Went downtown yesterday to see a double bill of old Japanese movies at Cinematheque with a friend and as we had some time to kill before showtime, thought we’d spend some of it walking along the Vancouver shoreline. Brollies were the gear of the day!
It was also a bit chilly for our neck of the woods. Anyways, after struggling with the brolly, taking off one glove, holding the not-so-smart phone and trying to juggle them all in the rain with only 2 hands, zoom in a bit, and hit shoot button, I managed to get a couple of shots, one of which kinda captured the moment for me.
Of course, then I had to reverse the entire procedure to get the NSSphone back into my pocket.
You get the idea. You’ve all been there, done that.
If you haven’t been following my story about the street I live on, Gatensbury Rd, in Port Moody, BC, you might want to start here and catch up on the issues before you continue reading this post. Or not. Hopefully, this post will give you a bit more information.
I certainly learned a lot while doing the research for it!
Setting the Stage
On the FaceBook page dedicated to our road’s issues, Lori’s slide presentation, and during our appearance before council, I kept hearing Gatensbury road referred to as a Collector road. And I realized I had no idea what they were talking about. Did that mean that garbage and recycling was collected there? Did this mean it was valuable and people wanted to keep it for themselves? Was this a government term?
Ok, time to do some research. So I did a bit of internet “googling” and came up with a whole bunch of interesting information. I even learned a new word – grubbing – which refers to digging up and removing trees and shrubs and their roots to clear the roadbed when it’s being prepared during layout and construction. Comes from the verb, to grub, which is derived from those pesky insect larvae, you know, the grubs! Really, no lie! I like that name, The Grubs. Sounds like it should be a new TV show about a down-to-earth family (pun intended).
But I digress. So what did I learn?
Different Kinds of Roads
I found a document on the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation site that deals with access and design.
Drilling down to the Supplement to TAC…. I found this in the Table of Contents:
Ah! Now we’re getting somewhere! The 3 designations that are most relevant to the issues we face are the classifications for Arterial/Primary, Collector/Secondary, and Local.
Gatensbury Road is a Collector Road
Here’s the descriptions of the classifications.
1420.02 ROAD CLASSIFICATION
A general term denoting a road primarily for through traffic usually on a continuous route. Direct access to abutting land is not a priority.
A road that provides for traffic movement between arterials and local streets with some direct access to adjacent property.
A road primarily for access to residences, businesses, or other abutting property.
So now we have working definitions of the kinds of roads we’re dealing with here. Let’s keep this information to hand as we take a look at how Gatensbury Road is situated re the issues we face.
A Closer Look
If you look at the google map image above, you can see that there are 2 East-West arterial roads, St. Johns Street and Como Lake Avenue. For vehicles to transit North-South between them there are only 4 Collector roads. Going from West to East they are Clarke, Gatensbury, Moray/Thermal, and Mariner. Here’s a link if you want to see even more detail. Important to note is the fact that both Clarke St and Moray/Thermal have a continuous sidewalk between Como Lake Ave and St Johns St.
If you look at the terrain, you can see why the roads are routed the way they are. They are the best ways to go, although looking at the map there might be possibilities to link up the Northeast terminus of Harbour Drive or Fresno Place to Terra Vista Place.
Unfortunately, just looking at the map doesn’t really tell me whether the terrain or geological conditions would favour such linkups. But even if it was possible and you did do that, Harbour Drive would not be considered a Collector Road because along most of its length it is a local road with single family homes and a few side streets. And I suspect many of the residents would strongly resist such a connection.
Ok, back to Gatensbury road.
Zooming in on the map above shows that Gatensbury Road is indeed a Collector/Secondary Road as defined above.
Not only that, but according to Google’s Live traffic indications, the traffic on Gatensbury is fast! That is not so surprising because even though the speed limit along the entire length of Gatensbury Road is posted at 30 km/hour official measurements have the average vehicle speed at 54 km/hour! Think about that for a second. An average means that some cars go slower and some go faster. What that means is that for every time somebody drives 30 km/hr, someone else has driven the same route at 78 km/hr!! And make no mistake about it, I have seen cars that are being driven that fast both up and down our road.
Also, you’ll notice that on the lower and Northernmost half, it is designated as a road and on the uppermost and Southernmost half, it is a street. This a minor technicality because that is where the border between Coquitlam and Port Moody lies and in Coquitlam it is named Gatensbury Street. That does not affect its Collector Road classification.
Evergreen Line Ramifications
One thing I’d like you to take notice of is the train tracks just North of Clarke St. On Clarke St between Mary St and Grant St is where one of the new skytrain stations for the Evergreen Line is being built. The Evergreen Line will be operational within the next year or so. Right now the weekday traffic on Gatensbury averages about 6,000 vehicles per day. We can only assume that once the Evergreen Line starts operating, traffic on Gatensbury will increase to access the station.
That means more cars, driving rapidly up and down our street and more pedestrians going to and from the skytrain station. Like I said in my previous post, this is a tragedy in the making.
Now we all know what a Collector Road is and what purpose it serves. Gatensbury Road is definitely a Collector Road and our citizens use and value it as such.
When we appeared before council (Item 3, fast forward to minute 20:50) , one of the suggestions by Mayor Clay was to change the designation and close the road to traffic or just make it one way, etc. As I told him there, I think that is too simplistic a solution to just suggest without giving it a bit more study and thought. It does, however, have some merit and is worth considering. In the final analysis though, I don’t think this will solve all our problems, just a couple of them. And it will create others, some of which we can’t even envision at the moment.
I think this is a good place to end this post. In the next “chapter” of this ongoing story I’d like to delve a bit into local transportation plan history and discuss the recommendations from previous studies and strategy plans.
I hope you’re having as much fun following this story as I am in having in telling it!
Saturdays is the day we set aside for hiking as long as nothing else arises and gets in the way. The day was open, the weather was perfect and we wanted a fairly short hike with a great view and not too many people around. We’d heard about the Tunnel Bluffs hike from several people, that it had a great view, and decided that was our choice.
We weren’t disappointed!
Daylight starts to wane about 4 pm or so these days and we figured 4-5 hours for the hike so we were on trail by 10:45 or so. The trail is extremely well marked and quite easy to follow so getting lost is not an issue on this one. The hardest part is finding a place to turn your car around so you can park in the lot on the West side of the Sea-to-Sky highway, and then running across the road to get to the trail head!! The first part of the hike takes you up to a great teaser view point in about 10 minutes.
After that the hike is a dedicated grunt for another hour or so but you are distracted from the effort by many old growth Douglas Firs and Cedars. We quite enjoy big trees and this is one of the best groves on a trail that I’ve seen in quite a while for the little bit of effort it takes to see them!
Eventually the trail emerges onto an old overgrown road which has become a lovely, easy to navigate trail. You follow that for about an hour or so, with a well marked turn-off that you have to follow or you’ll end up on the trail to Hat Mt, a much more ambitious hike, and one I’d like to tackle in the future!
Eventually the trail sign points you to “the lookout. The bluff you emerge onto is called Taster’s Bluff. Here we had our lunch and relaxed for a bit before making our way back down the steep trail to the car. As you can see, the views up and down Howe Sound and of the Sunshine Coast mountains are superb! Well worth the effort to get there!
Back to the car by 3:00 so 4.5 hours including a nice 25 minute lunch break at top. We were joined by a couple of amorous ravens who resorted to grooming each other since we didn’t feed them anything!
A couple more pics from the bluff.
A lovely hike and one we’ll return to repeat, for sure!
I love how windows and doorways can really give character and class to a place. Here’s a couple in a neighborhood of Seattle that I often visit near the Space Needle. The first one is really classy and is on one of those buildings that are on a triangular intersection. I especially like the white and black tiled stairway. Not something you see much of anymore.
This second one has always been one of my favourite Seattle doorways, The Arkona Building. I’d want to live there just so I could walk in and out of that entrance everyday on my way to where ever!
Both of these first 2 entrances use a classic arch motif. Arches are another topic that I’ll have to explore someday but here’s just a sample from Wikipedia of what there is to know about arches;
“The ancient Romans learned the arch from the Etruscans, refined it and were the first builders to tap its full potential for above ground buildings”.
Clearly this is an arch-itectural topic worth exploring photographically in the future!
This last one for this post is at the entrance to a pottery gallery and studio. It’s a recessed entrance and is covered in a ceramic mosaic that is so colourful and joyful. It’s hard not to smile when you enter or exit this one.
That was just a small portion of the mosaic but you get the idea. Just a lot of fun.
I hope this post entranced you and I will now proceed to Barnum and Bailey’s famous “egress”.