The Sea to Sky Highway, running along the base of the Pacific Ranges where they meet the Pacific Ocean, experiences poor weather conditions and heavy precipitation for much of the fall, winter, and spring months. Snow melt in spring causes the deposition of rocks and other materials on the road. Surveys of the highway revealed considerable debris accumulation on the shoulders, ranging from branches and dirt to large rocks sometimes exceeding 10 centimetres in diameter. While the summer months may experience less material accumulation (when cyclist volumes peak), many still ride the route regularly in the spring for both transportation and recreation, as well as training for the GranFondo event. Sweeping on the highway is performed on an annual basis, a frequency evidently inadequate for the highway (Ministry of Transportation, personal communication, February 17, 2012).
Painting maintenance appeared insufficient, with paint marking the highway shoulders nearly disappearing in the most dangerous areas. Shoulder paint on the southbound lane in Porteau Cove was particularly poor, likely the result of substantial interaction with automobile tires from motorists hugging the shoulders due to the area’s narrow lanes and blind corners.
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