Letters: West Coast Road is the wrong road

Using West Coast Road for a triathlon is a poor choice says letters writer

There are many inconvenient truths not yet addressed about the Subaru Sooke Triathlon.

First, any publicity generated by the race automatically implies that West Coast Road is a great venue for bicycling. But even the race organizers admit that West Coast Road is too dangerous to use, even for practice. In fact, one reason they cited (at a meeting with Shirley residents) for the road closure is that it is too narrow (lacking paved shoulders) to even run the bicycle race safely unless the entire two lanes are provided for the cyclists.

You can bet the national TV coverage won’t be telling viewers that this is a dangerous destination for bicycles. They will not be waxing eloquently about the fun of avoiding logging and double-long gravel trucks, and other traffic while dodging the numerous potholes dotting the road.

Second, the residents of Otter Point and Shirley choose to live in our communities because of the quiet. We don’t necessarily crave the publicity and potential notoriety that a triathlon could bring to the area. We are not anti-tourism, but our little communities are not designed to garner much, if any, benefit from publicity generated. Nor do we necessarily wish to.

Third, the organizers envision the triathlon evolving into a huge event, with people lining the road to watch. This is West Coast Road — with no gas stations, no public toilets, and no off-road parking outside of two provincial parks (whose parking is unavailable until 8 a.m).

In short, West Coast Road, beyond the municipality of Sooke, is not the appropriate venue for the Sooke triathlon. Until alternate roads are available for egress, the potential for problems and the dangers generated by the closure of West Coast Road should preclude all consideration of continuing the triathlon in the future.

Diane Dieter

Shirley