LETTER: Roundabout of dubious benefit to traffic

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? What could possibly be the advantage of that? The disadvantages to the aquatic life and plants far outweigh any transportation solution, if there was ever a problem in the first place.

My final point is to deplore the unnecessary expenditures for a larger park and a roundabout: 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.

Please express your concerns to QB town council members, to your neighbours, to PQB readers, and add to the discussion of a redesign.

What is the town solving with an unnecessary road and another park, both jutting into the ocean?

Laurie Sieber

Qualicum Beach

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