Blueridge Community News | November 2013

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A NEW PHIBBS EXCHANGE IN THE WORKS ?

Written by: David Davey

Blueridge representative on the Highway Interchange Working Group

Translink, in consultation with Coast Mountain Bus, the District and the Ministry of Transportation has initiated a study to improve the function of Phibbs Exchange.   At this time, no timetable for implementation has been set but an improved Phibbs Exchange is part of the District’s OCP for the development of Lower Lynn Town Centre.

Nelson\Nygaard Associates, a firm of consultants with experience in the design of transit facilities, has conducted a review of the operation of Phibbs Exchange looking at:

  • Usability  –  safety, accessibility, washrooms and facilities
  • Efficiency of operations including connections for bikes, pedestrians, park and ride, taxis and drop-offs
  • Ambiance  –  sociability, integration with services, stores and coffee shops
  • Environment  –   air quality, lighting, energy use
  • Accountability  –  operating costs, maintenance, flexibility for future transit changes

The project is at the conceptual design stage in which two to three conceptual arrangements and layouts have been developed.  Translink hopes to have a preferred design ready for review later in 2013.

One concept under review, and hopefully implemented, is a Park and Ride lot using the cloverleaf on the North East quadrant of the Highway / Main Street interchange.  To make this facility properly accessible it is probably necessary that the Squamish Nation permit an extension of Seymour Boulevard from the Superstore to the Dollarton Highway.   Pedestrian access from the parking lot to Phibbs would then be through an improved tunnel under the Highway.

Other constraints could be imposed by the Ministry of Transportation, depending on the final re-arrangement of the Highway interchanges in the Lower Lynn area. Even though construction is likely some years away, it is important for Blueridge residents  to think about what changes should be made to improve transit service for our area.  It is most unlikely that we will ever have a more frequent bus service for the simple reason that the density and volume of traffic in our single family zone makes a more frequent service uneconomical. However, better connections and a more pleasant environment would make transit travel to the City and to locations across the inlet much more acceptable for residents east of Seymour.  For that reason, we should all be ready to review the proposals for an improved Phibbs Exchange.

The Ministry of Highways preliminary plans for the Main Street/Hwy 1 interchange do indicate provision for a Park and Ride in the Cloverleaf at the north end of the bridge, on the east side.  Access would be from the west side via Oxford Street with an underpass under the highway.

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The Very First BCA Workshop, November 2!

Written by: Eric Andersen

The BCA has grown a lot since we started up in the 90’s opposing the Hyannis Connector and later the proposed developments in Cove and Mountain Forest.

We are hosting our now famous Blueridge Good Neighbour Day every June, we co-host an all-candidates meeting before each municipal, provincial and federal election, we have on-going stream clean-ups and many ad hoc projects. However, where do we go from here? What can we do to make the association even more interesting for more residents? What is good and what is bad? What new initiatives can we come up with? Should the BCA become a registered society? What is our strategy for the future?

These are questions that we ask ourselves, so for the first time we will be hosting a BCA workshop. It will be held at Canlan on November 2, but unfortunately the timing is such that we cannot advertize it in this newsletter, and the outcome will not be known till after the newsletter has been distributed. Don’t worry: if you are on our e-mail list you will get an invitation!

This will be our very first workshop, but it will be interesting to see what interested members of the community can come up with!

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Traffic & Safety In Blueridge

Written by: Graham Gilley
Chair, Traffic & Safety Subcommittee

Since our last article much work has been completed by the District on initiatives stemming from a Community Association meeting over a year ago.  We have seen the center line up Berkley repainted with consistent markings; new curb buldges at Carnation and Berkley with the possibility of a lit crosswalk to come; and a new crosswalk installed at Layton and Berkley.  This work was all aimed at increasing the crossing opportunities for children across Berkley and reducing driver confusion.
The Byron Road s-curve by Blueridge Elementary School remains on our radar as an area in need of speed abatement.  The proposal for a marked crosswalk at the Hardy Path, along with parking restrictions on the South and North sides of Byron (intended to provide a clear and safe access route to the school for children) turned out to be just a bit too onerous on local residents.  We have asked the District to shelve those plans while we look for alternatives.  The most obvious solution would seem to be a marked crosswalk leading to a sidewalk on the North side.  The District has indicated that the cost of the sidewalk is beyond the scope of their budget.  Another proposal is speed bumps through this section with bump-profiles that truly limit speed. Again, the District has indicated that the cost of these installations is beyond the scope of their budget.  We could proceed with either of these if they were pursued as a “local area service initiative.”  This would require 2/3 approval of all “benefiting property owners” – a definition that is highly problematic when the safe access to the school is arguably beneficial to a wide range of property owners.  This definition was put in place for residents who simply want traffic slowed on their street for its own sake.  The goal in this case is not to abate speed for the enjoyment of the Byron residents, but rather to provide a safe route to the school. Stay tuned!
There are also two new proposals that have been brought forward.

Sechelt @ Hyannis: It has been proposed that the stop sign at the North-east end of Sechelt Drive (@ Hyannis) be removed and replaced by 2 stop signs on Hyannis Drive, on either side of Sechelt. The goal here is to reduce the speed through this section of Hyannis Drive. It has the added benefit of making the right and left turns off of Sechelt easier in the winter months when the roadway is slippery, and of making the crossing of Hyannis to/from the Hill Drive pathway safer.

Berkley @ Seymour Parkway: a resident of lower Berkley approached the District with a proposal to alter the on-ramp from Berkley onto west-bound Seymour parkway. The proposal would see the existing on-ramp removed and changed to a simple 90 degree right hand turn at the intersection. The goal is to reduce speed southbound on Berkley between Bendale and the Parkway.  This proposal was met with some enthusiasm by the District, who claims the merge lane from Berkley onto the Parkway is dangerously short.
The Traffic & Safety Subcommittee is seeking input from residents on both of these proposals.  Please send your comments to traffic [at] blueridgeca [dot] org or call Graham Gilley at 604-913-6027.

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Block Watch Update

Written by: Eric Andersen

Our last Block Watch recap included February 2012, so you will find below an update of the b&e’s for the following 19 months (up to and including September 2013):

06/22, 2012 2600 Byron Road

06/26 2000 Berkley Avenue

08/11 2700 Violet

09/11 2400 Berkley Avenue

12/27 900 Berkley Road

03/03, 2013 2500 Hyannis Point

03/05 2400 Hayseed Close

08/23 1900 Arroyo Court

In all of the Seymour North area (which roughly goes from Highway # 1 to Parkgate north of Mount Seymour Parkway) we had a total of 13 b&e’s in 2012 (down from 21 and 4 attempts in 2011), we had 9 thefts OF autos and 4 attempts (up from 7 and 3 respectively the year before) and 58 thefts FROM vehicles and 20 attempts (down from 74 and 8 respectively the previous year).

If you live on a street with Block Watch, you should hear on a somewhat regular basis from your Captain. He/she will keep you informed about activities going on in your neighbourhood. If you never hear anything (and you believe you are part of Block Watch), please contact Jayne Brownlow (604 985 0800) at the Block Watch Office, or your local area coordinator, Eric Andersen (604 929 6849).

If your block is one of the few ones in Blueridge/Seymour Heights, which is not yet in Block Watch, we would be happy to assist you in getting set up!

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Living close to chemical plants

Written by: Eric Andersen

Since we are living rather close to a couple of chemical plants, we thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone of Rapid Notify. The below text is to be found in its exclusivity on the North Shore Emergency Management Office’s website:

Register for Rapid Notify

The North Shore is one of only a few communities in the Lower Mainland with an emergency notification system, Rapid Notify. This alerting system sends emergency notifications and updates via email, telephone, cell phone, SMS text message and pager. Residents and businesses are encouraged to register. For additional information, or to sign up for Rapid Notify, go to www.nsemo.org.

Overview

The North Shore is a safe place to live however, a serious emergency event affecting ones health and safety can happen anywhere and at any time.

The North Shore municipalities are three of a few municipalities in the Lower Mainland maintaining an emergency notification system. The Rapid Notify emergency notification system is designed to notify as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, by telephone. The system works by automatically phoning homes and businesses in an affected area with a specific message. The message is delivered in a simple and clear format by voice. All calls are generated and tracked by computer to make sure every number is called – more than once if necessary.

This alerting system is one tool that can be used to notify the general public in the event that emergency messaging needs to be conveyed. Other tools including going door-to-door (if applicable), in a patrol car or fire vehicle using a public address system, alerting the media (radio, TV, internet), and social media.

The system can call each number up to two separate times, a few minutes apart, until a connection is made. So if you don’t hear one call, there’ll be another. If you are not home, your answering system will record the message.

Contact information in the Rapid Notify system is completely confidential and has been obtained from the emergency services database of listed telephone numbers.

Rapid Notify is funded by Canexus as part of their Responsible Care Program. It is a cooperative effort between Canexus and public safety authorities in your municipality – including Police, Fire, Ambulance, and the North Shore Emergency Management Office.

Self-Registration

In addition, a self-registration feature allows individuals to self-register landline (listed and unlisted), cell phone, e-mail, SMS, and pager information. This information will be added to the North Shore Emergency Management Office’s database.

You are on alert with the North Shore’s Rapid Notify system. Just answer your phone, check your email, or read a text!

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Coming soon! – New and Improved Website

Written by: Angela Duso

With the assistance of Alberto Trujillo González (Blueridge resident and web developer) we are currently in the process of revamping the website (www.blueridgeca.org) to make it more accessible by a variety of devices (tablet, smart phone, and a variety of web browsers) and to make it easier for non-technical people to update. In addition – we want to improve the usefulness of the website to the community. We had some success with the Blueridge Babysitter Directory this summer. The great thing about the directory is that it allows parents to find LOCAL babysitters within the neighbourhood. For babysitters – it is helpful so that they can find some work in their own neighborhood. We would like to expand on this concept by offering listings of local (within Blueridge/Seymour Heights) businesses: like music teachers, tutors, personal trainers, specialty cake creations, yard maintenance etc. In addition, we would like to have a place to put buy and sell offerings and listings of free stuff (once again – within our neighbourhood only). You might have recently cut down a tree and have firewood to give away. Or perhaps you’d like to advertise that you are having a garage sale on the weekend. So stay tuned – there are changes afoot at the website. And please let us know (webmaster [at] blueridgeca [dot] org) if you have any suggestions for the website.

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Blueridge Trail Map

Written by: Colleen Mah

The Blueridge Community Association Trails Committee has worked in conjunction with the District of North Vancouver to provide an updated area trails map.  We are proud to include a copy in this issue of the newsletter.  The trails are indicated by the darker black lines and the stairs are shown by the circles. You may notice that there are existing trails that are not indicated on this map.  This is because some are on private property (the Blair Rifle Range) or are too extensive to include (the trails on Mt. Seymour).  We hope that you use this map to get out in the community to explore how many of the streets are connected via walking paths.

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Echoes Across Seymourby Janet Pavlik, Desmond Smith and Eileen Smith

Written by: Eric Andersen

If you love Seymour, THIS book is for you!

It has been compiled by knowledgeable members of the Deep Cove Heritage Society. Janet Pavlik was the guest speaker at our BCA meeting in January and gave a most inspiring presentation about how this wonderful book was put together by her and her colleagues at the Deep Cove Heritage Society, Desmond Smith and Eileen Smith.

It contains a chapter about each of the 18 communities which form Seymour, and, of course, both Blueridge and Seymour Heights have their very own chapters! A couple of pages are even devoted to the Blueridge Community Association and pictures are included of the former BCA logo and a couple from Blueridge Good Neighbour Day. More famous Blueridge residents such as Betty Carrington, Sandra Wilson and Don S. Williams (who came up with the name Blueridge Good Neighbour Day) each have their bio at the end of the Blueridge Chapter.

In addition to a detailed description of each community the book also contains a chapter entitled ‘Some of Seymour’s Street Names’ and no less than 26 of the streets in Blueridge/Seymour Heights are included. This is by far the largest share of all the totally 55 streets mentioned! With Janet Pavlik’s extremely kind permission we have been allowed to include a couple of these here. Since chances are that your street is not among these, this should be an incentive for you to go out and buy the book to find out more! What a perfect gift for Christmas!

Berkley Road and Avenue – Named after a very exclusive neighbourhood in London’s Mayfair. A very popular wartime song, sung by Vera Lynn, was ‘The Night a Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’.’

Hyannis Drive and Point – Named by the developer after Hyannis Port in New England.’

Tompkins Crescent – Named in honour of Alice Tompkins, chief clerk of the Engineering Department, who served from the days of the District Engineer’s inspections on horseback in the 1930’s to the radio communications of the 1960’s.’

This book is a 10 out of 10 if you care about the recent history of your neighbourhood and Seymour in general.

A must-buy!

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Attention Parents! Come and Join The Conversation

Written by: Colleen Mah
Blueridge/Seymour Heights now has an email group for parents. You are invited to join the group and be part of the on-going conversation.  We share information such as:

-Community events and fundraisers
-For sale items (or wish to buy requests)
-Childcare (seeking/recommendations)
-Preschool/Daycare openings
-Activity ideas (seeking/recommendations)
-General parenting questions

The more members who sign up, the more valuable this resource becomes. Please help spread the word to other families in the neighbourhood.
To join, visit the Blueridge Community Association website at www.blueridgeca.org and select the “Join Now” button or send a blank email message to blueridge_parents-subscribe [at] yahoogroups [dot] com

Let the conversation begin!

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Hello…is it me you’re looking for?

Written by: Liz Sopwith

 

Blueridge is very different to our old neighbourhood in so many ways. We used to live in Kits and we walked everywhere. It was easier to walk with a baby in a stroller and a kid on a trike, than to strap them both screaming into the car. It was easier to walk because the nearest available parking spot to our destination was often outside our own front door. In Blueridge, with the exception of key soccer moments in the park, or peak trailer / boat parking moments in the summer finding a parking space isn’t often a problem.

In Kits we had a constant stream of new neighbours… and a regular, if not quite as constant, stream of visitors knocking on our front door looking for the old ones. Nothing sinister, just part of life in a neighbourhood made up largely of individuals sharing suites and houses on short term contracts.

Arriving in Blueridge we were approached in the playground on our first morning with inquiries as to who we were, where we’d come from, which house we were living in (“did you buy Fred’s or Dora’s?”). It was a brief glimpse into our child’s experience as he joined an established class at school. Back in Kits the class composition changed on a regular basis, at least every term, as new families came and went, so far less fuss was made of the ‘newbies’.

It wasn’t long before we discovered why it had been quite so hard to buy a house in the area.  It seemed many of the families we met had grown up here, some were even living in the same houses they’d been born in, whilst others had moved several times ….from Berkley to Hyannis to Lennox ….as their family needs changed. Breaking into Blueridge was a challenge but I’m so glad we persevered.

We may no longer have back lanes to play street hockey in, but we’ve gained quiet cul de sacs and crescents (thanks for driving slowly when our kids are out playing!). We walk to and from school with far less likelihood of getting run over than in our previous locale, even though there’s no sidewalks for part of our route.  The library and Safeway are no longer a short walk away, but it is a beautiful bike ride or hike through the forest. We are no longer right by the B-line for quick access downtown, but we’ve gained a bus driver who waits for my husband at the bottom of our drive if he’s fractionally late for the 7am.

Is there a downside? Well…it has to be said, it’s REALLY hard to spend money in Blueridge. We’ve loved the berry stand over the Summer, stopping in often on our way home from the library. We’ve managed to spend some cash at Mt Seymour Optometry where we’ve registered as patients. Our dentist lives here, although he doesn’t work from home. Does that count? I’ve since discovered Blueridge Dental would also have been available to us. But who else is here?

Being part of a community, and playing our part, is important to us. It was no coincidence that people often came knocking on our door looking for old neighbours. Chances are we did know where they’d gone. We would love to support our Blueridge neighbours and their businesses wherever we can. In our bike rides around the neighbourhood we’ve passed the Blueridge massage clinic, we see a sign offering singing lessons on our way to school, there are sufficient lawn care trucks outside one house to make us think the business is based there….or their lawn sure needs a LOT of care 🙂 I’m sure though there are others here we haven’t discovered. When our deck needs fixing, or our house needs painting who can we call? How can we find out? The school yard is a good place to start…but only if you have elementary school aged kids and you’re not at work. I’m open to suggestions!

Right now I’m wondering: is there a stay at home mom that would like to earn a few dollars cutting my kids’ hair? Is there someone who could do a bit of cleaning for us from time to time? I’m also looking for some 2 and 3 year olds to teach a ten week music class to so that I can complete my teacher training course.

What can we offer? Possibly some insights into the different residential summer camps – my husband speaks at some of them. Bookmarked recipes that are wheat-free, lactose-free, often sugar-free but still edible. We’ve got a stroller and high chair looking for a new home, along with boxes of boys clothes and toys they’ve outgrown. If you find gardening therapeutic, there’s no end of therapy available in our back yard. Just ask our neighbours

How about you?

Community, it’s about connection.  It’s about living life together.  At least here in Blueridge the neighbour usually stay long enough that you get to know their names.

Hello .. Is it me you’re looking for? Is it you we are looking for?

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The Thank You Corner

Written by: Eric Andersen
As you will see we have a long list of very generous sponsors who help us with wonderful prizes and donations for Blueridge Good Neighbour Day. Some of these have supported us for many years and continue to do so.

One such company, which has been there for the Blueridge Community Association for many years, is Canlan Ice Sports North Shore situated just south of Berkley on the other side of Mount Seymour Parkway. They have been generous sponsors for our Silent Auction at Blueridge Good Neighbour Day for a number of years, and those of you with a long memory will remember that we used to host that event at Canlan for a number of years around 10-12 years ago.

We have also had a few public information meetings held at Canlan in connection with development proposals for Blueridge (particularly for Riverside Terrace).

Canlan’s latest move to help our community is to let us have our first BCA workshop (see separate article about this) at their facility on Saturday, November 2. We needed a place to meet and preferably with a facility to have lunch. Canlan was the perfect choice and they let us use their meeting room free of charge.

Thanks for being such great neighbours, Canlan!

Thank you to ALL of our supporters who donated to the

Blueridge Good Neighbour Day June 2013!

30 Minute Hit
A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.
Aussie Pet Mobile
Belkin Canada
Belmondo Café
Blueridge Dental
Blueridge Massage Therapy
Blueridge Out of School Care
BooLaLa
Booster Juice
Brendan McAleer
Brian Rybchinsky
Bur-Han Services Inc
Canexus
Canlan Ice Sports – North Shore
Capilano Suspension Bridge
CN Rail
Cobs Bread
Cove Barber Shop
Cove Health
Dave Moucks
Different Bikes
District of North Vancouver
Dykhof Nurseries
EA Sports
English Lawns
Flying Wedge
Fruition Day Spa
Gaye Tyson
General Paint
Genesis Hair Studio
Gordon Keir
Honey Doughnuts & Goodies
Iron River Forest Products
JJ Bean
Josh Larson
Judy Killeen
Julia Richmond
Jumpstart Fitness
Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School
Kosta’s Taverna
Laserdome
M & M Meats
Maa Yoga
Maple Leaf Garden Centre
Mary Kay
Mount Seymour
Mount Seymour Optometry Clinic
Nails By Ariel
Neptune Terminals
North Burnaby Veterinary Clinic
North Shore Credit Union
North Shore Neighbourhood House
North Shore Recycling Program
North Shore Ski & Snowboard
North Shore Sports Medicine – Capilano Location
North Vancouver Child
Development Center
Northlands Bar & Grill
Northlands Golf Course
Odlum Brown
Parkgate Farm Market
PNE
Provincial Government
Rickman Family
Rusty Gull Liquor Store
Ruth Hanson (Prudential Sussex Realty)
Seymour Golf and Country Club
Seymour’s Pub
Shoppers Drug Mart
Starbucks – Dollarton
Stephen Parker
Sweet Treats Candy, Cookies & Cakes (Wafaa Masri)
TDL Inc.
Terry’s Driveway Sealing & Repairs
The Bone & Biscuit Co.
The Destination Slope and Surf Outfitters
The Sanctuary Esthetics Studio
Time Out Source for Sports
Western Stevedoring

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