Monday, April 13, 2009

Letters to Editor: Conserned over Airport Interchange

The TC published letters on April 13, 2009 expressing concern over the announcement that the Federal and Provincial Governments will be building a new interchange for the airport. All five letters were opposed.

One writer pointed out that Sidney town council in the 1990’s rejected an offer from the government to help build one at Beacon Avenue, yet now both Sidney and North Saanich residents are paying the price. Others argue the need is much higher for better regional transit, light rail, an overpass at McKenzie and Highway 1, or non-profit housing.

While not a full answer, one has to hope that one (or two) cities in the region might have had a far better plan and focus on what the region needed most at any time. The higher levels of government are looking at “shovel ready” projects. Certainly a unified city would have had planning set up on an ongoing basis, looking at issues that affect us all.

An interchange anywhere in the region affects those furthest away from it the most. Improving the flow of traffic along the Pat Bay Highway will allow those in Victoria to get home more safely from the ferry. Improving Highway 1 will facilitate the travel of someone returning from Costco or Thetis Lake, to Oak Bay.

Transportation is a fundamentally important regional issue, which will be better addressed by a unified City. Clearly, transportation issues, which for View Royal may be of little concern, are significant to its neighbours who must travel through it. Why would View Royal want to spend money to improve the travel needs of it neighbours?

The world is changing. Transportation issues are changing. We have only had cars for 100 years; how much longer is not clear. What is clear, is that an amalgamated city would be a far better organisation to plan and prepare us all for the future.

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