I am writing this letter on behalf of the Qualicum Beach Residents’ Association board of directors. As a result of several lengthy discussions by the directors and fielding many questions from our members and the general public, we have very serious reservations about the logic and cost benefit of the proposed roundabout.
We realize this opinion comes late in the process, long after a grant of $1.4 million was announced. Nevertheless, based on what we know and from the comments we have heard, we cannot support this project as it has been presented. We regard a grant as a redistribution of taxpayer funds and do no believe acquiring a grant should, in itself, justify this or any other project.
It is our view that the proposed redesign of the 19A and Memorial intersection to a roundabout is not an improvement in vehicle or pedestrian movement. The location and entry/exit of the Shell station is a significant obstacle. We do not believe this proposed redesign was suitably explained to the general public. Dave Golson served on the Waterfront working committee and does not recall the roundabout being discussed to any extent.
I served on the Public Safety Committee and do not recall any discussion about converting the subject intersection to a roundabout.
The QBRA board is not opposed to roundabouts. We are opposed to this proposed application at a three way intersection. This opinion was unanimous among our seven board members.
In reading the Town announcement of the grant, it highlights key improvements that will result. This is a well used pedestrian intersection. Based on our observations with the Rupert/Memorial roundabout, we do not think safety for cyclists or pedestrians would be improved. Many of the other infrastructure,transportation and environmental gains, we believe, could be realized without a roundabout at this site. The underground work necessary could all be accomplished without a roundabout. Traffic calming for the beachfront would be no more effective then the Rupert roundabout where speeds along Memorial are not impaired.
Clearly, the directors of the QBRA board and many members of the general public do not understand what the merits of this roundabout are and by not understanding, they are very much opposed.
We strongly suggest the Town take a step back to justify this roundabout to the general public. Based on our experience, either the Town has failed to make a convincing justification to residents or the design is of very questionable merit. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, Lance Nater