Some of Gabriola’s rural roads have created problems for emergency response crews, Fire Chief Rick Jackson said at a June 18 meeting with highway officials.
At a meeting at Agi Hall organised by the Gabriola Transportation Association and the Gabriola ratepayers’ Association, Jackson said there are a number of “substandard roads” – or narrow roads that don’t make use of the entire 66 feet allotted to roads – on Gabriola. He said some of those roads, such as Haig Road off of Berry Point Road are too narrow for fire trucks to easily access.
|Trustee Sheila Malcolmson: ‘substandard’ roads here before Trust.|
Trustee Sheila Malcolmson said some narrower roads were the result of an agreement between the Islands Trust and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, but they are not meant to be substandard. She said that the Trust doesn’t need roads as wide as in urban areas.
However, Jackson said “in some cases we do”.
Malcolmson said the agreement was that roads that stretch the width of those required in urban subdivisions are not needed on Gabriola. She said Haig Road was a different issue.
Malcolmson said that in some of the land that was subdivided before the Trust was created, the developers did not meet provincial requirements for road surfacing and width. She said Haig Road was one such road and Chichester was another.
Property owners there have complained that they don’t have garbage pickup and two-lane paved roads, she said, but “unless those properties are subdivided another time there’s never going to be a mechanism for the Province to go back to the developer” and require those services. She said these problems have nothing to do with the Trust or the rural road agreement.
Jackson said there is enough road width allotted and available for Haig Road to be 66 feet wide, but only 33 feet of it has been built. Malcolmson said this is something that should be on Gabriola’s ‘road-wish-list’. She also asked: even if the width is there in the road allowance, who is going to do the road widening?