BC Ferries is in the early design stages of a new Snug Cove terminal with a draft terminal concept released a couple of weeks ago. The plan is open for community comment until Jan. 29.
The design includes a new waiting room, washroom and utility buildings as well as an expanded outdoor waiting area, covered bike storage, traffic safety measures for the reversible ferry lane, an emergency vehicle staging area, relocating the community shelter, and, 15 years out, new berth infrastructure with pedestrian walkways and possibly realignment.
The washroom and waiting room are slated for development in the near term, COVID-19 and its effect on BC Ferries' capital projects means that timing and scope is to be determined, wrote BC Ferries’ manager of community engagement Darin Guenette in an email.
However, the concept doesn’t currently accommodate bus drop off next to the berth — a long-sought request from islanders, especially for accessibility reasons.
“We found we must either widen into the hillside, or create a costly over-water area [more pier-like infrastructure] to give buses the room they need to turn around, to avoid conflict between buses and pedestrian traffic, and to avoid conflict between buses and vehicle traffic while loading and unloading,” says the BC Ferries website. Due to the “significant challenges,” of transit next to the berth, the corporation has excluded it from this plan but says it’s willing to discuss options with Bowen Island Municipality, Translink and First Transit.
In the public responses to the concept plan, the most common request is for no more illuminated signage and to remove the sign that is there now.
"The [terminal development plan] engagement process has heard this concern from many so far," said Guenette. "The TDP will review this item and discuss options with the municipality for both the redevelopment plan as well as potential short term measures."