Letters: Roundabout woes

Sooke's new roundabout not a good idea says resident

Once again, I am amazed at the way in which a crazy idea can magically become wonderful. Here we have the out-going mayor, and presumably most, if not all the previous council, and the Minister of Transportation, waxing poetic about the approval of a new roundabout on Sooke Road across from the entrance to Evergreen Mall. A while back, I wrote about the folly of spending $2 million for the new connector that goes from nowhere to nowhere, but this roundabout project is much goofier. With the cost of land purchases included this little bit of curvature in the road will cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

Roundabouts can be useful for dealing with intersections where there are traffic problems. The Transportation Plan, adopted in 2009, identifies a couple of intersections where roundabouts might be okay in the future when traffic volumes, particularly from the side street, are high enough to warrant the expense.

But wait – council has made a number of decisions in the past five-six years that have made any significant development of a new downtown unlikely, if not impossible. A modified vision for the downtown area, which contradicts parts of the Downtown Plan, is included in the OCP, but there is much evidence that this version also won’t ever see the light of day. So why would you build a roundabout at the north end of a new “Main Street” that isn’t likely to ever happen?

The mayor is quoted as saying the project “provides safer pedestrian travel.” Research shows roundabouts are actually one of the most dangerous forms of car/pedestrian interface. This research was shared with the previous council.

For much of the day, traffic moves through this area fairly quickly and easily, until it hits the lights at Church or Otter Point Road. With the new roundabout, traffic will be slowed down significantly in the middle before it reaches the lights. The 15-20 cars per hour that want to turn left out of the Evergreen Mall during rush hour will certainly have an easier time of it, but do we really need to spend more than a million dollars for that to happen?

I suppose there is a very tiny chance that the new mayor and council will come to their senses and stop the project before any more money gets wasted, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Rick Gates

Sooke

Just Posted

The strange case of Jesokah Adkens

All was not what it seemed in Sooke girl’s disappearance 18 years ago

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Young man on Vancouver Island dies after losing control of ATV

Crash claimed the life of a 23-year-old south of Nanaimo over the long weekend

Most Read