Victoria council should allocate more funds in the proposed 2022 budget to renew the city’s aging and critical infrastructure.
There are 106 kilometres of major or arterial roads in the city, 27 per cent of them are judged to be in fair or poor condition. There are 173 km of local roads, 34 per cent of those are in poor or fair condition, according to the city.
Our free-spending council seems to focus on nice-to-do items instead of on renewing our critical infrastructure for the next generation. Time and time again we hear from residents who say quality city streets and sidewalks are a priority for them.
Taxpayers don’t need to be reminded that quality roads are important for emergency vehicles, service vehicles, taxis, local commerce and residential use. Sidewalks are important for pedestrians who are mobility challenged. Providing quality infrastructure amounts to the ‘bone structure’ of a successful community and should be a primary role of council.
The city’s proposed consolidated budget for 2022 is $361.8 million. Is it enough to spend just $4.09 million on major road renewal in 2022, while allocating more than $13 million to the cycling network? Cyclists and pedestrians use many of the local roads accessing the cycling network.
Or spending just $2.3 million on renewing local roads, while allocating $1.4 million on the so-called department of engagement? Or spending $500,000 on renewing sidewalks, while spending next to nothing painting crosswalks?
To assist with costs associated with painting crosswalks – especially important during dark, winter days – Grumpy Taxpayer$ is pleased to announce a donation of $25 from its bi-annual grant program so the city can buy more paint.
Stan Bartlett, past chair
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria