Letters: Triathlon traffic woes

Land locking taxpapers unwelcome by the residents of Shirley

Here we go again with road closures in Shirley and elsewhere in the JDFEA for the car company sponsored triathlon. Shirley is a totally inappropriate venue of such an event even with alternating lane closures.

Inappropriate because it is dangerous to close the only road in the district – last year the fire department had to respond to an emergency by driving on the highway crowded with bike racers.

Inappropriate because it is simply wrong to “land lock in” the local taxpaying residents preventing them from using the only available public highway.

Inappropriate because it causes inconvenience to and loss of customers for our local businesses which have a hard enough time surviving these days.

No amount of compensation can adequately address the inappropriateness of holding this event here in Shirley; especially not a token gift such as the defibrillator for the fire department that is apparently being used as a carrot this year; that something that our local Fire Protection Society could purchase a dozen times over without demanding the closure of our only public road.

When will the organizers, sponsors and volunteers of this event realize that the public assets of our district including the highway, scenery and West Coast atmosphere should not be for sale for the private commercial benefit of a car company sponsored triathlon.

Maybe they could instead start in Sooke; go east bound and close Sooke Road all the way to Colwood and finish the race at the car company sales lot. But they would probably object to that because it is dangerous; inconvenient; uses the only public road for a private event and would cause a loss to local businesses; which is precisely why most Shirley residents say the triathlon is not wanted here.

Guy McDannold

Shirley, B.C.