What happened this week in B.C. transportation? Perhaps a better question would be what didn’t happen! We have transit updates, webcams, bus pullouts, paving, handyDARTS, community safety enhancement projects and the GranFondo cycling event. With all that news, it was hard to decide where to start our report, but we decided to go with something close to our heart and yours, the addition of ten new webcams along the Lougheed Highway in the Lower Mainland.
Counting to Ten in Webcam
Like pretty maids all in a row, ten new webcams made their premiere this week along the Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge. The webcams are now live, giving motorists a real-time view of weather and road conditions on this major commuter route from Coquitlam to Maple Ridge. Priority for new web cameras is given to routes prone to extreme weather or traffic congestion, and for sites where there is not already a nearby webcam.
Get on the Bus
TransLink announced that it will be doing a bit of shuffling to increase service efficiency in many areas across the Lower Mainland this week. This means that certain routes will run less frequently at certain times of the day or night. The change may be barely noticeable – a 9-minute gap instead of 7 – or it may be significant, like moving from half-hour service to 60-minute service. The Robson Square re-route will continue along with the motor vehicle closure of Robson Square to increase pedestrian space, extra service to BC Ferries terminals will end, as of Sept. 4, as will routes serving popular summer spots like Buntzen Lake and White Pine Beach. Sea Bus service will return to 30-minute frequency on Sundays and holidays. Customers should check schedules (visit www.translink.ca) to see how or whether their route is affected and plan their travel accordingly.
Even handier in the Cowichan Valley
The Cowichan Valley Regional District and BC Transit happily announced expanded handyDART services in the Cowichan Valley this week. Beginning September 4, 2012 an extra 1,600 service hours (four hours per weekday and eight hours on Saturdays) will be added to better serve the growing need for public transit. And, with those added service hours, comes an extra custom bus. The handyDART service is door-to-door and available to qualified riders. BC Transit buses in regular service in the Cowichan Valley are equipped with low floors and ramps that accommodate customers with mobility limitations. For more information visit: www.bctransit.com/regions/cow or call 250-748-1230.
Cupcake loving transit users unite in Port Alberni! Riders in the Port Alberni area will get cupcakes, safety lights and stickers during the BC Transit Rider Appreciation event at the new transit exchange at Redford and 12th Avenue on Friday, September 7th. Come one, come all.
Vaseux Lake Rock Bluffs Lighten Up
The drive on Highway 97 between Oliver and Okanagan Falls is now safer, thanks to upgraded signage along the Vaseux Lake rock bluff curves. Two vehicle activated signs were installed, one for northbound traffic and one for southbound traffic at the reduced speed curve. This sign will activate when a vehicle is over speed for the curve. The sign will display “Slow Down” and the curve symbol.
Big improvements to Big White Road
The road to Big White will see big time resurfacing improvements this year, helping locals, skiers and industry alike. Eleven kilometres of road will be resurfaced, from 12 km east of the junction with Highway 33 to Kettle Valley Road in Big White Village. Ride on.
School Bus Safety Pullouts on the Radar
Work is currently underway on three Community Safety Enhancement projects to improve safety for motorists and school buses throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin. School bus pullouts will be constructed at the following locations:
- On Horse Lake Road at Wolfe Road near Horse Lake
- On Highway 24 at Machete Lake Road near Bridge Lake
- On Green Lake South Road at Lake Access #7 in Green Lake
This will help improve bus and student safety by providing a pullout off the road and improving traffic flow around school buses.
Smooth Sailing on Stormy Road
As a part of our Cariboo Connector Program, a section of Highway 97 south of 100 Mile House will be realigned and widened from two lanes to four lanes. Increased passing opportunities in both directions will reduce driver frustration from following slower moving vehicles and improve safety, a plus for everyone.
Traffic Changes for the GranFondo
And last, but definitely not least, the RBC GranFondo Whistler Cycling event will take place between West Vancouver and Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway on Saturday, September 8th. Access to roads and ferries will be restricted at various points and times during the day, so if you are planning a trip on Highway 99, plan ahead by learning the details here: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2012TRAN0082-001270.htm\
That brings us to the end of our tour de transportation news events for the week. Thanks for coming along for the ride and if you liked learning about transportation news in BC, remember to check back next week for more, or look for our Travel Tuesday Paper.li . Enjoy your loooong weekend and travel safely.