Letter: Bypass proponents stuck in gridlock thinking

Answers to traffic bottlenecks must involve less cars on our risky roads

Bypass proponents stuck in gridlock thinking

Dear Cowichan councillors, mayors, CVRD directors, and planning staff:

I read with interest and concern the Oct. 21, 2021 Cowichan Citizen column regarding a Cowichan bypass.

Reporter Robert Barron fails to take a fearless stand, for or against, this simmering subject locally discussed for decades.

A bypass is definitely not needed around Duncan and through our beloved, threatened valley.

Answers to traffic bottlenecks must involve less cars on our risky roads, not another costly, disruptive, unnecessary bypass nor highway.

As shown by the Nanaimo and Malahat mega-expensive mega-projects, more vehicles simply arrived to continue clogging our highways and polluting our air.

Local leaders talk about our climate crises but they must act now to prevent more automobile emissions from fouling Cowichan’s bright future.

A bypass across Cowichan would be an ecological disaster. It would slice through rivers, streams, farmlands, First Nations’ and private properties, plus wildlife habitats — all toward another inane fix for our vehicular addictions.

Even if all vehicles were electric, a Cowichan bypass’s physical impacts would be expensively terrible.

What is needed now is smart anti-sprawl planning, plus economical-transportation alternatives — such as our long-promised passenger-commuter train — fuelled by zero-emissions’ thinking by citizens, politicians and our paid planners.

Anything less is simply more gridlock thinking.

Yours in economic ecology,

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan