Highway bypass will only get harder to construct
I think that anyone trying to drive through Duncan on the highway will recognize that Duncan is a real bottleneck for traffic transiting north or south through town.
Julie Scurr of the Chamber of Commerce and Phil Kent [City of Duncan mayor] make statements indicating there is no problem or that because two-thirds of the traffic is local, there is no need for a bypass. Those statements are totally self serving and are far from correct.
If the majority of traffic is local, why are vehicles bumper to bumper through town to the traffic lights at Allenby Road to the south and Highway 18 to the north? This a larger issue than just the effect on the City of Duncan and associated traffic.
Given that every vehicle which transits between Nanaimo and Victoria must pass through Duncan, it is a no brainer that the costs in time and labour caused by sitting in gridlock are being passed on to everyone involved. If the local merchants think that business will suffer if a bypass is built I think they should rethink the situation. I personally, unless absolutely necessary, will not go into downtown Duncan or use the highway after 3 p.m. most days and not after noon in the summer months because of the gridlock.
If the Chamber of Commerce thinks transient traffic is going to stop and shop think again. It is so difficult to get on or off the highway in downtown most informed transient drivers will be prepared with enough gas or supplies to get through town without stopping and stop somewhere else along the road that is more convenient.
A highway bypass around Duncan will continue to escalate in cost and will only get more difficult to construct in the future.