June 11, 2018
Area Manager, Squamish/Whistler Area Office
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Suite 310 - 1500 Woolridge Street
Coquitlam BC V3K0B8
Dear Mr. Morwood,
RE: Highway 99—Tunnel Point parking area problems
The hiking representatives recommended a pedestrian island at the highway crossing to the trail head and additional parking at Brunswick pit—the decommissioned gravel pit between Lions Bay and Brunswick Beach. Project personnel said a pedestrian island would cost approximately $250,000 and that Brunswick pit had safety concerns under the Mine Act. The project was not prepared to commit that amount of money to public safety. The objections raised by project personnel to public parking at the pit seemed to be off the cuff. I don't think public parking there was given adequate consideration.
I was not overly concerned, however, as trail usage prior to 2010 was infrequent and the trail was not widely known. That has changed. Tunnel Bluffs trail has been rated on a social media site as one of the Top Ten hiking trails near Vancouver. The trail is regularly featured in Internet blogs and hiking guides. Last week, I noticed a large number of hastily erected no parking signs all along the highway on both sides of the highway at Tunnel Point and stretching north about one or two kilometers. I believe it was in response to the trail's popularity and ad hoc public parking along the highway shoulder that occurred in May.
I am writing to inquire as to what actions the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is now willing to take to enhance public safety in accessing to the popular Tunnel Bluffs hiking trail and for provision of adequate public parking. I think the ministry should reconsider the proposals that were made by recreation advocates for public parking at Brunswick pit, the provision of a safety island between northbound and southbound traffic at Tunnel Point, trail signage erection and a return to a lower highway speed at Tunnel Point or other safety improvements.
co-founder Backcountry BC
Backcountry BC is a recreation and conservation advocacy site for backcountry recreation—the person who hikes, climbs, skis and bikes. We are supported by the B.C. Mountaineering Club, Vancouver Trails, Victoria Trails and Chasing Sunrise hiking groups.