CRC Transportation Study Points to the Need for an OCP Review

by Nerys Poole
February 10, 2008, submitted for publication to Bowen Island Undercurrent

I have just reviewed the Cape Roger Curtis (CRC) Comprehensive Transportation Impact Study prepared by Opus Hamilton for the CRC owners, dated February 2008.

There are a few glaring errors that lead me to question the extent to which the authors analyzed our island situation. In addition, there is a blatant manipulation of numbers that results in a totally misleading calculation of the actual impact of any CRC development on the island roads and ferry.

The errors include the reference to a 50 kilometer posted speed limit on the island roads (instead of the 40) and then comments in a few places about “no posted speed limit” on some roads. The report refers to overloading conditions on the ferry being limited to the two morning sailings at 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. (appears the writer is not a frequent traveler on our ferry system)

More disturbingly is the manipulation of the numbers resulting from a development of 224 units plus (initial phase only) at Cape Roger Curtis. The report states there is “a marginal increase of 89 and 137 two-way vehicle trips in the AM and PM peak hours respectively.” In examining the report more closely, I find a table which shows how they reach this figure (at page 28). They calculate the trips that 224 units would generate (what they describe as “the OCP condition”, which is calculated at 172 and 228 two-way vehicle trips) and then deduct the “OCP condition” from their calculations for the initial phase of development (which includes traffic generated from additional 56 townhomes plus the traffic to and from the proposed neighbourhood facilities) to conclude the above “marginal increase.”

Further, the report makes completely unverifiable statements about the need for “a critical mass of Cape residents necessary to ‘kickstart’ carpooling, transit, or other transportation demand management measures” and the potential for “alternative travel mode usage” (such as bicycling and walking).

The report focuses on the initial phase of 224 plus units and then finishes with another disturbing conclusion about the Grafton-Adams Corridor – “At approximately 1,000 units (on the CRC lands), the Grafton-Adams Corridor will still operate at only 50 percent of the theoretical capacity of a rural road in one direction.” There is no mention of the impacts of the other developments that are happening on the west side of the island.

What this report emphasizes for me – once again – is the very pressing need for a complete review of our Official Community Plan (with full public input) – BEFORE any further developments are approved on our fragile island.