The Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) ticked through their four top projects for the use of Transportation Benefit District (TBD) dollars, forwarding one recommendation to the county, while keeping the remaining three items on their plate.
At the August 14 PRCAC meeting, committee members were in agreement they would recommend the county pursue an approximately 200 feet of walking/biking path on Marine Drive at the Lighthouse Marine Park corner. “They will come out and survey it and cost it out,” committee chair Arthur Reber said.
There was no agreement regarding the suggestion for more aggressive signage, perhaps a radar sign, needed to keep speed down on Gulf Road. Committee member Jennier Urquhart suggested they needed to discuss a more concrete proposal and suggested they put together a list of specific signage needs. “Maybe we need to have a signage committee or someone responsible for this issue,” she said. “There’s more than just speed.” The committee discussed a potential need for deer warning signs, directional signage for county parks on the Point, share the road with bicyclists, and cross-hatching on the road at McKenzie Way to keep border traffic from blocking access.
Under beautification projects, the top issue was getting rid of the graffiti at the end of Gulf Road. Reber said he had not heard back from the county about removing or covering the graffiti. “Part of me just wants to paint it,” he said.
Urquhart agreed the committee should just take care of the issue if the county wasn’t being responsive. “I’ll get the base paint on there,” she said. “Then I think we need to get someone to paint something Point Roberts on it.”
Renée Coe attended the meeting to bring forward her continuing concern that there is no parking available at Maple Beach, which is now a county park. “To me, I just want legitimate signage for parking so people can know where they can park,” she said. “If it’s a tourist destination and a public beach, there should be a place to park.”
Coe said the information provided to her by county public works established the right-of-way on Bayview Drive as 40 feet wide, and the other Maple Beach streets as 30 feet wide, which meant there was space to park on at least one side of those streets but that property owners were blocking the right-of-way and putting up no parking signs.
“Part of this is the failure of the county to enforce the right of way where people have put things. If they enforce it I think there’s plenty of room to park,” Urquhart said.
Coe said there was also space to park on Bayview Drive and suggested the county revisit parking on the seawall side of the road, currently not allowed. “I don’t think it’s hazardous,” she said.
“I think it’s an eyesore,” Reber responded. “What sounded good to me was a one-way loop. Then, of those two lanes on Roosevelt, one could be used for parking.” The committee had discussed a one-way loop that would create space for a bike/pedestrian lane.
Coe said the county had agreed to a traffic and parking study for the area, but the results were not yet available.
The committee also discussed using the TBD funds, which come from an additional one-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline in Point Roberts, for beautification projects. “I’m thinking about something big,” Urquhart said. She suggested a series of large outdoor sculptures specifically featuring the work of local artists. “It could beautify in addition to creating an attraction,” she said.
Reber wanted a functional element, “like trash cans.” He suggested TBD funds could be used to maintain them and pay for trash disposal.
Committee member Louise Mugar suggested this would have the effect of using the funds to subsidize customers of parcel services and weekend visitors who don’t want to, or can’t due to scheduling, take their trash to the dump.
“That’s right,” Reber said. “Right now they’re dumping on the side of the road.”
Urquhart agreed. “Go ahead and subsidize places where people can put their trash,” she said.
The next meeting of the committee was not scheduled. “There’s nothing urgent,” Reber said.