Sunday, January 18, 2015

Our Favorite Topic:Roads...& a couple of other things

Highway 99 North, Highway 19 and Road 40 (Carpenter Lake Rd.).

Many of you will have seen the coverage of the tragic accident that happened on Hwy. 99 which killed a young mother and son.   Their vehicle, in a heavy snowstorm, swerved, sideswiped an oncoming vehicle and went off the road, down the huge embankment and landed very close to the Fraser River.  The father and two other children survived.  We are no stranger to these tragic losses.  We are no strangers either to understanding that a small mistake on Rd. 40 could land us in Carpenter Reservoir or the Bridge River after tumbling down many many metres of bank.

Deanne Zeidler, a local resident, started a petition to call for more concrete road barriers on all three of these highways and roads.  If you haven't had a chance to sign it, I encourage you to do so.  And while you are there, read the comments.  The comments are for the most part sincere and compelling.

Click here to sign petition

I have also put together a group a set of links that includes some of the stories on this unfortunate accident on January 2, 2015 as well as some links to other similar type accidents that I could find in a very brief and limited search.  If you  Click Here you will open to the set of links.

The following requests for additional information have been made through MLA Tegart's office:
This set by Deanne:
1. Based on the info provided by Todd Hubner, safety review happens every 3 years on numbered routes in the province.  Were there any recommendations that were made in the last review ( 2012 for Hwy 12 and 99) that were not implemented due to cost/budgets? 

2 Was the area of Dan McGowan's death (January 2012 approx 400 m from the site of the latest fatalities) flagged as an area for possible location of CRB or barrier in the previous safety review? If not, why?

3 I understand that the formula for CRB includes shoulder width, steepness of slope, what is below and  other factors such as posted speed.  Is vertical distance (i.e. number of meters from the top of the roadway to the area a vehicle would land) also part of these calculations and how is that weighted?

4 If  budget is not available for installation of CRB or other safety barriers, is there an existing process that allows for public fundraising?  Adopt a road?  Perhaps it is possible to explore the public's 'willingness to pay' - beyond taxation- for further safety measures.  

This set sent by myself last week:
  1.MOTi budget for the area specifically broken out from District budget
2     2.Any assessment work done as a result of this accident – will it come out of the Area Budget or other source of funds.  The point being that any assessment budget come from additional funds not current funds budgeted for other items in the area
3       3. Traffic Volume Data – what traffic volume data exists for the area and the date of completion of that data, plans for update of traffic volume data
4       4.Road fatalities in the area (broken out from Southern Inteior region). Not sure who can do this.
5       5.Convening of the Gold Trail Road Safety Committee (stakeholder group)  SLRD previously requested from ICBC this occur.
6     6.When was the last roadside barrier calculations on Hwy 99 north, Hwy 99 south, Hwy 12 to Lytton and Rd. 40
7      Report out and sharing of historic collision trends (related to 4 re fatalities).  On this point transparency with the public is a challenge, I have tried to access specific information (i.e. such as the coroner`s report on Janice Buller`s death) and it is not available, or readily available.  It is hard for the public to understand what is really going on here without analysis.
        7. Plan to address the reputation of this road`s area to assist with visitor travel.  This is an ongoing and serious issue as this stuff damages our economy, makes it challenging to recruit population etc.

This would be a very good time for you to write your MLA, Jackie Tegart and the Minister of Transportation, Todd Stone.

-Share your thoughts around concrete barriers and if, in your opinion they would make a difference.

-Share your thoughts around the  safety of Rd. 40.

-Share your personal, and I know in some cases, tragic stories of experiences of "going off the edge".  I am so appreciative that this family has shared in such a public way their pain and suffering at their loss while at the same time advocating for change.

I think at this point in time, your communication may serve to provide additional impetus to ensuring an increased budget and accelerated plan is put in place for cement road barriers and other safety measures.  Please be respectful but assertive. 
MLA Jackie Tegart:
Minister Todd Stone, Ministry of Transportation:

I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.  I will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Bradian Sold

As many have seen the news coverage, the sale of Bradian completed.  Here is the text of the press release provide by John Lovelace (realtor) on January 2.

It's Official: Bradian Ghost Town has a New Owner
For Immediate Release: 12:40 Pacific Time, January 2, 2015, Richmond, B.C.
John Lovelace Team, Sutton Seafair Realty

John Lovelace of Sutton Seafair Realty announced today that the ghost town of Bradian located in the Bridge River Valley north of Whistler has a new owner. He said that title to the town, complete with streets, fire hydrants, vacant lots, and all of its 22 homes, transferred December 29, 2014 to China Zhong Ya Group Hebei Canada-China Co. "We had an unbelievable response from potential buyers all over the world," said Lovelace, "but at the end of the day we feel that the China Zhong Yung Group will be a good fit. The company told us they plan to rehabilitate the town but I think they are prepared to take the time to plan everything out first," he said. "That planning process will undoubtedly take considerable time," he added. Lovelace says that buyer interest was evenly split between domestic and foreign investors but he sees a changing trend in Asian buyers. "The first wave of investors who came to Vancouver were mainly interested in buying single family homes and condos. This new wave of buyers are getting more sophisticated, and they are looking at investing outside of places like Richmond and West Vancouver. Now they are looking at properties all over BC like farms, ranches, and businesses, and in this case an entire town!" Lovelace, who specializes in Real Estate investments outside of the Lower Mainland, says he is working with several other foreign investors who are looking at properties all the way up to the Yukon border. He says its exciting to see fresh money come into the rural areas of BC because he thinks that initiatives such as the Bradian purchase might kick start northern economies. Michael Mills is the spokesperson for the Bradian town project on behalf of China Zhong Ya Group, Hebei Canada-China company. Michael's title is Director of Bradian Project, BC, Canada

I have spoken at length with Mr. Mills who is aware of the Marmot Land Use Contract which is still in effect.    There is much more to come here and Mr. Mills did not have any pre-defined ideas, at least that he expressed to me on exactly what they are going to do.  He did say though that there will be meetings with the community and most certainly they will need to work with the SLRD.  As I become aware of things that the community needs to know or be consulted on I will advise all of you.  If you own property in and around Bralorne, I would encourage you to become involved or hooked into the Bralorne Community Advisory Committee as they are going to be a very important "voice" for Bralorne & area going forward.

For your knowledge:
Marmot Land Use Contract (it has an interesting map) :  (slow loading)

Upper Bridge River Valley OCP (has interesting maps & section on Bralorne area):

Carpenter Reservoir Re-Vegetation Project

This survey is for possible re-vegetation works that have been planned for Carpenter Reservoir, from the Tyaughton Lake turnoff to the Gun Creek fan.    

If you did the "print" survey last summer, no need to do this one. 

They are looking for information on how people use or enjoy the Carpenter Reservoir.