Letters Oct. 26: How to fix Pat Bay traffic; why the monarchy is still best for Canada

Repair the Pat Bay Highway with overpasses

I’ve been driving the Pat Bay Highway from Victoria to North Saanich and back every workday for the past 15 years. It used to be a 25 minute drive either way, with minimal congestion if you avoided catching the 4:30am ferry service coming home.

Recently, this has changed to a daily 45-minute crawl, with traffic regularly backing up for miles on either side of the four interstate traffic lights encountered. I attribute this to someone messing around with light timing and duration.

Observations at the Mount Newton Cross Road intersection indicate that the freeway’s traffic lights were on a two-minute, 40-second cycle at the time. That is, traffic flows for one minute and 20 seconds and then stops for one minute 20 seconds to one minute 40 seconds, depending on the number of vehicles turning left.

It is clear that stopping traffic on a major road more than twenty times and for more than thirty minutes every hour does not work.

Several studies have been conducted on this corridor over the years, all pointing to the need for level crossings at these intersections. But instead, we’ll soon have a snazzy doo-dah bus stop at Mount Newton, a bit in the middle of nowhere, and the buses are way back in the lines with the rest of us.

Also, next time you’re paving out there, you could wedge a couple of spinners under one end of the asphalt spreader to create a crown to clear up the numerous puddles of standing water.

Perhaps the Highways Ministry could also clean out the clogged center drainage slots, which now have a lovely little grass garden growing every few feet, before aquaplaning season claims more casualties.

And fix that canoe practice pond that regularly covers the southbound lanes next to the rowing club.

Yes, the gateway to Victoria, with far too many locked gates.

Ray Morgan
Victoria

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We’re fine under the monarchy

Subject: “Is the Crown Really a Unifying Force in Canada?” Comment Oct 22

It definitely is, in my humble opinion. The Crown unites the entire Commonwealth of Nations and gives a common bond to many diverse and diverse cultures.

I suppose other cultures migrate to Canada because they like what they see and don’t come with the expectation that we will change our laws, culture or way of life to emulate the laws and culture they left behind.

Maintaining their particular cultural habits and celebrations is fine and fully within their right to enjoy life in Canada. However, when I emigrate to China, the Netherlands or even the United States, I choose to go there because I prefer their way of life, with no intention of changing it or expecting them to change their laws or theirs Changing the system of government to suit my personal beliefs or emotional attachments.

Our system of a constitutional monarchy has served us very well.

Watching the outpouring of patriotism and love for our late Queen and affection and good wishes for the future reign of our new King Charles, plus the chaos of the present elected British Government (which the King has the right to dissolve) is only for encouragement I believe that we can get along quite well with our current system.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Jaquelyn Ross
coombs

We’re the envy of the world, so why change?

Subject: “Is the Crown Really a Unifying Force in Canada?” Comment Oct 22

The Commentary argues that a monarchy rooted in Europe’s colonial past is not relevant in today’s multicultural Canada.

Which form of government should we adapt instead? Certainly not a republican form, which is also rooted in the colonial past. Finally, educated white men rooted in European culture formulated the republican model in 18th-century America and France.

The more important question is, “What form of government best preserves our democracy?” Would a parliamentary republic and the appointment of a Canadian president equally safeguard our liberties?

Not in many countries. As soon as a head of state becomes political, those in power often move in. Look at all the republics that have lost their democracies to autocrats, dictators and oligarchies.

A monarch as our head of state, living across the ocean and serving in a centuries-old democratic tradition, blocks interests that want to become our head of state for their own ends.

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We have a great country, not perfect but the envy of many who move here from all over the world. Because of so-called national pride and theoretical ideas, why should we change our government and risk losing what we have?

J Cole Walton
Chemainus

Esquimalt Police costs a warning

Subject: Esquimalt Must Pay for New Police Personnel, BC Rules, October 21st.

In the run-up to the municipal council elections in Saanich, the merger was a frequent topic. Many candidates offered the merging of emergency services as a measure to reduce the tax burden on Saanich residents. It sounds like a great idea — to centralize services and reduce overhead — but Esquimalt offers a cautionary tale.

The Mayor and Council of Esquimalt logically concluded that given the low crime rate and declining number of 911 calls, additional police resources and the associated cost burden were not serving their residents well. Last week it was decided they had no choice.

Capital Regional District Residents: What is it worth to you to be able to decide which services are right for your community?

Shaun Cembella
Saanich

Political will is required to solve inner-city problems

Sunday’s front-page article about downtown Victoria’s road problems makes me even more concerned than I already was. I genuinely sympathize with Chief Del Manak and his capable police force when the tail obviously still wags the dog on these issues.

I would like to refer your readers to an excellent 55 minute documentary, Vancouver is dying, posted October 5 on Youtube by Aaron Gunn. Their problems are similar to ours, but on a larger scale.

Vancouver has seen the light, expelled its weak councilors and brought in a whole new group with new Mayor Ken Sim promising 100 new officers on the street as soon as possible. Victoria has replaced the previous crowd with a similar panel, so unfortunately it will continue as usual.

Our city center will bear the brunt. Since the tent dwellers, especially the bad ones, find it too difficult to do business in Vancouver, many of them will move to Victoria.

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We must prepare for the attack, and our political leaders are completely unprepared.

Nick Gudewill
Victoria

Sacrifices are needed now to save our future

Democracy is in itself an enormously ethically attractive construct that we should all commit to. However, its practicality is questioned as we react to the probabilities of a sixth extinction being produced in crucial aspects by human agency.

The tolerance and openness implicit in any meaningful democracy impedes a swift and thorough response, such as is needed in existential crises like the ones we are experiencing now.

Many are tempted to wish for a more authoritarian process, so that what needs to be done immediately actually happens.

But whether it works or not depends on the authority. Recent records of authoritarian regimes are as mixed as those of more democratic ones, and differing egalitarian or technical metrics of development are far from conclusive.

In Canada, it might be worth asking: What do our government leaders really want to do to bolster our weight to overcome the terrible threat humans and other sentient species are now facing? This cannot be achieved by supporting fossil fuel companies or pipelines.

But in this democracy our governments believe at this time, and is that true, that the public will not willingly make sacrifices of living standards now in order to optimize later well-being and prevent much greater misery and depletion of the world’s rich diversity of life ? not too distant future?

Each of us must make it clear what our priority is. That is the minimum for democracy, also and especially now between the elections. Contact all agents directly.

Glynne Evans
Saanich

Additional problems from fake terror

Subject: “Enough real terror without Halloween,” letters, Oct. 22.

The letter makes a good impression.

Additionally, these horrific images/models can trigger tragic memories for those suffering from PTSD.

Bill Yearwood
Victoria

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