Chemainus – I’ve seen several views expressed recently in your editorial pages about the viability of a renewed rail service on Vancouver Island.
I think “Island rail service” could be replaced with “Island transportation service” in these commentaries and the same basic opinions would still apply.
In other words, the provision of any kind of safe efficient transportation on Vancouver Island is either no longer feasible, or will take great effort and new foresight due to the machinations of various governments at all levels over the past half century.
We need look no further than BC Ferries, the Duncan strip, and of course, our decaying rail line to see just how far systematic government neglect has taken us into a deep hole.
I’m aware of the Citizen’s enthusiasm for the status quo where Highway 1 is concerned (Here’s to hoping expressway idea really is dead, editorial, April 9), but this old traffic artery is gradually deteriorating over time just as surely as the railway and the ferry service.
Intercity motorists on Vancouver Island are growing increasingly resentful and defiant about the escalating numbers of driving impediments that interfere with the free flow of traffic on the Island Trans Canada Highway.
Why do you think we are seeing growing road rage on Highway 1, especially through the Duncan area? The recent proposal for an expressway in the Cowichan area may be off the table for now, but it is definitely not dead. It will rise another day, just like the eternal issues of municipal restructuring and the never-ending hydro power outages we pretend to tolerate on the Island during storm season.
Similarly, BC Ferries will someday be fixed and a new rail line will be provided. An upgrade to expressway status will have to bring a significant reduction in traffic lights on our main highway, and maybe even a few interchanges and a Duncan bypass.
Our local merchants will adapt when the expressway comes into being, just like they have everywhere else where expressways and freeways have been built.
Reduced promotional signage on the revamped highway will be problematic at first.
However, merchant prosperity is a function of good advertising and service, not road signs.
It will be just a matter of time before everyone sees the light and quits standing in the way of progress.