Amid concerns that visitors to White Rock’s pier and promenade aren’t practising proper social distancing, White Rock’s mayor says closing public access would be ‘plan-B’ with the first steps being to appeal to people’s common sense and better instincts. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Amid concerns that visitors to White Rock’s pier and promenade aren’t practising proper social distancing, White Rock’s mayor says closing public access would be ‘plan-B’ with the first steps being to appeal to people’s common sense and better instincts. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock pier, promenade closure could be ‘plan B’ – mayor

Darryl Walker appeals to waterfront visitors to use common sense, avoid close contact with others

The City of White Rock has been doing its part in attempting to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic by closing city and city-operated facilities –including city hall – to the public.

But it’s not ready to add the popular pier and promenade to that list – just yet.

However, it’s up to the public to act responsibly, Mayor Darryl Walker told Peace Arch News Thursday.

And that includes keeping a reasonable distance from others while out getting fresh air and exercise, he said.

Closures this past week have included Kent Street Activity Centre, White Rock Community Centre, Centennial Arena and the Centre for Active Living and the Landmark Pop-Uptown Gallery at Central Plaza.

READ ALSO: City of White Rock puts committees on hold in response to COVID-19

The city works yard is also closed to the public, but staff there, at city hall and at other facilities can still assist people – with everything from paying bills to getting permits – by telephone or email, Walker said. City council meetings are still scheduled to continue every two weeks and are also live streamed on the city’s website (whiterockcity.ca).

“It’s very important that we try to maintain those services that make a city a city, whether it’s garbage collection or the presence of bylaw officers,” he said.

But he said city council has stopped short of restricting access to the pier and promenade, in spite of reports of large numbers of people packing these areas.

“We think that if people would be responsible in not getting too close to others, and observing the idea of social distancing we would still be able to keep our pier and promenade open,” Walker said.

READ ALSO: No restriction on public access to White Rock waterfront for now, despite COVID-19 concerns

He added that council has approved signage that will soon be appearing on the promenade, pier and Marine Drive to remind people of the correct practices to help minimize the spread of the virus. He noted that small restaurants and coffee shops operating on Marine Drive come under the purview of Fraser Health as far as health and safety regulations are concerned.

“We’ll also have bylaw officers down there talking to people about their responsibilities. We want to appeal to people’s common sense and better instincts.”

If that doesn’t work, Walker warned, “then we may have to go to a plan B – which could include closing the pier and promenade.”

But Walker said he doesn’t believe it will have to come to that, because he has greater faith in the people of White Rock.

“This is a time when we can show our true colours as a community,” he said.

“This is a time when we can look around us and ask questions of people – are they getting enough food, are they isolated, do they need our help? We need to make sure we take care of each other and show who we are as citizens of White Rock, citizens of B.C., citizens of Canada.”



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusWhite Rock

Just Posted

Elgin Park Secondary students rally for climate change outside of their South Surrey in 2019. (Nick Greenizan photo)
City of Surrey set to host online climate-action panel

June 23 Zoom event to include speakers, question-and-answer period

(Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey council moves to reduce parking along rapid transit corridors

This also targets rental housing developments in Rapid Transit Areas

West Coast Duty Free president Gary Holowaychuk stands next to empty shelves inside his store on Tuesday (June 15). (Aaron Hinks photo)
Revenue down 97% at South Surrey duty free as owner waits for U.S. border to reopen

Products approaching best before dates had to be donated, others destroyed

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey singer soars into Searchlight song contest’s top 10 with ‘It Doesn’t Matter’

Argel Monte de Ramos is among ‘popular vote’ finalists, with winner to be announced June 22

A handful of White Rock Divers qualified for Junior Development National Diving Championships after strong showings at virtual meets earlier this spring. (Contributed photo)
White Rock Divers qualify for junior-development nationals

Six divers make cut for national event after strong performances at virtual meets

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Most Read