Letter to BC Ferries, the BC Transportation Minister, and Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan

Wednesday, September 25 2019

My name is Dan Eliuk, I have been a full time resident of Gabriola Island for six years. During that time I have seen a drastic increase in the number of overload sailings that results in lineups that extend well past the area that was originally meant for cars waiting to load on the ferry. There are now times when there are more than a two sailing wait of vehicles. The vehicles are then lining up on the side of the road that is too narrow and they park partially on the driving lane.

The result is a sense of  urgency when people arrive at the lineup and see the line getting longer and that if they go to the designated turnaround route at Ivory Way they may not get on the next sailing so they do an unsafe U-turn. Then there are the times when the lineup goes beyond the last turn around and people do not know where to lineup, so vehicles are lined up on the road again.

This is a serious safety issue, we have had accidents, with people getting injured, and fighting in the lineup when people do illegal U-turn’s or cut into line.       

This has been pointed out to BC Ferries by the Gabriola Island Ferry Advisory Commission, the Gabriola RCMP and many contributors to the Gabriola Sounder newspaper.

I have also reviewed the BC Ferries Terminal Upgrade Plan for Gabriola Island and it is quite clear in this plan that BC Ferries is very much aware of this safety issue, it is extensively documented in the Terminal Improvement Plan.  

Yet with all of the proof of this situation we are still being refused traffic control for the ferry lineup. There has been traffic control this summer at the Nanaimo terminal to deal with the heavy traffic times.The lineup at the Nanaimo terminal does not result in traffic having to park half into a traffic lane, as it happens on Gabriola.

We are at least two years away from any work to our island terminal and this safety issue must be addressed.

Thank You, and I look forward to your response to my concerns.

~ Dan Eliuk