July 2021 “Fringe” Roads Update

On July 14 I met with staff from the Town of Gibsons (ToG) and (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to discuss the Town’s plans for traffic calming on Gower Point Road, plus other transportation issues. There is currently no forum to plan for roads shared between Area E and the Town, such as Chaster, Gower Point and Reed.

The following is a summary of the discussion. I took notes which are available for those interested in more detail.

Town of Gibsons/Area E boundary is the dark green line. A new connector road will eventually join the two ends of Shaw Road via Inglis.

I raised concerns about a lack of public consultation and communication with Area E residents around traffic calming plans for Gower Point Road. Dave Newman (ToG Director of Infrastructure Services) outlined the agreement with the Gospel Rock developer which calls for a pedestrian walkway and traffic calming measures. He noted that Town council received staff’s proposal for traffic calming earlier this month and has asked for a follow-up report on additional possible measures. It will come before council this fall. Actual work on the road won’t happen for another two years.

As currently planned, the pedestrian path would end abruptly at the SCRD boundary on a narrow section of road with several driveways, and it is likely many pedestrians will want to continue as least as far as Secret Beach. Dave and Michael Braun (MOTI) agreed to meet on site on Gower Point Road at the ToG/SCRD boundary to discuss what options there are for transition measures.

Link to Town’s Gospel Rock Traffic Planning Project

Screenshot from June 15, 2021 Town meeting.

The water main for Gospel Rock will be routed along the Shaw/Inglis connector, and that could be used as a pedestrian/bike path until a new road is built (which will not occur until the development reaches 250 units).

Improvements to Chaster Road within the Town will occur after subdivision. The developer will widen Chaster Road as far as Mahan. The section from Mahan to Pratt is considered a collector road leading to an arterial road and must conform to MOTI standards. The timeline on an upgrade is unknown. Michael is aware of local residents’ desire for a 4-way stop and crosswalk at the Chaster/Pratt intersection. He noted that the increased traffic from Gospel Rock will trigger an intersection review.

The Town and the SCRD committed to working together on a joint communications effort to ensure that residents are aware of upcoming impacts from the Gospel Rock development.

The SCRD/Town boundary runs down the middle of Reed Road. If the SCRD’s Church Road well project is green-lighted this summer, a water main will go in along the south side of the road this winter, providing an opportunity for active transportation improvements. The Town is currently planning a multi-use path along the south side between Park and Payne, with a paved bike lane and gravel pedestrian path.

Dave suggested moving the Reed Road centre line 1.5 m to the south in order to create a shoulder for cyclists on the north side of the road. Donna strongly favours this. Michael was doubtful that MOTI would support such a project at this time.

Mark Brown (Acting Town Chief Administrative Officer) and Dean McKinley (SCRD CAO) will discuss options for joint transportation planning, especially regarding roads that cross the Town/SCRD boundary.

Posted by Donna