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Letters June 11: Keating flyover, gas prices and avoiding social media

What climate change? Let’s build a flyover Re: “Keating flyover cost estimated at $76.8M, up 73% since 2019,” June 4. A whopping price increase with no explanation offered by the province.
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An artist’s rendering of the Keating flyover on the Pat Bay Highway, which is expected to be completed by the spring of 2025. Via Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

What climate change? Let’s build a flyover

Re: “Keating flyover cost estimated at $76.8M, up 73% since 2019,” June 4.

A whopping price increase with no explanation offered by the province. Wow!

Considering other transportation priorities and our need to drop vehicle emissions urgently, $76.8 million seems like a lot of money to spend on highway expansion.

The province’s much-touted Clean B.C. Roadmap calls for a province-wide reduction in distances travelled in light duty vehicles by 25 per cent by 2030.

We cannot meet this goal in the Capital Regional District if we continue to expand highways in place of making investments to improve public transit.

For $76.8 million, the province could advance an electric rapid bus system along the major urban/suburban corridors in the CRD to move people around much more quickly and cut emissions big time. What a difference that would make.

As the climate emergency becomes more acute, we need to actually ­implement our climate plans.

Strong climate plans are good. Real ­climate action is better.

Steve Gray

Victoria

Keating flyover just one important project

Given the information on the Keating Cross Road flyover, imagine the final cost escalation and time slippage on a complete museum rebuild.

Government projections are usually political, not practical. As the local municipalities discuss higher-density housing options, we hope the planning departments are hard at work on expanding the road networks and other infrastructure to support the needs of the region’s increasing population.

The dreaded five-way fiasco at Wilkinson and Interurban has traffic backed up for kilometres, and is just one that comes to mind, in addition to the Keating ­flyover, which needs immediate attention.

Terry Medd

Saanich

UVic has a start on a medical school

A recent letter recounted that the B.C. government was advised in 1986 to ­establish a medical school at the ­University of Victoria, and that land for it is still available.

Actually, there is not only land, but there’s also an infant medical school — complete with professors, postdocs, 25 postgraduate students and its own building! It’s the Division of Medical Sciences.

It was therefore baffling to learn that our NDP government intends to create another expensive, full-blown medical school on the Lower Mainland, starting from scratch, at Simon Fraser University, with no commitment whatsoever to building on the major investment already made at UVic, which would give us a full-blown medical school on Vancouver Island.

Eric Manning

Victoria

Thank goodness for higher gas prices

One positive outcome from the escalating gas prices is that I don’t notice as many drivers sitting in their cars with their engines idling, spewing out dirty exhaust while engrossed in their cellphones.

Anne Forbes

Victoria

Social media? Not for me, thanks

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recently won two electric ­bicycles in a fundraising draw held by the ­Victoria Hospitals Foundation. A photo of the ­doctor and prize bicycles ­appearing on Twitter drew so much negative response that it was withdrawn because the ­foundation said it “fuelled so much unnecessary hate.”

The good doctor has been the face of the pandemic in British Columbia, and a calming factor for so many from Day 1 when there was so much uncertainty, now becomes reviled by a certain segment of Twitter users.

Back in the day, I navigated the high seas on freighters and tankers using a sextant, a vital instrument at the time which has become outdated with so many technological advances.

Now I navigate the information highway with the aid of a desktop computer, a telephone that plugs into the wall socket, a radio that sits atop the fridge and a pet macaw who squawks in my ear any tidbits he hears from other little birdies which happen to pass by.

My electronic equipment may seem outdated in 2022, but if anti-vaxxers and others are able to do this to Henry then I’m delighted not to be a Twitter user, and completely comfortable to be out of their loop by not participating in their social media.

In my humble opinion, those who ­misuse social media to spread vile ­disinformation have one foot in their mouth and the other in the Twilight Zone, just like most politicians.

Bernie Smith

Parksville

Hey, Gwyn Morgan, try an electric vehicle

Re: “Electric vehicles in Canada: Facts versus fantasy,” June 8.

It would seem that Gwyn Morgan intends to drive car purchasers away from ­buying this technology on the basis that it really does little to address climate change.

Yes, China’s coal-fired power plants would offset the benefit of these new vehicles, as these plant emissions would neutralize our change-over in a matter of days.

It is a poor comparison to view Canada, with a population of 40 million people, to China’s one-billion plus people.

In addition, there is the matter of doing what is right. We must start somewhere and to be seen by other nations as trying to go in the direction we hope they might emulate.

My family has purchased e-vehicles for the past three years. For pragmatic reasons we installed one charging station at each of our homes. A push of the “fob” and the fill-up of over 500 kilometres is achieved. We fill up at night when the vehicles are not needed. So simple, so inexpensive.

The technology in the cars is superior to conventional ones. Its acceleration is swift, it nearly drives itself.

I suggest Morgan test-drive this technological breakthrough.

Eric J. Ronse

Shawnigan Lake

Rail corridor is great, but not for rail traffic

Keeping the Island Rail Corridor is a good idea, but not for the purpose of rail traffic.

A few years ago they estimated traffic over the Malahat at 20,000 movements a day. The best that rail can offer is 800 passengers a day.

I still haven’t figured out where the Victoria station would be located.

The latest Bayview signs show no rail going through their property. So the ­closest would be between Russell Street and Mary Street. (A long way from ­downtown Victoria.)

Then there are Esquimalt, Six Mile and Atkins stations.

I can’t fathom out where they would go, given the need for supporting transit and parking.

Yes, I would love to see fewer ­dockyard workers driving their single-occupancy vehicles along Admirals Road.

We have the No. 46 bus, but that’s usually empty. Maybe they need the carrot/stick solution. Cheap bus passes (and more buses) and higher parking fees at the dockyard.

But then I’m biased. I cycle. I want that corridor for cyclist, walkers, hikers, backpackers and equestrians.

My kind of tourist would love it.

Ray Powell

Victoria

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