A matter of priorities
Town councillors say they hear the concerns of residents regarding certain intersections in Qualicum Beach, but they say there's only so much money in the budget.
The Town of Qualicum Beach has a budget of approximately $7 million, about $1.5 million of which is set aside each year for capital projects like intersection upgrades. There are a number of intersections in the town that could use that $1.5 million, but that would gobble up the entire works budget for the year, each year.
The NEWS showed two councilors the following comment, attributed to Lance Nater, in the most recent edition of the Eaglecrest Residents' Association newsletter:
"If you are comfortable with the likelihood that nothing will be done to improve traffic safety at 19A/Eaglecrest intersections over the next two or three years and you agree that council is correct in assigning no priority to 19A intersection capital funding, then things look pretty good," Nater wrote. "However, if you believe council should not continue to ignore the traffic issues at these intersections then you must make your concerns known to council."
Coun. Scott Tanner had a look at the comments and gave The NEWS one line: "It's about managing expectations, there's my quote."
Coun. Dave Willie said he was "disappointed" by Nater's comments "but at the same time I think he understands we have to set priorities."
Willie also said traffic-study numbers don't show the need for $1.5 million of intersection work at every one of these intersections. "Yes, making a left hand turn is difficult at certain times of the day," said Willie. "But does that justify the town, over the next five years, doing four intersections at the cost of $6 million - I don't think so."