Trails not rails

Do you remember the uproar a few years back when the rail service was suspended? The protests? The riots?

Do you remember the uproar a few years back when the rail service was suspended? The protests? The riots? The letters in the paper? Me either. The truth is, it was barely missed. Only when the mirage of a service being reinstated appeared on the horizon did some elements of the public voice support.

The reality is that our money continues to be thrown at the pursuit of an impractical rail line, impeded by deteriorating infrastructure and interrupted by hundreds of driveways and road crossings.

No official recognition has been made of alternative and more beneficial uses of the corridor. Many of those forcing a rail agenda have openly stated that, if the public knew the reality of the railway will mean a freight line, they would no longer support it. Yet those representatives have not made this clear to the public they represent.

At no time has a feasibility study been carried out. The studies that have been done understated costs and failed to adequately recognize alternative uses. Those in favour of rail are not supporting a passenger service, but log trains and coal trucks rolling through our towns. Even if successful, a rail line would rob us of quality of life as Vancouver Island’s East side would fall victim to the unwanted industries required to fill the freight cars needed to recoup the $200 million cost of the rail repairs.

If public transport is identified as a priority, a more flexible community bus service could run when and where required, and link to an improved express service the length of the island.

The rail corridor should be used as a wheelchair friendly, paved cycling and walking route that will allow safe and efficient transport for tens of thousands who live along its route. It would tie in with existing ferry and air routes to bring tourists to our businesses cheaply and easily. It would allow easy access to the outdoors for people of all ages and could form the backbone of each municipality’s cycling and walking strategies.

Vancouver Island is still viewed worldwide as a beautiful destination. Canada is viewed as a healthy, outdoor oriented country. Let’s build on the positives we have at our disposal and use this opportunity to preserve the natural beauty we enjoy, promote sustainable tourism and provide a benefit for every individual and community between Courtenay and Victoria.

Michael AddiscottQualicum Beach

Just Posted

Coldest Night of the Year walk scheduled for Feb. 23

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents are encouraged to bundle up and support those in need

Book exchange box destroyed by fire in Parksville Community Park

Second time in less than a year box has been vandalized

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

Community votes requested for Parksville’s 2019 sand sculpting theme

Three choices for annual 2019 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Most Read