Squamish residents are invited to comment on proposed sign locations as the District of Squamish wayfinding project gets close to being finalized. Boards showcasing the various sign types and the proposed locations will be displayed at both Brennan Park Recreation Centre and the Squamish Adventure Centre until May 6. Comments can be made via comment cards at each of those locations or online on or before May 6.
The wayfinding project is an economic development initiative designed to promote local tourism and recreation activities and tofacilitate visitor movements throughout the community, getting people to the places they want to get as easily as possible.
“This project will have a transformative impact on the visitor experience in Squamish and will create a vibrant and highly visual thread linking the many incredible aspects of Squamish,” says District of Squamish Mayor Patricia Heintzman. “The wayfinding will help reinforce our positioning as being hardwired for adventure by highlighting the wide array of outdoor pursuits we offer. At a glance, a visitor driving through will be compelled to stop, or inspired to come back and explore Squamish another time.”
The District has worked with ION Brand Design with input from a group of community members representing the Squamish Nation, tourism and business leaders, brand leadership team members, and trails groups, to develop a Community Wayfinding Program Design Strategy. The strategy and draft creative concepts were shared at a Council committee meeting in November. Installation of the complete system is planned over the next five years.
Residents are invited to provide feedback on the proposed sign locations by filling out comment cards at either Brennan Park Recreation Centre or the Squamish Adventure Centre by May 6. Feedback can also be shared online.
As far as the parking areas and washrooms in the eagle viewing dike are concerned, those are on hold pending the design of the river dike, which is technically complex and involves multiple landowners and the Squamish Nation reserve lands, said district spokesperson Christina Moore.
“This is to avoid installing infrastructure that may have to move or be removed, until we know the details of the dike design. The Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan will help inform this, expected to be complete this summer,” she said.
There are no plans to build washrooms at the Mamquam River but during salmon fishing season, portable toilets are added in several areas.
“The “Branding, Development & Marketing Action Plan” for Squamish highlights the necessity of supporting access to Squamish’s outdoor activities with such infrastructure as wayfinding, washrooms, parking and access points. This remains a priority and is being addressed,” she said.
“Wayfinding is underway; a parking strategy is planned for 2016. The Oceanfront lands are now sold and development set to begin, which will bring a range of tourism infrastructure pieces to the community. The District is involved in ongoing work with user groups (i.e. SORCA) and provincial agencies (i.e. FLNRO) to identify and plan for improvements to infrastructure.”
Moore said the Cheekeye Fan Terrain Hazard remains a concern in the upper Brackendale area, which affects the District’s ability to offer long term leases to airport tenants. The Cheekeye Lands development proposal, currently in front of Council, proposes to mitigate against the risk of a debris flow, which would benefit the airport lands.\
The outcome of this project will help to inform the District’s long-term approach to the airport. We recognize the desire and benefits to tourism that airport expansion would bring, yet must recognize and balance the current risk to development in this area.
These are some of the projects underway to address infrastructure issues, according to Moore.
Parking strategy planned for 2016
Cleveland Avenue streetscape upgrades between Victoria and Main – improved connectivity between parks, new sidewalks, lighting fixtures
Corridor Trail and other cycling and pedestrian improvements – great for visitors to explore the community “off” road on paved, well-maintained trails, and improve connectivity between neighbourhoods.
Truck Route study currently underway will explore options to remove commercial traffic from tourist areas.
Sea to Sky Transit Future Plan (in conjunction with BC Transit) looks at improving Transit to tourist areas as well as to and from neighbouring municipalities http://bctransit.com/whistler/transit-future/sea-to-sky-transit-future-plan
UV disinfection of effluent from the Mamquam treatment plant will improve water quality at the mouth of the Squamish Riverhttp://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/federal-gas-tax-funding/
Business Licence Bylaw rewrite – the bylaw is being modernized to reflect the current business environment and the increase in various forms of businesses including mobile food carts
Food truck pilot project: http://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/projects-and-initiatives/foodtruck/
Oceanfront lands sold/development set to begin (waterfront park, boat launches, marina, windsports beach, boardwalk, lands end monument etc.)