Letters Sept. 19: traffic noise, speculation tax

All that vehicle noise makes life miserable

Is anyone else fed up with the level of vehicle noise in Victoria these days?

I refer to the more densely populated areas of town, where ambulances, motorcycles and other vehicles regularly scream their way through neighbourhoods. Considering the steady stream of “lights and siren” ambulances, hospital emergency rooms must be constantly overflowing with the nearly dying.

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Then, there are those two-wheeled vehicles that positively howl, “I am a wondrous spectacle, look at me!”

Have you also noticed how horn-crazed Victoria drivers are? Simple under-breath verbal abuse of bad-mannered drivers just won’t do. No, you must feel the wrath of my horn blast!

Well, patio get-togethers, where conversations must stop every few minutes, will soon be over. Cool, rainy weather will force us inside, windows closed, where street cacophony can be dulled for a few months.

They say Victoria is a refined, sedate town. I won’t tell the tourists, if you don’t.

Barbara Montgomery

Too many people here, but what can we do?

Re: “Flyover at Keating is retrograde thinking,” comment, Sept. 15.

The basic problem is there are too many of us humans on this “orb” using and abusing too much of everything.

Be it too many idling vehicles turning left at Keating Cross Road, too many visitors by ship (B.C. Ferries, cruise lines), too many entering from the airport, too many roads, too many cyclists and so on.

What to do?

We don’t appear to have too many answers to solve this undeniable fact.

Shall we continue to, unconvincingly, “flyover” this quandary?

Apparently so!

Ron Irish
North Saanich

This taxpayer doesn’t want Trans Mountain

I am not in favour of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Pipelines cost a lot of money and are meant to last 50 years. It would appear those in favour of building this pipeline expect to continue extraction from the oilsands for the next 50 years.

The scientists tell us that we do not have 50 years. If building this pipeline is one part of Canada’s plan to transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean and renewable sources, why do we never hear about the timelines for this plan?

Heather Murphy

Speculation tax a burden on cancer survivor

Re: “Speculation tax working but I’m open, James says,” Sept. 13.

The article it states: “The tax is meant to discourage speculation in the housing market, and to penalize people who leave homes vacant for extended periods.”

The Oxford Dictionary defines speculation as: “Investment in stocks, property, or other ventures in the hope of gain but with the risk of loss.”

We have been on Vancouver Island since 2014. We are retired Canadians who, with no company pension plan, but only our savings, scraped together over years of hard work, managed to purchase a very modest home in Nanaimo, as part of our retirement dream.

We do not view our home as an investment. In fact, we borrowed money to purchase it.

The second purported purpose of the tax is to penalize those who leave homes vacant for extended periods.

Our home is vacant only about three months per year, less than many B.C. snowbirds. Why, then, are we not B.C. residents rather than Albertans?

My husband is, thankfully, in remission from bladder cancer. His whole care team is in Calgary. We are very pleased to say that in the time we have been here, he has only been once to see a B.C. doctor about his cancer.

Rather, he flies or drives back to Calgary for treatment. So this tax is a very heavy burden upon us, but we cannot become B.C. residents as that would mean giving up my husband’s cancer care team, who have saved his life.

No, since we are not by definition speculators, nor is our home vacant for extended periods, we are just vulnerable Canadian retirees who are hit with this tax.

Jane Hay

We need more reflective road markings

Good for Saanich’s new reflective road markings, which is at least attempting to make the roads safer this fall and winter.

Shame on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for going another season without using reflective paint on the Patricia Bay Highway. This is not new technology.

The Pat Bay is a short stretch of highway but dangerous due to water ponding, left-turn crossing junctions and poor streetlighting.

The introduction of reflective flush-mounted thermoplastics is significantly more cost effective than adding streetlights and would not require yearly repainting.

West Saanich Road is also in an awful state and desperately needs these reflective lines as the majority of the road is without streetlights.

I witnessed drivers crossing bike lanes and road centrelines all the way from Brentwood to Royal Oak on West Saanich, because it’s impossible to see the markings.

Any accidents on these roads during periods of rain and low-light levels should be investigated for lack of required maintenance. The appropriate ministry or municipality would then be at fault and drivers could pursue them for compensation.

It seems the responsibility resides on independent contractors who are given specific areas to maintain. If this is the case, then who is responsible for making sure they are doing their job? It’s the middle of September and it doesn’t look like they have prepared for a season of winter driving at all.

My previous letter to the editor on this problem was printed 10 years ago and still nothing has been done to improve the safety on these roads.

Brett Webster
North Saanich

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