Letters Feb. 19: Cost of Games; neighbourhood snow hero; cyclists and bike lanes

No such thing as free Games venues

I read with interest David Black’s commentary about the possible hosting of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

It was interesting to note that he wants the B.C. and federal governments to provide money for this venture. Meanwhile he also indicated that municipalities and local citizens will not have to pay for these Games. Where do provincial and federal tax dollars come from?

article continues below

He also commented that the proposed 2026 Games will be more profitable than the 1994 Games were. Again, when various levels of government are asked to pay for events like this, they are considered a government subsidy, not a profit.

Instead of exploring the reuse of many of Victoria’s existing facilities, he proposes to build another big competition swimming pool, cycling track, ice arena and the like.

There is a major ice arena in Victoria, at least three in Vancouver and one in Abbotsford that lacks a major tenant.

After the Games, he proposes to turn the facilities over to municipalities and universities for “free.” Thanks for the gift! Who will then pay for their ongoing subsidized operating costs? Municipalities and local citizens.

Another point he tries to make is an increase in tourism by at least 10 per cent. It would be interesting to see where he got that figure from. No source was mentioned.

It is nice to brainstorm ideas for our post COVID-19 recovery period. A more realistic approach, however, to what actually might be needed would be a nice change of pace for the weary taxpayer.

Vince Kreiser
North Saanich

A hero named Dave and his snow machine

“Super Neighbour” Dave was at the helm of his snow machine on Saturday evening, Feb. 13.

Lights flashing and the blade lifting snow into giant corner piles, driveways cleared.

Carnarvon Street, between Foul Bay and Richmond, was Good for Go.

Best of all: Kids, dogs and old folks were able to have fun on the mounds created by our great neighbourhood SnowGuy, Dave.

Until the next snowfall, thanks Dave.

Charon Hill and the neighbours
Victoria

Downtown risks being emptied

I enjoy downtown Victoria and get there using any number of transports (walk, bike, bus, drive); however, I try to avoid driving in town because it’s not safe.

When I read “The labyrinth called Victoria” letter to the editor I chuckled as my daughter and I were making similar comments as we drove the obstacle course today.

We tried to imagine being tourists trying to navigate unfamiliar streets in the height of summer (post-COVID) with its pinball of inconsistent bike lanes, random one-way streets, ever-changing road closures, pedestrians ignoring “don’t walk” lights, kabuki cabs, tour buses, rickshaws, horse carriages, tourists on bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, electric bikes and taxis (disclaimer: I am a fan of all of these transportation choices, just noting the chaotic mix).

It’s already a bottleneck on Wharf Street and it’s not even summer. It is already an accident waiting to happen and it’s not even busy compared to Victoria’s normal road traffic.

If the city’s goal is to turn the downtown core into a bicycle- and pedestrian-only zone, then keep up the current plan. Fewer and fewer drivers — locals or tourists — will venture into town. The end result, though, might be a downtown emptied out, not only of cars, but of people who keep a city functioning.

Virginia Rego
Victoria

Cyclists prefer life outside the lane

What I would like to know is this: If the bike lanes that were installed by Ogden Point are such a rousing success, why are cyclists still using the road?

Diane Ball
Victoria

Cyclists need to take responsibility

Another important street is about to be sacrificed on the AAA altar.

Richardson currently enjoys a status as a classified thoroughfare and is soon to have its thruway status violated by multiple barriers to prevent the direct and efficient transit of my motor vehicle from South Oak Bay to Cook Street.

For what? To pander to a few cyclists who do not have the skills and confidence to feel comfortable using it.

We are in a state where 99 per cent of the onus and responsibility for the safety of cyclists is placed on the shoulders of motor vehicle operators. When are cyclists going to be required to actively participate in their own safety, other than demanding that more millions are spent on bike infrastructure?

I enjoyed 25 incident-free years cycle commuting on Victoria’s streets, safely and without demanding the city’s indulgence. I did this using what I called the BASE principles:

B-ehaviour

A-wareness

S-kills

E-ducation

Evidence of these principles used today is few and far between, and barely a day goes by when I don’t see a cyclist aggressively behaving and putting himself in harm’s way. All cyclists at the age of 16 should be required to pass an exam based upon the British Columbia driver’s handbook, unless they already possess one of the levels of driving permission.

The results of this city’s program of giving maximum entitlement to cyclists and expecting maximum sacrifices by drivers can already be seen in the growing adversarial relationship and mutual animosity between the two user groups.

This is not healthy.

Brian Kendrick
Fairfield resident who will soon be forced to detour down narrow ­neighbourhood streets to get ­expediently home

Another vote for leaving it alone

I was tempted to respond earlier, but as we live in the Cowichan Valley, I felt it was not my place to comment.

However, the response has been every bit as I expected. And for good reason. Clover Point is a wide open, uncluttered space that has not felt the breath of bureaucracy, until now. The road system is wide and can accommodate all traffic.

Victoria has become bike crazy. The reduced traffic width on Dallas Road seems to be an accident waiting to happen. Especially when normality returns and the horse drawn carriages resume; that is, unless Victoria legislates them out of existence, too.

Clover Point does not need to be redesigned; it is functional to everyone’s satisfaction as is. Leave it alone.

Richard Ellis
Duncan

Stop the bullying in Parliament

I watched my MP Elizabeth May’s recent speech to Parliament and was shocked to learn that on Wednesday’s question period, where MPs ask questions to Prime Minister Trudeau, she and independent MPs are excluded.

Watch her speech on YouTube — it is interesting regardless if you are a Green supporter. I was surprised the entire time watching Elizabeth address Parliament that clearly bullying was being accepted!

That Parliament thinks that they can silence the voices of these MPs is really stating they are silencing the constituents. Even more surprising, they are apparently unaware they are practising bullying.

Exclusion is one of the nastiest forms of bullying. It is used to intimidate, and in fact is a tool for racism and discrimination.

Oh how we have forgotten historically white privileged groups kept out certain groups of people with exclusion from all kinds of organizations and workplaces.

We expect our children to be good citizens come anti-bullying day, but we continue to be ignorant to what bullying actually is! Let’s tell Parliament we expect better.

Dorothy Pearson
Cordova Bay

Stay involved with government affairs

The direct costs associated with the COVID-19 virus are well known: Deaths, loss of employment, destruction of businesses and more.

The indirect costs are less well known and not well documented.

As an example, is the decision- making process at the local municipal government level resulting in even less public involvement than before the pandemic? If so, are there long-term implications? Will local democracy suffer from increased apathy once the pandemic is over? The health of a community depends on an informed and engaged citizenry.

Governments at all levels need to take steps now to ensure the democratic process is not permanently damaged by the virus.

Carl Eriksen
Saanichton

Thank the provincial NDP for ICBC’s health

The criticism of the ICBC rebate, primarily by the partisan Canadian Taxpayers Federation, is laughable.

As usual, we hear cries of “too little, too late” while it was the CTF’s preferred political party, the B.C. Liberals, who caused the so-called “dumpster fire” at ICBC in the first place.

Through wilful neglect of ICBC along with the misappropriation of funds from ICBC and then directing them to general revenues, the former government brought the once successful Crown corporation to its knees.

This criticism by the CTF and the Liberals is ironic and unwarranted.

It is entirely understandable that the current NDP government took careful, prudent steps to ensure that ICBC was indeed back on sound financial footing (along with reduced rates and better coverage overall) before providing this rebate.

Dan Rowe
Sidney

SEND US YOUR LETTERS

• Email letters to: letters@timescolonist.com

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist