In the Pacific Coast’s version of the perfect storm, mix a mega mall opening and the crush of excited shoppers with ferry bound cars on a Thanksgiving weekend. Provide two lanes westbound on Highway 17, a torrential weather system, poor access and egress, and you have a complete motorist meltdown.
Tsawwassen Mills, the 1.2 million square foot mega mall built on First Nations owned Class 1 farmland by the Quebec company Ivanhoe Cambridge had its first weekend. And there were a whole bunch of motorists that were not amused.
This mall is based upon Ivanhoe Cambridge’s successful CrossIron Mills near Calgary and Vaughan Mills near Toronto. If you look at the design of these two other properties, they are located on large plots of land, are car dependent, and strangely all look alike.
As reported in the Daily Hive “The parking lot traffic at Tsawwassen Mills was at a complete standstill for much of Saturday, to the extent that drivers were stuck in their cars for up to four hours trying to get out of the shopping centre’s exits. Angry shoppers waited for so long that some gave up on following traffic and made their own make-shift exits by driving on the grass and flower beds to get out of the mall. Among the many comments posted on social media, some even claimed that they were running out of gas waiting in the gridlock.”
“Fed up mall patrons who were making even less progress than those in my surrounding area began driving over grass medians to travel their desired distance,” Vanessa Obeng, who visited the mall today, told Daily Hive. “The rules of the road meant nothing as frustrated drivers became aggressive with one another.”
Yes the local Delta Police and RCMP were present as well as the Mall’s traffic controllers.Frustrated motorists posted on Tsawwassen Mills’ Facebook page alerting others not to drive, but the mall’s social media team allegedly deleted the posts.
Daily Hive Food Editor Lindsay William-Ross said she got into her car shortly before 3 pm and was able to leave mall property at approximately 5 pm. “People were getting out of their cars to either see what was wrong, smoke, or just plain yell at drivers who they felt should move,” said William-Ross.“It felt quite dangerous, because clearly no emergency vehicle could get through. It took me 2 hours to exit, and as I neared the exit I couldn’t figure out why we were stuck because it was moving in that area rapidly. This was a planning and execution fail.”