I’ve seen a fair bit written in the Citizen editorial pages about the numerous sources of air pollution in the Cowichan Valley.
I think a lot of vehicle pollution could be reduced by removing most intercity traffic from the Duncan highway-stopway truck-pedestrian combo-corridor; otherwise known as the Duncan Strip (which sometimes becomes the Drunken Strip). To do so would require a lot of investment in new infrastructure from our senior levels of government.
Such a change would improve the safety of pedestrians and local traffic that use the Duncan highway corridor. However, despite the many improvements in quality of life that would come as a result, it seems that our governments and some taxpayers don’t want to pay for it. Local highway merchants and the local media think it would be bad for business.
Most environmentalists think taking intercity traffic out of Duncan would simply take the pollution elsewhere, even if a highway realignment or an elevated viaduct along the current route meant a big reduction in the number of idling engines.
It’s better to keep all the pigs in one pen according to their logic, and that pen is the smelly and accident prone Duncan corridor.
All these special interest groups have had a long-standing alliance against the provision of high-mobility, high-safety, and low-pollution roads.
They oppose the silent majority of us who rely on highway vehicles (including the bus and motor-coach) to get around the Valley of Stop and the City of Totems n’ Traffic.
This alliance is unbreakable and our senior levels of government cower in their presence, so happy motoring and polluting everyone.