Winning argument has trumped safety concerns at Lake intersection
Re: Local officials deserve praise for Cowichan Lake upgrades:
I agree with Ted Gamble that our Lake Cowichan officials should be proud of “town improvements like the traffic calming measures, the traffic circle, the library, the town square and baseball fields”. However, at the same time they should not be so proud that they are unable to accept any constructive criticism or feedback about these projects.
Mr. Gamble defends our municipal politicians, who he says “are often criticized by the public, sometimes for issues not in their control, when in fact they are producing positive results based on present and future conditions.” While this may be true, those in public office must also be accountable to the taxpayer and should expect that criticism comes with the job.
In the past year, someone (namely me) has been publicly critical of the traffic calming that was implemented along the commercial section of South Shore Road. Traffic calming is a very important tool that forces motorists to pay attention and slow down. I applaud town officials for having the vision and foresight to implement traffic control in anticipation of the growth spurt that the lake is now experiencing.
The problem that I’ve been trying to bring to everyone’s attention is that the very last intersection in the commercial zone was overlooked. So, while the rest of the street enjoys controlled traffic, here at this intersection (in the school zone) where I live and operate my business, the traffic is now out of control.
This is not my opinion, it is a fact. I’ve personally witnessed two speeding vehicles smash into the sidewalk and a third car crash caused by illegal U-turning which happens here frequently. I’ve been asking for a readout from the speed reader board for over a year as this would verify that there is problem but no one (even the school board) seems to care.
I consider myself to be a reasonable person and if our elected officials could come up with even one good reason why traffic calming cannot be done here, I would drop the issue. But in the five years that I’ve been asking, none of them have been able to come up with any reasonable explanation. They argue that “the Community Charter does not allow municipalities to assist individual businesses”. So, the Charter allowed traffic calming at all the other intersections but here in the school zone it prohibits it? Huh?
If you ask me, pride has clouded reason and they are unable to admit that a mistake has been made. Winning the argument has become more important than doing what is right. Why am I being treated like the bad guy for suggesting that the same crosswalks and traffic calming features that were justified at every other intersection should be done at this one that got left out?
Perhaps Mr. Gamble is unaware of this back story that no doubt prompted the “adding value helps ensure rosier future” speech which, in my opinion, was nothing more than an attempt at damage control.
I would like to close on a positive note by thanking Councillor Lorna Vomacka who is the only one at Town Hall who has taken my concerns seriously and who has shown that she cares about my family and the school children. Thanks also to MLA Sonia Furstenau for taking the time to visit me at my business to listen to my concerns.