Letters: Connector Road is not a good idea

Sooke resident outlines reasons why a connector road is a bad idea

I was flabbergasted to see in this week’s Sooke News Mirror that there are people who think that the construction of the new connector road is a good idea. I understand (sorta) that council approved this $2-million  road from nowhere to nowhere because of an entrenched notion that building a by-pass road is good for Sooke and is supported by Sooke residents. All of the long-time Sooke residents I’ve spoken to over the past few years have told me that the Throup/Grant Connector (which this new piece is just the middle portion of) is a really stupid idea that was rejected by residents in a referendum a number of years ago. Not once in recent public survey’s and community meetings has this project been identified as a community priority.

Despite the distinct lack of public support for this project, council has supported it – why? This council, and several before them, have been told so many times that this project is absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of traffic, and that, once completed, so many (undefined) benefits will miraculously spring forward from it that to question it would be foolish, if not irresponsible. In my years of working closely with Vancouver’s City Council, I did notice the odd time when they seemed to go into some kind of trance and support something that was just too expensive and complicated to warrant a serious second look.  I can only assume that’s what happened here. Odd behaviour for a council that prides itself on keeping  tax increases super low. Just imagine how different Sooke could be if the millions allocated for this project went to capital improvements that the public actually wanted and supported.

One thing council and staff are very clear about is that the new connector is just the first stage of a connector road that will join up with Grant Road at one end, and Throup all the way to Phillips at the other. The intention is to divert traffic away from Sooke Road and West Coast Road. Put another way, the idea is to move traffic away from a highway with commercial properties located along a good portion of it onto quiet residential streets. When asked the question at a public meeting, the engineer responsible for the design of the section of the connector being built right now was quite clear that this road was designed to handle large vehicles, including logging trucks.

So, while the residents further along West Coast Road are continuing to complain about the number of logging trucks and their hours of operation, the solution in Sooke is to move them away from the highway onto quiet neighbourhood streets. As one person commented, this connector will make it easier for Otter Point residents to get home. Now I’m generally a generous guy, but I really don’t appreciate several millions of our tax dollars going towards road improvements that will only benefit residents in neighbouring communities.

Not sure what to do about this mess. We could try to convince the new council to not complete the connections to Grant and Throup. That would leave us with this expensive piece of connector road in the middle that I’m sure will be appreciated only by residents on Townsend. Or we could simply advise the property owners along the connector route to sell now, before it becomes apparent to prospective buyers that they could be moving onto a relocated highway.

 

Rick Gates

Sooke

Just Posted

Stop work order at Sooke salmon hatchery devastates volunteers

CRD steps in as some volunteers give up their efforts

Home where grisly murder of Kimberly Proctor took place to be removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

Prepare yourself for tick season, says Island Health official

2017 saw three reported cases of Lyme disease

Three arrested in Sooke drug bust

RCMP targeted traffickers in fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine

VIDEO: 76th annual Swiftsure sets sail Saturday

Longstanding competition takes off from Victoria’s Inner Harbour May 25

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Shirley business recognized at B.C. wedding awards

Hiway Productions earns runner-up honours

Most Read