LETTER: Proposed Qualicum Beach roundabout will place pedestrians at risk

I would like to give some of my background experience so your readers may judge the merit of these statements I feel I need to make. My family and I came to Qualicum Beach in 1966 where I began a 22-year teaching career. I was elected to Council in 1975, served two years as alderman and 13 as mayor.

The Nanaimo Regional District was created in 1975. For the first few years we contracted with the RDN for planning services and I served on the board for 10 years.

During that time, the town adopted a zero run-off policy, meaning that during the development of a property any water accumulated would be returned to the aquifer.

My own property is a perfect example, with gravel driveways and a rock-pit for roof run-off. No water leaves the site.

When the town hired its own engineer and planner they changed the policy to read “the Town follow a zero run-off policy if it does not conflict with the drainage plan.”

So the town engineer and I have been at odds for decades.

We built our house two years before sewers were installed. During the following years my family walked Poplar daily, year round, and never saw a catch basin overloaded. Currently these are being replaced at a cost of close to half a million dollars, mostly my tax dollars.

But it is the over $6 million being spent on “another path to the beach” I find intolerable. At the council meeting I attended recently, council let the contract for approximately $2 million for a roundabout, including engineering and contingency, justified by an observation that sometimes motorists had to wait a few minutes.

Instead of the pedestrian-activated traffic signal, pedestrians will be faced with the prospect of waiting for a gap in the traffic and then walking across the circle with stroller and kids in tow. If anyone knows of a pedestrian-friendly roundabout, please tell me.

This leaves me with the observation that this is the most irresponsible council that I have witnessed since my moving to Qualicum Beach.

Art Skipsey

Qualicum Beach

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