specific priorities and timelines for this area.
The province is also in the midst of negotiating new road maintenance contracts. If we are not happy with how Capilano Highways has been maintaining our roads, we need to put pressure on the province to make changes to the contract.
Do you have traffic concerns?
The regional Transportation Advisory Committee meets four times a year at the SCRD. These meetings are open to the public, and you can request to appear as a delegation to present your issues. The next TAC meeting is October 18.