Tuesday, May 5, 2009

37-member community liaison committee needed to look at Transit

British Columbia Transit scrapped the plans to build dedicated bus lanes down Douglas Street. Now the province is paying another $800,000 for a region wide transit plan. They want to figure out how to connect downtown to the West Shore and in the future the Saanich Peninsula.

They have a 37-member community liaison committee, including representatives from municipal counsels, business, school boards etc. Nine different municipalities are separately represented. For some reason the other 28 people at the table will perhaps fail to consider the needs of these nine municipalities.

View Royal has one representative and Saanich has one representative. View Royal thus has 12 times the representation Saanich does. Twelve times.

So this is just wrong. First, no committee of 37 is likely to come up with the best plan for a city or a region. Whatever the result, likely it will either never be followed or a poor third best compromise for the region will be implemented.
One to three cities could best consider what is needed, what is affordable and what is practical.

Would it not be better to have a unified area consider our traffic and transit plans?

Mayor Fortin wants to have a commuter rail into downtown. He says “all the South Island mayors are behind this proposal” Really? Wait until they are asked to pay for it. Wait until View Royal is asked to chip in based on the distance traveled in their municipality.

Why do we need all the South Island Mayors to be behind it. The counsel should be behind it. The mayor is only one vote on each counsel anyway.
It is so frustrating to see issues such as this, which have such a major impact on all of us, being placed in the hands of so many with so many different perspectives.

Would it not be better for a committed, educated (on the issues) smaller group to gather and consider the facts, then present a proposal to one City counsel? Then that counsel could actually implement it? Or not. But at least then we could all bring them to task on the issue. As it is, if something gets derailed, by say Colwood, the rest of us can do nothing.

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