Letters to the Editor

More sidewalks needed in Qualicum Beach

In her letter, V. Sansom (The NEWS, Aug. 7) laments the lack of a designated sidewalks and seems to feel threatened by traffic on Mill Road. She should be so lucky to have the wide, level, straight Mill Road with its two-metre-wide pathways along each side for the full length from Beach to Arbutus.

Granted, there is only a solid white painted line separating her and a vehicle, but I doubt a curb would substantially improve walking safety.

Let her come one street up to First Avenue West where one finds a convoluted “sidewalk” that has the pedestrian walking on the north side, starting at the Arbutus end, then supposedly taking a X-walk halfway down the roadway to the south side of the street, and onward into town.

While using this “sidewalk,” the pedestrian, contrary to what may have been drilled into their minds at childhood, has his/her back to the traffic for half the walk. As there is no sign to indicate that one should cross to the other side at the halfway point, those following the “rule” of facing traffic continue to walk along the pavement edge. Now added to the pedestrian dilemma is the fact that much of First Avenue roadway between Arbutus and Jones is narrow, so with two vehicles meeting, and walkers on one side or the other (and sometimes both), you have a serious safety issue that is headed for an injury or fatality.

I first brought this safety issue to Qualicum Beach council in April of 2006, and have continued to do so as I encounter actual “near miss” events in driving/walking this route. The only response to date was one from the mayor who recommended “that I go down to Mill Street to have a safer walk into town.” That may well work for him as he lives north of Mill; it makes no sense to a resident living south of First Avenue.

So, good luck, V. Sansom; best you take the matter to the Qualicum Beach Residents Association and remember that this is an election year.

Len Gibson

Qualicum Beach

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