Trust to formally request MOTI widen single-lane section of Easthom Road

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, December 22 2015

The Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee (LTC) is asking that staff put together a request for the province to widen the single-lane portion of Easthom Road above the Gabriola ferry terminal area.

The LTC had referred the issue to the Gabriola Transportation Advisory Planning Commission (TAC).

The TAC members had responded saying that due to the traffic numbers and increasing safety concerns with the single-lane section of Easthom, the LTC should request the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure utilize the actual right-of-way to make a two-lane roadway possible.

Trustee Melane Mamoser said there is a meeting coming up between MOTI representatives and Trust staff.

Steve Earle, TAC Chair, was present at the LTC meeting on Nov. 26 and said the TAC members had suggested a traffic counter be placed to track traffic numbers on Easthom between the terminal and the other side of the single-lane section.

“That didn’t end up in the resolution that came to you. 

“Keep that in mind, I think they [MOTI] may underestimate the traffic through there.”

The request to the TAC came after MOTI staff suggested at a ratepayers roadways meeting this past June that those wanting to widen Easthom Road should seek the support of the Islands Trust to make the request.

Trustee Heather O’Sullivan said given that the LTC had asked the TAC members for their advice on this, “I would be in favour of taking the advice of the TAC members and moving forward with the formal request.”

Trustee Melanie Mamoser said she would prefer to bring up the issue in discussion with the local MOTI staff.

“Talk with them, build the relationship, and ask that this happens.”

Trustee O’Sullivan said rather than having a delay to get the ducks in a row, she would rather write a letter to the regional manager requesting MOTI rebuild Easthom Road to have two lanes.

This past week, MOTI staff said there is no current plan to have a traffic counter installed on Easthom Road in the near future.