The Sea to Sky Gondola system cost a fraction of the estimate of White Rock’s shorter idea

LETTERS: City’s vision needs a closer look

Editor:

Re: People movers at beach studied, Sept. 21.

Editor:

Re: People movers at beach studied, Sept. 21.

I read the article People movers at beach studied with interest and would like to make a few points:

Firstly, it would be useful to understand the objectives desired by council. My thoughts are that it is to increase revenue for the city by way of economic growth by way of increasing the number of visitors.

If this is correct, we need to look at what is keeping our visitors away from the beach now and I think we can all agree that the main reason is lack of parking.

The report has identified Johnston Road and Fir Street as the best options.

I have to ask: where is the space for parking in either of these areas? If space could be found, this would lead to added congestion for this part of town.

Would it not make more sense to locate a system at Ruth Johnston Park with ample areas for a multi-level parkade in the vicinity of Centennial Arena. The new Highway 99 ramps at 16 Avenue make this a very convenient location for day-trippers, and it is close to frequent transit service.

The report provided by Bunt & Associates shows a huge variation in costs from $5 million for escalators to up to $100 million for a gondola system. The Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola system was about $25 million and is over three times longer than the 700-metre system required in White Rock, so $100 million is way over the top. The gondola for SFU – again, much longer than one required here – was targeted at $32 million.

These types of systems can be found in Medellin, Colombia, Caracas, Venezuela, Rio de Janeiro, Bolivia, New York and Portland.

In addition to the gondola system, a zipline attraction could be added to increase revenue.

Also, a shuttle bus looping from West to East beaches could further enhance revenues.

If council is serious about improving parking for day-trippers to the beach, this option needs to be investigated further.

Richard Gill, Surrey

• • •

Relocate the sporting facilities at the northeast corner of Centennial Park.

Build an open three-storey parking structure with a ticket kiosk and elevators/stairs to the roof’s parking. A pedestrian bridge above Vine Avenue would lead to an observation platform, on a large support/new roundabout, above Oxford Street.

The gondola would proceed to Thrift Avenue, then take a short shallow dip from that support/new roundabout to a next one, allowing for those who need it to prepare for the floating dive towards the water. It would arrive on a two-storey observation platform, extending west above the parking to the building where the washrooms are now, and elevators/stairs down to the other kiosk.

Extending the promenade? No. Another pier restaurant or vendors? Absolutely not.

The pier should remain as a wonderful place for a leisurely quiet stroll. If memory serves, the original one burnt down in the ’60s. The floating pool with diving board was fun; however, it was eventually gone, too.

As for east of the pier…?

Dave Jensen, White Rock

 

 

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