A traffic-modelling study by the District of Squamish for Garibaldi Estates area suggests that an addition of 3,500 residential units would severely impact traffic in the area.
The transportation study was developed to consider potential traffic volumes that could theoretically be generated under a high-growth scenario with infill and greenfield developments in the Garibaldi Estates, Garibaldi Highlands and Tantalus areas, including significant future developments that might occur at the University, Newport Ridge and Cheema Lands.
This long-term growth modelling found that turning movements start failing with the addition of approximately 3,500 new residential units within the study area.
“Turning movements start failing” means that driver wait times for ‘movements’, such as a left turn at a traffic light or proceeding at a four-way stop, become unacceptable based on general transportation guidelines.
The District says the transportation study is a critical precursor to engaging in neighbourhood planning due to the potential for density increases that will impact traffic.
The District retained ISL Engineering to undertake this transportation study for the Garibaldi Estates neighbourhood and surrounding area.
Based on the results of the model, several infrastructure improvements were proposed by ISL to alleviate vehicular congestion while also considering active transportation safety.
The following improvements were proposed by ISL:
Northward extension of the 70 km/h speed limit on Highway 99 to Dowad Drive
New Newport Ridge Drive connection between Highway 99 and Tantalus Road (with unsignalized Highway intersection – right-in-right-out and southbound left turn in)
Adding a westbound left turn movement to access Highway 99 southbound at Dowad Drive (intersection remains unsignalized)
Upgrades to the Garibaldi Way/Highway 99 intersection to improve active transportation safety and vehicular movements
Adding a third northbound lane on Highway 99, starting before Garibaldi Way and extending to Newport Ridge Drive
Adding a second westbound left turn from Mamquam Road to Highway 99
Adding a third northbound lane on Highway 99, starting before Mamquam Road and extending to the Garibaldi Village right turn in.
The study estimates that it would cost $14,397,879 to implements these improvements.