Letters: Keep road open

Letter writer is disappointed in comments from Mike Hicks on Hwy. 14 road closure for triathlon

I read Mike Hicks’ letter to the editor in the Sooke News Mirror,  (“Road closure not favoured,” Sept.19), feeling deflated and discouraged.

No doubt, being the director in the Juan de Fuca region would be a taxing and very difficult job, and my feeling is Mike Hicks has done some decent work in this position.

However, giving up so easily on a key component for a long range vision for the region as a draw for international tourism due to a relatively small, vocal group of constituents seems like the wrong decision to me.  Putting the desires of few, before the needs of many is no way to govern.

The long term economic health of the entire region relies on tourism for its foundation. This, I feel, is a truism. I would be interested to hear solid arguments to prove that wrong.

The roadways, particularly Highway 14, will not be upgraded in order to just save lives and decrease accidents.

Unfortunately, public safety is often trumped by the mighty dollar.  Ironically, it is the use of this roadway as a ‘tourism attraction,’ which ultimately will draw much needed investment in improving it and making it safer.

Fatalities, injuries and accidents will not trigger timely, meaningful investment in the highway, but events like the triathlon will.

Those who rail against the triathlon because it closes the road to traffic for three hours, for one day, ought to consider how often the road is closed due to accidents throughout the rest of the year.

Only by embracing the tourism potential of the region, can residents expect upgrades to infrastructure that will save lives. Traffic on the highway is multiplying every year, and with that comes an increase in the potential for accidents.

As dollars come into the community through events like the triathlon, so too will come investments in infrastructure, creating improvements making our region safer and more enjoyable.

Please, Mr. Hicks, reconsider your position.  The power you wield is substantial.  Please do not let short term political instability usurp the mighty potential I know you see for the region we all call home.

Lorien Arnold


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