Garibaldi Way and Tantalus Road Intersection Improvements

August 2022 update:  The contract has been awarded however due to supply chain issues, they are unable to start work until Spring 2023.

 

Project Summary

The District of Squamish is working to improve safety and traffic flow for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists at the intersection of Garibaldi Way and Tantalus Road, as well as the surrounding area.

As part of these safety and traffic flow improvements, the District is planning the following changes:

  • Tantalus Road South will become one-way in the Southbound direction, between Garibaldi Way and Diamond Road
  • A new multi-use path will be added which will run from Highway 99 to Diamond Head Road
  • A second crosswalk with flashing beacons will be installed on Garibaldi Way at Tantalus Road
  • A left-hand turn bay will be added from Garibaldi Way onto Tantalus Way (Northbound)
  • One of the 7-11 access points on Garibaldi Way will be removed
  • A left-hand turn lane will be added from Garibaldi Way into the 7-11
  • Shoulder widening on Diamond Head Road (from  Garibaldi Way to Diamond Road)

graphic illustrating the changes to Garibaldi Way-Tantalus Road intersection

Construction for these improvements is expected to take place in phases. The initial work is anticipated to begin during the summer and fall of 2022. Please see below for more details on these improvements, and how the District arrived at this design for the intersection.

Project Timeline:

Fall 2020: Community traffic study survey

January 2022: Surveying and preliminary design

March 2022: Information meetings with businesses and residents in the area

March-June 2022: Detailed design 

June-July 2022: Tendering and award

August-October 2022: Initial construction expected to begin

Background and Public Engagement:

The need for safety and traffic flow improvements at this intersection has been an ongoing concern. With increasing traffic congestion in the area, combined with numerous reports of near misses and unsafe conditions, the District began a traffic study to identify possible improvements.

As part of this traffic study, a survey was done in the fall of 2020. The goal of the survey was to learn more about how people use the area and what concerns they have with the intersection of Garibaldi Way and Tantalus Road. The survey contained five questions including the participant’s mode of travel, number of times per week using the area, the main purposes of trips, the prime reasons for traveling through this area, and main concerns navigating the area. In addition, participants had the opportunity to provide the details of any near-misses or collisions they experienced or witnessed near the intersection.

The survey received nearly 800 responses from community members. The following items were the main concerns raised from the online survey:

  • Backed up traffic turning left out of the Independent parking lot onto Garibaldi Way
  • Too many driveway accesses on Garibaldi Way between Tantalus Road and Highway 99
  • Misaligned intersection at Garibaldi Way and Tantalus Road
  • Backed up traffic at Highway 99 light making turns onto Garibaldi Way difficult from the Independent or gas stations
  • Poor pedestrian and cycling network connectivity
  • Pedestrians crossing across Garibaldi Way outside of crosswalk
  • Poor visibility after dark

A summary of the survey results can be found here.

A graphic highlighting potential safety issues identified by survey respondents can be found here.

Project Impacts

Tantalus Road South

Tantalus Road South is a lively commercial area with popular restaurants and services. Changing the vehicle traffic flow on the street will create short-term and long-term opportunities to support businesses in the area. Key features that support vibrant commercial areas include adequate sidewalks, attractive green space, and street furnishings that enable gathering and eating outside. These features create a safe and enjoyable experience, attracting visitors to the area.

Good transportation options also support a successful commercial area. Tantalus Road South is located on the frequent transit network and bike network. The upgrades will improve transit and bike access to this area.

Vehicle parking is currently available on private property as well as on the west side of Tantalus Road South and adjacent streets. There are no plans to remove the existing street parking on Tantalus South. Any opportunities to add additional street parking on Tantalus South are very limited due to the number of driveways on the east side of the road. Additionally, a minimum of six metres of open travel width must be maintained for emergency vehicle access on any street.

The District is currently working with businesses on Tantalus Road to understand how these changes may impact them. The District is also seeking input from businesses on how to use the extra roadway width that will be created by removing one lane of traffic to make Tantalus Road South one-way in the southbound direction. 

Diamond Head Road

A slight increase in traffic is expected on Diamond Head Road and Diamond Road (between Tantalus Road and Diamond Head Road) due to these changes. The traffic study estimates that during peak hours on Friday and Sunday, between 3:00 - 7:00 p.m., approximately one (0.8-1.2) additional car will travel on these roads per minute.

  • The District is proposing widening the shoulder on Diamond Head Road between Garibaldi Way and Diamond Road as an interim pedestrian safety improvement as part of this project.
  • The District’s Active Transportation Master Plan identifies Diamond Head Road as a street where sidewalks will be added in the future.

The areas proposed to have the shoulder widened are highlighted in red below:

Graphic highlighting the areas on Diamond Head Road, between Garibaldi Way and Diamond Road, that will have the shoulder widened.

What Other Options Were Considered During the Conceptual Design Process?

During the design process, many options were considered to improve safety and traffic flow at the intersection of Garibaldi Way and Tantalus Road. The following possible improvements were considered by Squamish Engineering staff and an engineering consultant during the concept design stage of the project:

Garibaldi Way corridor between Highway 99 and Diamond Head Road:

  • Add turn bays along Garibaldi Way
  • Paint a two-way left-turn lane between Tantalus Road North and the Highway 99 intersection
  • Convert 7-Eleven access/Petro-Canada (or accesses) to right-in-right-out operation
  • Convert the Independent Grocery parking access to right-in-right-out operation
  • Convert the Independent Grocery parking access to one-way southbound only
  • Close the 7-Eleven/Petro-Canada east access
  • Adding a marked crosswalk immediately east of the Independent Grocery parking access
  • Combine and relocate the eastbound bus stops to the far side of Tantalus Road intersection

Garibaldi Way and Tantalus Road Intersection and Approaches:

  • Realign and signalize: Reconstruct and realign the north and south legs and install a traffic signal
  • Staggered signalized intersection: Combine the north and south legs as one signalized intersection
  • Modern roundabout: Install a single-lane roundabout to include both north and south legs
  • Signalize Tantalus Road South: Convert the existing special crosswalk to a full traffic signal at Tantalus Road South and maintain the existing stop sign at Tantalus Road North
  • Convert Tantalus Road South to right-in-right-out operation
  • Convert Tantalus Road South to one-way southbound only

To determine which improvements provided the most effective solution to the issues in the area, the District reviewed a number of criteria, including: 

  • Traffic operation: potential traffic impacts for vehicle movements
  • Road Safety: possible safety improvements for various collision types (the three most common collision types based on five-year ICBC claim data)
  • Active Transportation Users: potential impacts (operational and safety) to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and transit users
  • Cost Implications
  • Land acquisition requirements


Using this criteria, it was determined that the most effective solution for the intersection was to convert Tantalus Way South to one-way southbound and combine this with a series of upgrades along the corridor from Diamond Head road to Highway 99 which are listed at the top of this page.