A Street Spews Dust and Broken Promises

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By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: July 7, 2014

When Jayson Maartense plans to redesigns the website for his downtown business, Sea to Sky Kiteboarding School, he wants to make one change.

He wants to add Bailey Street to the route that kite boarders can take from downtown to the Spit.

It’s a question, after all, he gets all the time from tourists and new kite boarders.

Bailey Street connects the downtown core to two tourism destinations, but it’s an epic ride of a different kind.

How do we see kite boarders? How do we get to the Spit?

“It’s a spectator sports now and I get people here all the time asking for directions,” he says.

Along with directions, Maartense would do well to give another direction: Roll up your windows.

Bailey Street connects the downtown core to two tourism destinations, but it’s an epic ride of a different kind.

It is a street that bellows dust and mud, jolts your joints and makes car wash owners happy.  And it’s been doing year after year for the last 16 years.

For visitors and tourists who visit the West Coast Railway Park, Ken Tanner doesn’t suggest a downtown restaurant.

For that they may have to go through Bailey Street, and Tanner doesn’t want any dissatisfied customers.

“If this was a properly paved street, we would just send them back to downtown,” he said.

If it was paved, it could also mean more exposure for the West Coast Railway Park, the only tourist attraction open year round in Squamish.

“It may be expensive to pave this road, but it would connect two commercial areas,” he said.

Rail historian Trevor Mills said in the winter, it’s common to see pools of water connect on the potholes, adding to the epic experience.

He said he also seen the district send in the graters to fill the pot holes.

“Why don’t they just pave the road when they are spending money to fill the pot holes,” he said.  

That may have to wait as Bailey Street doesn’t seem like a priority for the district. Local government has paid lip service to it, twice passing resolutions to pave the street.

A connection between Bailey and Government Road has also been in the multi-modal transportation plans.

But nothing happens and Bailey keeps billowing mud and dust.

Councilor Patricia Heinzman said BC Rail first made a commitment to pave Bailey Road when they closed the Buckley crossing north of Dentville in 1995.

Buckley used to ‎cross the tracks at south end of Northyards and connect to Government Road on the west side of north yards.

BCR wanted to be able to shunt in the area and so wanted to shut down this crossing.  

As compensation, they committed to pave Bailey to ensure a secondary access egress to and from downtown.

Heintzman said she has asked the staff on numerous occasions in past eight years to look into this commitment.

She raised the issue again at a recent transportation meeting, asking staff to find anything legally binding in the contract.

The Bailey Street connection is also missing from the newly created Downtown Neighbourhood Plan, despite two resolutions by the council endorsing its paving.

Comments

  1. TJay says:

    He’s right… that road is asinine, em-bare-assing, and totally stupid. Not a very professional job at all. Where are the municipalities heads ?…Oh yeah, over by Walmart and Queensway for a built up lot for people to ‘camp’ for those who don’t live here….. Yet again, OUR.. hard earned money spent on others hmmmmm, and we can just go jump in a pothole ! hmf !

  2. Jim Harvey says:

    The paving of Bailey Street (and creation of a round-about at the problematic Bailey – Cleveland junction) is a long overdue no-brainer. The relationship between connecting wind sports at the Spit, the ever expanding Railway Museum and access to the Estuary/Squamish River in general to downtown development is, in my mind, obvious. It is this kind of pragmatic investment in tourism/recreation access that is at the heart of the economic transformation that is occurring in Squamish. A transformation led by market forces and an incredible product with little if any help from local government. Oh well, we can always hope…….

  3. Muriel Shephard says:

    Ken,
    You could send your visitors to Queensway to access downtown via Buckley. They probably arrived that way anyway, but I do agree that Bailey Street should be paved – and soon.

  4. heather gee says:

    Yes, well described – it’s a horrific experience driving on that road – let alone the road leading down to The Spit. With tourism in mind, it has struck me as odd that I’ve had countless visitors asking me how to get to The Spit. Somehow, all I see in the newspapers is the large sums of money repeatedly spent on biking trails.

  5. Rob says:

    First time I visited Squamish it took countless stops for directions to try and find the Spit. Not only is the road terrible, so is the signage. The road to the spit is too terrible to drive right now. Let’s hear from our Council why two of our key tourist attractions cannot get decent access roads? I know Susan Chapelle to her credit frequently reads (and responds to) the Squamish Reporter, how about the other councillors?

  6. Don Patrick says:

    Hate to be the fly in the ointment, but do the spit people pay taxes or lease payment as do the Flying Club and other Societies in the valley that make use of the tax dependent services ? and is not the original Government land located on mostly First Nations Land…? and of course does have a flooding component. Maybe this would be a plus reason to provide support for the LNG which will add to the tax base and provide additional good paying jobs. But please, before you load up get your facts straight on the LNG plant… seems to be a whole bunch of false information in the circuit… especially from those people who realty do nothing but live off the avails of the tax base and do not even seem to realize same. Sad society coming on line.

    • TJay says:

      Good comment. Like the logic quotient.
      Sometimes facts get in the way of the truth.

  7. timothy street says:

    Simple…pave it…..Buckley is for local traffic only….lowers the danger rate of accidents for kids in the school zone and the low speed limits for people thinking its a short cut….it isnt….the highway is faster…..but if you need to go this way forgo buckley…ba blacktop could pave it for less than 500000

  8. timothy street says:

    ……and stop laying blame on others….come up with positive ideas to have our tax dollars spent…not blaming those who either dont pay or wish them to be spent on other things….being practical helps everyone….being empathetic always benefits yourself.