Letters: Stall roundabout

Sooke businessman wants proposed roundabout stalled until fall

on to council last week regarding the timing of the proposed roundabout construction, and the response I got was, while sympathetic to the concerns of the business community, there was nothing they would/could do about it.

I don’t understand why our elected officers have not, over the years,  stood up for what is best for the Sooke business community with the Ministry of Transport. It is our town, not Langford or Victoria.

The proposed start of construction for the roundabout of July or August will be devastating for our down town business community, will be an incredible inconvenience to the large numbers of locals and visitors trying to move around Sooke at the busiest time of the year. Look what happens to traffic when an accident occurs; double or triple that to fivedays a week, eight hours a day. Why would people put up with that to shop in Sooke, and how will many people be able to shop in Sooke if they have limited transportation? Plus the major construction of the Royal Bank will still be going on. And it will create havoc with our Sooke Fine Arts Show and the at least two other big events already planned for this summer.

Our council is taking the word of someone from MOT that everything will be okay, just a slight inconvenience. Baloney — they don’t live here, they don’t have a business here, they don’t hire local people to manage the expected higher sales, they are not really concerned.

Our council needs to put themselves in the place of a local business person, who needs the summer sales volume to help make it through the winter months, who has invested their monies and talents in Sooke, who don’t get a pay cheque unless they have sales; and right now that local business person needs support.

All we are asking is that the start of construction be put off until the second half of September, when the bulk of our tourist traffic is done and the inconvenience of it all has a chance to be handled.

The District will say that it costs more to do the construction in the fall compared to the summer. But what is the potential cost to Sooke business and residents if our summer business season is ruined?

I hope the people of Sooke will email or call the mayor and council, and tell them to stand up for Sooke, do what’s right, and delay the start of construction.

Randy Welters

Sooke