Report and Recommendations
Bowen Island Municpal Council
with respect to
Snug Cove Ferry Marshalling.

February 19, 2004



In a Nutshell

Executive Summary

Main Report and Recommendations to Council

  1. The Issues
  2. How Many Cars to Marshal?
  3. The Marshalling Capacity of Snug Cove Village
  4. Talk of the Future Numbers
  5. Engineering Studies
  6. Future Marshalling Requirements
  7. Conclusions
  8. Recommendation to Council
  9. Who are the Concerned Citizens?

Please email Dai Roberts (wendai@shaw.ca) as soon as possible if you would like to add your name as a supporter of this submission to Council, or if you have comments and/or criticisms and/or suggestions for additions, corrections and the like.

In a Nutshell

  1. The present situation on Government Road is OK for the very short term.
  2. It makes sense to extend the existing marshalling lane towards Artisan Lane to give us time to meet the longer term needs.
  3. Government Road is unsatisfactory for medium and long term as it will destroy the village and cut it off from the park.
  4. A full ferry marshalling yard in the North Park is not acceptable as it will totally destroy the park in which we are trying to create “a village within the park”.
  5. The “Light Loop” for marshalling would work for the medium term, however, expansion for long term needs would again destroy the park. We have insufficient information on this option.
  6. The South Terminal would occupy little-used park land and has the full potential for all foreseeable long term needs. However, it is thought to be expensive. This option can only be evaluated once a preliminary land survey and design are available.
    1. Appoint an Experienced Project Manager with equivalent Construction Experience to:
      1. arrange for Contour Survey and Preliminary Design of the “Light Loop”;
      2. arrange for Contour Survey and Preliminary Design of the “South Terminal”.
    2. Acquire from G.V.R.D. all the land needed to build BOTH the “Light Loop” and the “South Terminal”. This action is recommended whatever plan is adopted.
    3. Municipal staff should be required to produce a design, budget and then tender the extension of the Trunk Road marshalling lane to safely accommodate say 50 cars West of the school and to move the block wall back.
    4. Do not waste funds on beautifying Government Road in the short term.
    5. Appoint a Task Force of professionally qualified people to recommend the next steps and bring such recommendations back to the public.
    6. On completion of the preliminary designs and the Cost Benefit Study, obtain more public input to select the Terminal site.

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Executive Summary

The Snug Cove Plan hinges on the ferry issue and it is impractical, if not meaningless to analyze other components of the village until this one is resolved. It is ferry marshalling that destroys the unity of Village and Park, and destroys any Heritage/Village ambience.

  1. Our ferry marshalling, or lack thereof is a detriment to our community.
  2. To solve a problem it is first essential to study it. Councilor David Wrinch did this extensively last summer and much of the statistics used follow his guidance:-
    1. Unloading is not a problem if done two lanes at a time without blockages.
    2. Present day marshalling for the Capilano, in a single lane with hatched gaps, stretches 8 cars past BICS. In two unbroken lanes it fully extends from the ferry stop light to Miller Road.
    3. Two lane loading is preferable today and in the long term will become essential.
    4. One lane feeding into two lanes is totally unsatisfactory without full time supervision to avoid lane hopping and serious antagonism.
  3. The number of cars marshalling at busy times is directly related to the size of the ferry and the number of people who realistically have hopes of fitting onto it. Bring on a larger ferry and the users will gradually reorganize their schedules to improve their quality of life, fully loading some sailings.
  4. There is no question that the population of the Island, the number of commuters and ferry traffic will all continue to increase at a steady rate. This will force the eventual use of a larger ferry. Within a few weeks of the arrival of this larger ferry the marshalling space required will leap.
  5. Today is the only time to prepare for this event as delay would, at some time in the not-too-distant future, demand an impractical quick-fix. A well thought out, socially and aesthetically pleasing solution, will take much time: to acquire the land; to enact OCP changes; to hold public hearings; to re-zone; to raise funds; and to construct.
  6. There are three solutions to this imminent problem, plus a few variations: Government Road; the Northern park; and the South side option. These must be considered in the context that, with the next increase in ferry capacity, we must have marshalling space for 140 cars or more.
    1. Government Road All eight plans drawn by the engineering company McElhanney , under the instructions of Council, show that—regardless of the number of lanes—Government Road, from the ferry stop sign to Miller Road, can only reasonably accommodate 140 cars. They all show a widening of the road. They do nothing to enhance the “aesthetically pleasing entry” or “balance the function of Government Road”. To most, the thought of permanent two-lane marshalling on Trunk Road as well as widening Government Road, is not worth considering. As a very temporary measure funds could be applied to the construction of a single marshalling lane back to Artisan Lane.
    2. The Northern Park option infringes on the most loved part of the park and the heron trees, however, a narrow two lane marshalling road from the Stop light back to the RCMP could handle 160 cars while at the same time allowing the beautification of the village. A further expansion of this facility would encroach deeper into the parkland and require marshalling supervision.
    3. The South Side option could, in the long term, be developed to accommodate well over two hundred cars. The 1932 aerial photograph of Snug Cove on the front cover to the Forum Work Book shows log booms at the exact location, but far larger than, the proposed South Side Dock. One could almost argue that this is a heritage solution! The cost of such a facility, if very strictly managed could be in the order of $6.7M, however, with a free and sophisticated design this cost could be as high as $10.0M. Funds may be obtained from: Federal Infrastructure Grants; possibly the Provincial Government and B.C.Ferries; or, perhaps as a last resort, by a 50¢ ferry levy over a number of years.

We the undersigned favor and strongly recommend to Council that a non-islander, independent consultant be appointed to do a full “Cost Benefit Study” on the above three options. Although this cost benefit study could convince us otherwise, without further design or analysis our current position is as follows:

  1. It is our tentative first choice that a South Terminal will be the only satisfactory long-term solution. Recognizing that the development of such a terminal will take a few years to approve, finance, and construct, we recommend that ferry marshalling should be temporarily extended along Government Road as economically as practical.
  2. Our second choice—only if the South terminal is rejected—is for the immediate construction of a “Light Loop Marshalling Only road” from just North of the RCMP area to the Library area, and then the beautification/enhancement of the Snug Cove village with diagonal parking and no increase in width for Government Road. This would be relatively inexpensive, but would be unsatisfactory for the very long term because further expansion would seriously invade the North park which is an important village amenity.
  3. We reject the option of spending any money to widen Government Road for ferry marshalling, other than the temporary extension of the marshalling lane along Trunk Road towards Artisan Lane, since this is unacceptable as explained elsewhere.

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    1. The issues

      It is clearly impractical to try to make decisions on the future look of Snug Cove prior to finalizing the ferry terminal issues. This report therefor only considers the ferry terminal issues. A subsequent report will follow once the ferry decision is finalized.

      As may be clarified by the following analyses, so long as we can achieve any good two lane unloading facility the unloading needs will not change as the population of the island grows. On the contrary, the marshalling requirements for loading will change radically as our population grows.

      Two lanes of off loading could remain on Government Road, or run through the Northern park or the Southern park. Accommodating 200 or more marshalling cars in these areas is a far more difficult and invasive problem. Future generations will have to address this problem based on our present decisions.

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    2. How Many Cars to Marshal?

      David Wrinch advised that the Capilano carries about 90 cars and is usually close to fully loaded for the first five sailings of each workday. This represents a rush hour total of about 450 cars, or 90 cars per hour.

      The effect of the necessary future increases in ferry capacity is clear. Such added convenience and capacity will probably encourage more people to take their car over, or at least to concentrate the load on certain ferries. On Summer long weekends the ferry will be full and overloaded. This may immediately increase the marshalling requirements during busy times, however, there is no question that the marshalling requirement will eventually match the capacity of the ferry plus some overload space. We are told that the Capilano with an upper deck will carry 120 cars and that a Next Generation ferry, as considered by the BC Ferry Service Corporation, would likely carry 140 or more cars.

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    3. The Marshalling Capacity of Snug Cove Village

      How many marshalling cars can Government Road hold?

      The following data was obtained from Councilor, David Wrinch, who has studied this subject extensively.

      1. Ferry Dock to Cardena If the block wall was moved back to allow a full two lanes of loading and two lanes of unloading, this loading area would hold 20 marshalling cars in two lanes. (Engineering drawings show 24 cars.)
      2. Cardena to Miller Road Assuming the marshalling is in two lanes, with no gaps, the area can accommodate about 84 cars. In one lane, with necessary gaps, about 30 cars.
      3. Miller Road to BICS A single lane of marshalling up this hill accommodates about 50 cars.
      4. BICS to Artisan Lane could accommodate the necessary extra vehicles as a temporary measure if the marshalling lane were extended.
      5. Mixed Lanes—where one lane fills up two marshalling—lanes is totally unsatisfactory without supervision as “lane hopping” naturally occurs and antagonism boils

      Note: During last summer’s experiment, a full ferry load could be accommodated in two lanes from the ferry stop light to Miller Road. Today, using a single lane, with gaps, the full load stretches from the stop light to about eight cars west of BICS. Additionally, when the full load was accommodated, overload ran up the single lane between Miller Road and BICS, which led to some line jumping when the two main lanes moved unequally.

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    4. Talk of the Future Numbers

      Estimated numbers of residents and traffic on Bowen Island.

      Today Two deck Capilano Capilano replacement ferry Ten years from now Build-out of Bowen Growth after build-out?
      Dates 2004 2006? 2010? 2014 2021a 12,000
      Full Time Residentsb 4000 4000 4000 5500 7200 12,000
      Summer Residentsb 4700 4700 4700 6000 8000 13,000
      Commutersb 900 1000 1000 1250 1700 3000
      Rush Hour Cars
      per hourb
      90 120 140 150 204 270+/-??
      Plus allowance for overload carsb 105 135 155 168 224 ??
      Length of marshalling lanes needed in feetc 2100 2700 3100 3240 4480 Well over
      a mile!!

      1. The 2021 date is conservative, and based on population projections presented at the February 15 2004 Draft V workshop by Murray Journeay.
      2. These figures were obtained by prorating 120 by the guessed number of commuters. Note: All the concepts A thru G provided to council, by the engineering company contracted some time ago to provide a variety of options, accommodate at most, about 165 cars.
      3. These figures are calculated allowing for the overload spaces and assuming 20 feet per car as demonstrated below.

      Based on these numbers, it is clear that we need to be prepared to marshal 160 cars quite soon

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    5. The Engineering Studies

      Many Engineering studies have been carried out by various authorities. The best known of these are:-

      • CONCEPT A—demands “NO PARKING” in front of the commercial properties during busy times. How can we entertain such an idea as a long term solution?
      • CONCEPT B—one lane off-loading. Can we really consider this for long term, when we have 150 to 200 cars off-loading? We are satisfactorily now using two lane unloading.
      • CONCEPT C—two lanes on and off, but encroaches 25 feet into the park and only claims to accommodate 126 cars east of Miller Road.
      • CONCEPT D—two lanes on through the Village and two lanes off load through the park. This plan shows a 25 foot widening of Government Road and also two lanes through the park. It accommodates only 110 cars plus 55 up the hill, leading to mixed-lane problems.
      • CONCEPT E—two lanes on and off through the village requires 23 foot widening of Government Road. It accommodates only 110 cars plus 55 up the hill.
      • CONCEPT F1—requires “NO PARKING” in front of the commercial properties during busy times. What about the heavy traffic all day at long weekends and summertime? See CONCEPT A.
      • CONCEPT F2—two lane marshalling in the park and one lane off load, with one lane off load through the village. This road, through the park, has been drawn in a manner that infringes on Cardina Road and obliterates the popular trail. Why off-load through the park? A full three lanes would be quite invasive.
      • CONCEPT G—this shows Government Road becoming a full scale marshalling yard, requires 60 feet of parkland and still only marshals 140 cars, which is not enough for a 140 car capacity ferry with overload. It does not show where the overload cars are to wait.

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    6. Future Marshalling Requirements

      As a result of last summer’s experiment with marshalling, a new problem came to light. Two lanes do load unsupervised without too many problems, however, when further cars join these two lanes after loading has commenced the issue of queue jumping and lane hopping occurs (as already noted), creating serious antagonism. The cost of marshalling supervision should be avoided as it would be needed most of the time and be an expensive, ongoing cost.

      To summarize subsections 2 and 3, and as calculated in 4.

      Need to satisfy Marshalling length in feet
      Today 2100
      2-deck Capilano 2700
      Capilano replacement 3100
      Ten years time 3240
      On build-out
      Growth after build-out Over 1 mile

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    7. Conclusions

      Engineering Concepts A thru E all allow for marshalling of about 165 cars, but all rely on continuing to marshal 55 of these cars on the Trunk Road west of Miller. This appears to be less than satisfactory as it involves “mixed lanes” which are unsatisfactory as noted above—lane hopping and anger inevitably follow. It also causes hazardous Trunk Road traffic confusion at times of excess overload because the marshalling lane does not extend far enough.

      Today we do just manage. In the summertime tourist traffic overloads have often extended well past BICS. Such a situation probably arises with 20 to 30 cars of overload, which is about the same number of cars that will be handled daily with an expanded Capilano.

      Government Road as a Marshalling Yard
      If we consider 160 cars (see 4 Above) and if we wish to accommodate all the marshalling east of Miller Road, 24 cars would be east of Cardina and 136 would have to be between Cardina and Miller. This is shown in CONCEPT G. which does not achieve near this and requires the equivalent of 9 lanes plus sidewalks and boulevards. The expense would be great and there is no space for further long term expansion. This may be a possibility, but we had better stop thinking of Government Road as being our village street. It will be a marshalling yard.

      Alternately, with two lanes of marshalling in the village 160 cars would still string out in one lane along the Trunk Road towards Artisan Lane entrance, with all the associated lane jumping, and other traffic hazards.

      Should any scheme such as these even be considered, a commuter parking lot would need to be developed in the trees, to the south of the Bowfest Ground.

      Parkland north of Government Road

      Considering 160 marshaled cars we will need 3200 feet of lane.

      There appears to be 1360 feet from the Boulevard Cottage to Miller Road opposite the Ambulance Station. Two lanes along this alignment would marshal 136 cars, add 24 cars between Cardena and the traffic light and would barely handle the 160 cars.

      Further expansion would necessitate the addition of a third lane and this would involve use of more park and probably introduce the need for supervision. The cost of this Light Loop, if designed and built with restraint in mind, might be of the order of $500,000. Concurrent with this development, a commuter parking lot would be needed in the trees, to the south of the Bowfest Ground. For this a budget of $100,000 should be allowed. Subsequently, as appropriate, moneys would be spent on the detailing and beautification of Government Road. This might include a traffic circle, new widened sidewalks, a landscaped median, diagonal parking, and an explicit park entry. Such works might cost a further $250,000 over a period of several years.

      Parkland south of the Bowfest Grounds

      The latest suggestions for this facility include a ferry dock immediately south of Bowen Island Marina with an elevated concrete road over the foreshore and just above high water level. The 1932 aerial photograph on the cover of the Forum Work Book shows a log boom moored in much the same space as the proposed South Terminal ferry facility, though not so well tucked into the shore. The proposed South shore facility will be much smaller and less obtrusive. We almost have an improved heritage solution!

      The area from the sewage plant up to the foreshore would be developed for marshalling, parking and two-lane off-loading, all well back from the Bowfest Ground and screened with a broad band of trees. The distance from the dock head to the sewage plant is over 2000 feet and this could accommodate over 200 cars in two lanes. There will be ample room for expansion and for the parking of commuters cars. Foot traffic to the village will be along an extended boardwalk with gazebo roofs for shelter at aesthetically selected points.

      The cost of this concept will depend largely on its details. Curbs, gutters and sidewalks should be excluded as they would entrap water and create expensive discharge problems. Assuming that there is no cost for the land, and, with very tight management, the facility might be constructed for $6.7M. However, without carefully imposed restraint, this cost could increase significantly.

      The South parkland terminal would thus be by far the most expensive alternative. However, it would have the least impact on near-by residences and would use a rarely frequented part of the parkland where no heron nests have been identified to date. Presently the site contains old cottage foundations and garbage. It would allow the independent beautification of the village and have extensive very long term expansion potential. The dock would be straight in/out, avoiding the sharp turn needed for the ferry to enter the existing facility, and would save schedule time. Such a dock could accommodate a very large ferry, should that be advantageous some time in the future. The old ferry facility might fill B. C. Ferries need for a spare overnight dock, for which there was talk of a $4M budget. It would also fulfill emergency planning needs.

      Aerial photo with the three main marshalling alternatives
      (Click image to enlarge, "Back" button to return)

      Some tenative planning background information for the South side terminal is provided by a set of notes related to this option as illustrated on the above aerial photo in red.

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    8. Recommendation to Council

      That Council adopt the following phased plan and resolve all subsequent restructuring plans for Snug Cove around this ferry marshalling plan. It should be noted that this plan follows all the Transportation & Parking Principles and Guidelines listed in the Draft V5 Work Book. Draft V5 itself does not achieve any of these.

      The following Phased Plan also addresses all three of: the short term; medium term; and long term marshalling issues.

      A Phased Plan

      PHASE 1


      1. Commence the process of acquiring all the land needed for; (1) The South Terminal; (2) The Light Loop; and (3) the South Marshalling Lane on the Trunk Road.
      2. Plan the revisions to the OCP and negotiations with respect to the Surplus Lands around the inclusion of an optional South Terminal.
      3. Appoint an experienced Project Manager to manage the development of a preliminary design and detailed budget for the South Terminal and also the Light Loop concept.
        (His first duty will be to control costs and he must have an extensive background of Design/Build Management.)
      4. Appoint an off island expert consultant to carry out a full Cost Benefit Study for the three alternates, Government Road, Light Loop, and the South Terminal.
        (It must be recognized that it will be very difficult to attach a real value to “a greater or lesser connection of the village to the park”, “the longer term effect on businesses”, “the value of village growth potential”, staying well away from the heron tree” and other such issues.)
      5. Advise B.C.Ferries, GVRD and Fisheries of the preferred concept of a South Terminal and obtain their formal response/reactions.
      6. Investigate funding options for the South terminal, including discussions with B.C. Ferries, infrastructure grant applications. If appropriate, establish a levy on ferry travel.
      7. Make temporary improvements to single lane marshalling on Trunk Road, back towards Artisan Lane.

      PHASE 2.

      1. On completion of the Preliminary Designs and the Cost Benefit Study obtain further public input and chose between the viable options.
      2. With the approval and some financial support from B.C.Ferries, build the new Terminal.
      3. Only if South Terminal is not chosen, build a commuter parking lot within the South Terminal Site complete with boardwalk extension etc.
      4. After moving marshalling to a new location
        1. Study the new function of Government Road, and thereby plan the development of wider sidewalks, landscaped medians, diagonal parking and a beautified Crippen Park entrance.
        2. Study the intersection of Government Road and Miller Road and the advantages of a traffic circle.
        3. As funds become available and marshalling is moved elsewhere, commence the beautification and enhancement of the village according to the Snug Cove Village Plan then in effect.

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    9. Who are the Concerned Citizens?

      The following list comprises the names of those concerned citizens who have had the opportunity to participate in drafting and/or support its conclusions and recommendations as of February 20th 2004.

      Doreen Anderson Maurice Anderson Hal Barber Rene Beauchamp
      Pierre Beaudry Gillian Bennett Jonathan Bennett Doug Berry
      Denis Cannon Fran Cannon Glen Chilvers Jan Chilvers
      Jean Cleator Ted Darling Leah Darling Mary Ellen deGrace
      Hal deGrace Betty Dhont Thys Dhont Harry Dives
      Paul Fast Lynn Fearn Gayle Ferguson Laura Frost
      Cal Frost Jan Furst Connie Golfman Paul Gresco
      Mae Hall Bill Hamilton Leal Hamilton Ruth Harding
      Glenda Hazell Daniel Heald Allan Hepburn Paula Hepburn
      David Hill Anne Ironside Jim Ironside Patti Kearney
      Jim Kearney Deborah Kirby Nairn Knipe Anne Lagasse
      Pauline Le Bel Bud Long Kathleen Loveridge Dwayne Matthews
      Lois McLaren Hans Merklebach Allan Peters Bill Riddell
      Wendy Roberts Dai Roberts Gail Roddan Shannon Rondeau
      Mary Selman Gordon Selman Jim Shaw Daphne Shaw
      Erwen Smith Patty Smith Ursel Tribe Ron Tribe
      Michelle Vaillancourt Dick Van Aelst Lilly Van Aelst Renata Williams
      Miriam Wilner Dave Gagne Pam Cleary

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      Please email any comments or questions about the ferry and village plans, especially corrections and additions to Dai Roberts (wendai@shaw.ca)

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