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Not all neighbours want lane closed

Not all residents along a lane in Brackendale written about in last week's Chief are clamouring for barricades to keep vehicle traffic out.

Not all residents along a lane in Brackendale written about in last week's Chief are clamouring for barricades to keep vehicle traffic out.

John Corba, whose house backs onto the lane between Faith Road and Government Road, told that he raised concerns when District of Squamish workers installed the barricade this summer.

"Mr. Prescott, Manager of Public Works Operations for the District of Squamish, instructed the Works Department to install the barricade, but he did not have the authority to do that," Corba said. "Council instructed him to take it out and I guess he decided that it was going to be left in until Nov. 1, as a test period, but, he did not have the authority for that either."

So, about the third week in July, Corba said he and Prescott discussed removing the barricades and adding speed bumps with signage: "That was on a Friday, and he told me it would be taken care of in the last week of July. At the end of that week, just before the long weekend, I came home, the barricades were still up, and the notice, that was referred to in last week's article, was in my paper box. So, I phoned Coun. [Corinne] Lonsdale, and both myself and two of my neighbors wrote letters to Mr. Prescott and Council asking what was going on? On the Thursday of that same week, a Works crew came in and removed the barricades. Four speed bumps were added but no signs."

Corba says that speeding vehicles are not an issue in the lane and that closing the lane is an undue hardship for him and other property owners. "If we don't have access from Depot we can't go to our driveways with larger vehicles. You are not allowed to park a recreation vehicle on the street either. My property is a quarter of an acre and for me not be able to get my RV in my backyard is ridiculous," he said.

"Don't get me wrong. I am very sympathetic to people saying that their children are at risk; the thing is there are speed bumps in there now, the odd bit of traffic there are mostly residents and they go up and down the lane slowly. There is no screaming tires, there is nobody going there at a hundred miles an hour."

Mayor Ian Sutherland explained why the barricades were put up, then removed.

"Laneways can only be closed by Council," he said. "The barricade was put up because there were concerns about safety in the area. It was a written order by the Director of Operations; however policies state that it can only be closed down by motion of Council."

Council's solution was to put in the speed bumps, and come up with a document that would address the bigger issue of all laneways across the community.

"Staff is working on a policy that will consider all the laneways in the District; define what each laneway's primary purpose is, under what condition can they be closed and to which extend they belong to those having them on their properties or the entire community." said Sutherland. "I would think in late 2006, early 2007, that it would come before council. At the same time, the RCMP is aware of the issue and they are making sure that they keep an eye on the laneway in question. But it is important to mention that there were no complaints given to the RCMP since September about that particular laneway."


In last week's story "Safety for whom? ask kids" it was indicated that the District of Squamish was in the midst of a liability suit as a result of a vehicle hitting the barricade. In fact, the liability suit and the collision took place in Surrey.

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