BC Ferries needs people to direct the ferry traffic

Editorial

Tuesday, July 17 2018

Summertime in Gabriola has relaxing moments.

But then....there is the anxiety.

Wondering where to park in the Village. If the car should be left in that one spot that was available, or drive over to the other side of the street for that other stop.

Contending, either as a resident or a visitor, with drivers distracted by thoughts of whatever they’re thinking of, like where they’re going to find parking in the Village on a Saturday at 11:30am.

But of all of the anxious moments, getting on to the ferry to drive off Gabriola is reaching an all time high.

Just the though of getting in line for the ferry raises blood pressure. Massive long lineups. All the way to Ivory Way and the Campground. And then where, it seems, no one is able to say. Go down Ivory Way? Keep lining up down Taylor Bay?

Most likely just give up and go get a coffee/pint/three-hour nap instead of going to whatever appointment was critical enough to make one actually get on the ferry off island.

Then there’s the u-turners. Residents, visitors, doesn’t matter. Not everyone’s a bad apple, but the bad apples are both locally raised and imported.

One person was so desperate to get in the lineup this past week, he was witnessed virtually ramming his vehicle into someone who stopped to inform him that making a u-turn instead of going to Ivory Way was a bad idea.

BC Ferries. Here’s a solution. Assign/hire/train/contract someone to work the rear end of the line. Give that person all the safety gear and training required to be on an active roadway. Make the job responsibilities to help people remember to use the proper turnaround areas; give them a pen and paper to note down license plates of those who refuse to follow direction; and provide them with a device to call 911 should anyone get particularly belligerent.

And this is a BC Ferries issue. The Ministry may own the road, but those customers belong to and are only there for BC Ferries. No one lines up for two hours to enjoy staring at Gabriola roads.

Two kickers: one, if this job is deemed to dangerous to hire someone to do, that should say just how safe it is for visitors, residents, children, dogs, and anyone else to be milling about the lineup while waiting for sailings.

Two: BC Ferries is already doing this. On Salt Spring for the Vesuvius terminal overflow traffic.

This is not a solution that requires infrastructure. 

It does not require a study, of any kind. 

It requires a job posting, potential training, and for BC Ferries to take action.

Demanding it requires Gabriolans to take action. 

Email or call BC Ferries customer service.

1-877-222-1949 or customer.relations@bcferries.com