Powell River Commuter

Hi Oddvin,

I have read your webpage with a lot of interest because I am belonging to the people doing weekend commutes to Powell River. I am doing this since only a few month but I am already so annoyed about the ferries and was searching the web for an answer why there is no bridge between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast. I am from Germany and I grow up with a good connection system of roads, bridges and tunnels so I was wondering why there is no fixed link. So long story short, what can we do to support a fixed link? I read that a company is hired to prove the costs for a fixed link but is there anything that we can do to get this connector? Demonstrations? Flyers? I don’t know I feel I have to do something. If you have any idea let me know!

Best regards,

Elena

Thank you for your letter of support.

Oddvin

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12 Responses to Powell River Commuter

  1. Steve Smith says:

    Yes Elena, I feel your frustration of wanting to do something but not know what or how. Perhaps someone should consider setting up a lobby group that can organize peaceful demonstrations at selected venues, produce signs and flyers, etc.
    Steve

    • Elena says:

      Steve, I like your idea of signs and flyers and peaceful demonstration. We should get more public awareness of the situation. Especially on Fridays a lot of people are stranded in Horseshoe Bay waiting hours for their ferry. I think this is a good opportunity to spread flyers and get in touch with people and start discussions! Same on Langdale site on Sundays!

  2. Oddvin says:

    Here is some advice to anybody that want a Connector. 95 % of the travellers at any ferry terminal prefere using a Fixed Crossing, 5 % want to use the ferries. They are the committed.
    The uncommitted are the elected ! Send letters to Mayors and Councils, Regional Districts, elected MP’s and MLA’s, Ministries of Highways and Tourism most involved, (and yes, the Premier should be in favour of this great transportation infrastructure), Chambers of Commerce, Tourist groups, Newspapers, letters to the Editor, Radio and TV; and anyone else you can think of.
    Demand to know their stand on a Connector, and a bypass road ?
    By the time the provincial study is completing, these all must be in favour !
    And, remember to include the whole area affected: West Vancouver, Squamish, Gibsons, Sechelt, Sunshine Coast Regional District, Powell River City and District, Comox and all of Central and North Vancouver Island.
    Feel free to include any info from this blog. I will publish copy of letters submitted.
    With all the positive feedback I get, it feels like a small Tsunami, unstoppeable until completed.

    • Elena says:

      Ja if you have some letters and some names we can send the letters to it would be very helpful. It feels like we have to act now or never. I will tell people from your website to get information when I am in line again at the terminals!

    • Steve Smith says:

      Oddvin,

      A suggestion… A draft letter be prepared in MS Word and posted here on your blog for anyone to download and use. A mailing list of the above that you suggest letters be sent to would help greatly. This would make it easier for people to prepare and send. Also, perhaps email addresses could be included as it is much easier to email letters than to use “snail” mail.

      Steve

      • Elena says:

        I was thinking about an argument against the connector but nothing came up in my mind. What were the arguments the last years against a connector? Money?

      • Oddvin says:

        Thank you Steve,
        I dislike prepared form letters, and would prefere a short individual letter to all elected. Very easy to find post and email on internet. Use your own words why you want a Connector, most people would have their own good reason.

  3. Oddvin says:

    The only arguements I have heard is that more people would move to the Coast, and we would loose our rural coastal community life. I do not believe that at all, rather opposite, we need more people on the Coast to sustain a living for our people, business opportunities and a tax base for our local governments.
    Everybody seems to agree that it is better to spend money on a Connector, that costly ferries forever. On my poll, 225 voters would prefere the Crossing, 15 would prefere the ferries.

  4. Sandy says:

    – Increase in house prices. This may sound like a good thing but in Vancouver, people are taking on more debt than they can afford and having to move further and further out of the city centre and commute for hours. If house prices were to increase by similar percentage on the Coast, your children will not be able to afford a place to live on the Coast.

    – Increase in property taxes. As house prices go up, so will taxes. And this does not mean you will get more services for your taxes. You will simply get taxed more.

    – The costs of a fixed connector will ultimately be passed on to tax payers (not industry). Some of the costs will be in tolls but others will be an outright tax increase to the Coast residents.

    – Not much savings in time or money to travel between Vancouver and the Coast by transit. Currently, it costs about $17 to go from Sechelt to Vancouver by 2 buses and ferry and takes about 2.5 hours. How much will the new route cost? How long will it take? If we look at the costs/frequency of Malaspina coach as a guide, it will be a lot more.

    – Quality of life is also a consideration. Out of necessity, most people live close to the highway and during the day put up with some road noise. However, when the ferry service stops for the night, it is quite enough for these people to sleep. With a fixed connector, you will get road noise at all hours of the night.

    – The reason a fixed connector (highway/bridge) is proposed, is not to help the residents of the Coast, but to support export of LNG from Port Mellon (which is looked at as a deep water port). So you will have more tankers going up and down the Coast carrying LNG. This brings more noise, pollution and potential for accidents.

    Nobody likes BC Ferries. But the alternative is worse. The better option is to pressure BC Ferries to provide better service.

  5. Steve Smith says:

    Sorry Sandy, but don’t agree. Oddvin could better reply but a few points from me;
    1. Fixed link will save taxpayers money. The ferry system is a sink hole of losing money and an ever increasing cost to the province and you the tax payer. The fixed link will be fully paid by tolls less than the ferry cost in a relatively short period of time and then be a revenue generator for the province unless they decide to sell it.
    2. a By-pass road should be built that would take traffic off the 101.
    3. Declining tax revenue for local coast municipalities is a bigger concern for property taxes than higher house prices. Where will the money come from to support your local services?
    4. Traffic noise at all hours of the night you say? Considering the age of the local population and possible late night destinations, this is of no concern to me and I live on the 101.
    5. What noise problem does a tanker going to Port Mellon create for someone living in Gibsons or Sechelt?
    6. Do nothing to grow and prosper the coast and your quality of life is guaranteed to slowly decline.

    Steve

  6. Sandy says:

    >The ferry system is a sink hole of losing money
    The HSB to Landale run is one of the few profitable runs for BC Ferries.

    >a By-pass road should be built that would take traffic off the 101.
    Who is going to pay for this?

    >Where will the money come from to support your local services?
    Population on the Coast is growing at a sustainable rate at the moment. You need to provide facts that local services are at risk at the current rate of population growth.

    >What noise problem does a tanker going to Port Mellon create for someone
    >living in Gibsons or Sechelt?
    Ever tried to sleep while a tug boat pulling wood as it goes past your house? Now follow the route from Port Mellon through Langdale, around Lower Gibsons, then to Sechelt and to Upper Sunshine Coast. Every waterfront (and close to waterfront) property on the Coast will be affected by increased noise from tankers as they hug the Coast. This increase in traffic affects the environment, wildlife and if an accident was to occur, the consequences would be devastating.

    >Do nothing to grow and prosper the coast and your quality of life is guaranteed to slowly decline.
    That is fear mongering. Not much as been done over the past decade and the quality of life on the Coast is at an all time high. But, I am pro industry. But please choose another industry other than export of LNG where the Coast will bear the burden and the benefits will go elsewhere.

    I also forgot to mention one other negative for having a fixed link with Vancouver which is increase in crime and the extra costs in policing that goes with it.

  7. renatov says:

    I live in a rented accomodation in West Vancouver and work in Horseshoe Bay. Right now I can’t afford to buy any property in the North Shore, but in theory I could do it in Squamish or Sunshine Coast. People from Sunshine Coast seems terrified that someone like me might move into their unspoiled community when they complain about ” urban growth”, if a fixed link is built.

    Why so much resistance against honest workers like me moving to your city? For me being able to keep my job in Horseshoe Bay, and not rely on a ferry schedule would be wonderful, I ve been to Gibsons, Sechelt and I loved it, but I still have some friends in Vancouver that I’d like to visit, and sometimes I do some odd jobs that require being called short notice.

    If I could, I would stay in the mainland as a happy homeowner, but I can’t (because I don’t have 1.000.000 in my account). So I insist that it is very selfish from some residents to refuse newcomers who haven’t done anything wrong and are not bringing any bad habits that might destroy the local social fabric.

    All I want is to be your happy neighbour, but in order to make my dream of owning a house in the region feasible, the province must get this bridge done.

    There will be no chaos after the bridge is complete. After the Sea to Sky improvements, the cities of Squamish, Pemberton and Whistler received new residents, but there was no “gold rush” or anything like that. There was and is some moderate and sustainable growth.

    In the Sunshine Coast, you might receive some hundreds of newcomers per year, but nothing that will disrupt your lifestyle.

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