Like many residents, I enjoy our many beautiful parks and natural views. So I was dismayed to learn that Qualicum Beach council plans to extend a road and a park into the ocean (Town owes rationale for roundabout, Letters, March 15; Place QB roundabout where it’s really needed, Letters, March 22).
Research into the town’s website found a slide presentation to council in August 2017, which shows an illustration, cost estimates, and goals for the waterfront (Memorial Avenue Upgrade Phase 3): qualicumbeach.civicweb.net/document/6921.
Of course, shore beach restoration, estuary upgrades, and wheelchair accessibility to the beach are laudable goals.
Two goals, however, have no known or proven rationale:
Introduction of a green space jutting into the ocean, so that pedestrian walkways and a viewing platform for the estuary, with interpretative signage, can be added. There is plenty of green space along the existing walkway for viewing and signage placement.
Introduction of a roundabout at the base of Memorial Avenue — “to calm traffic flow at an intersection with high crash statistics and low levels of service.” Where are the statistics and data for this? Here is a T-intersection, with a pedestrian-activated crosswalk. There is plenty of room for traffic lights, if a problem exists.
But to build a roundabout that extends into the ocean? The disadvantages to the aquatic life and plants far outweigh any transportation solution, if there was a problem in the first place.
My final point is to deplore the unnecessary expenditures: seawall and walkway modifications ($350,000), viewing platform ($180,000), streetscape, parking and utility alterations and relocations ($335,000), and the roundabout conversion ($1,400,000). These are Nov. 2016 cost estimates. A contingency allowance of a 25 per cent increase is noted.
What is the town solving with an unnecessary road and another park, both jutting into the ocean?