Golf carts on the roads in Qualicum Beach! It seems like a good, simple idea: a low-cost, low-impact, low-emissions proposal that will make life greener and easier for seniors and handicapped people.
Under the provincial rules, golf carts will only be permitted to operate on roads that have a maximum speed of 30 km/h. And there lies a thorny problem. Currently there are very few locations in Qualicum Beach with 30 km/h speed limits. In order to make this work, golf carts will have to be able to operate on the roads between their home and the centre of the village.
I imagine the entire village neighbourhood from Maple Street to the Gardens, and from Sixth Ave to Hwy 19A being designated 30 km/h.
Let’s not kid ourselves. With the restrictions the provincial government has placed on this initiative, major changes will have to be made to traffic patterns in Qualicum Beach. At a time when we are just starting to review our Official Community Plan, the province has dropped a hot potato into Qualicum’s lap without any local consultation at all. But, to be opposed to this initiative, one risks being seen as obstructionist and prejudiced against the elderly, the disabled and the greens. To support it means that we will be seriously affecting traffic flow in the village.
We will have to decide exactly where we are willing to reduce the speed limit, and possibly designate certain trails for the purpose. There will undoubtedly be financial implications for the town, but we have no idea how much. And we will have to finalize our decisions before March 2017, which is not much time for such major decision-making.
All of a sudden this plan doesn’t seem so simple, after all.
Kevin MonahanQualicum Beach