Comox Valley Regional District trying to avert air show traffic gridlock

The regional district board unanimously voted to waive a special event transit service fee to assist 19 Wing Comox in hosting an air show.

The regional district board unanimously voted last week to waive a special event transit service fee to assist 19 Wing Comox in hosting the Comox Air Show, which returns to the Valley in August after an eight-year hiatus.

Air show director Maj. Dwayne Kerr appeared before the board to discuss options to alleviate parking and traffic issues apparent at previous events.

The CVRD and BC Transit have developed a draft for a free park and ride service from North Island College, the exhibition grounds and the old Brooklyn Elementary site in Comox, as well as a shuttle from the CFB Comox parking lot adjacent to the Griffin Pub.

Regular transit service will also operate on the day of the event Aug. 17. At peak times, buses will leave the park and rides and CFB Comox about every 15 minutes. Riders will be encouraged to make a donation to support the local transit system.

The approximate cost for the service is $7,000, equally shared by the district and BC Transit. In return, each will receive sponsorship recognition.

“There is a tremendous hunger for an air show,” said Courtenay director Jon Ambler. The former commander of 19 Wing Comox noted gridlock problems resulted on Ryan Road when the 25,000 attendees exited the grounds at the last air show in 2005.

Organizers anticipate this year’s show will attract 30,000 visitors, which Ambler said translates into a “half-million-dollar event.”

Courtenay director Starr Winchester recalls the air show was part of life growing up in the Valley. She is in favour of working with BC Transit to ensure the gridlock does not repeat itself.

Comox director Tom Grant noted the $3,500 budgetary implications that will need to be made up.

The service will be provided on a “total cost-recovery basis,” says a district staff report.

Winchester questioned where the board is to draw the line in terms of waiving transit fares for special events, mindful of treating all events fairly.

Ambler, noting other events don’t cause the same level of arterial road congestion, feels $7,000 is worth waiving to avoid gridlock on Ryan.

Courtenay director Bill Anglin considers the waived fees more as sponsorship-in-kind.

“For $3,500, at the end of the day that’s a pretty good return for your investment,” he said.

Area B director Jim Gillis favours free transit service to encourage a greater number of attendees and fewer cars on the road during special events.

“The more people you can get on transit the better,” he said. “Here is a classic example.”

Comox director Patti Fletcher considers the air show an “excellent opportunity to showcase our transit service.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley RCMP have responded to an increased amount of calls last year within the Town of Comox. File photo
Policing calls for traffic, domestic assault increasing within Town of Comox: RCMP

There were 2,806 calls for service within the town in 2020

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Cumberland is hoping for its lab at the Cumberland Health Centre to re-open. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland hopeful for lab re-opening

“People in Cumberland are getting a little bit left behind with the loss of that lab.”

Ramona Johnson at the I-Hos Gallery. Photo by Ali Roddam/Black Press
Community rallying to support I-Hos Gallery manager

Ramona Johnson has recently been diagnosed with cancer for the second time

Brian Chow, a medical first responder for the Comox Valley division of St. John Ambulance for over six years, is one of the volunteers giving time at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Comox. Photo supplied
Medical first responders volunteer at Comox vaccine clinic

St. John Ambulance Medical First Responder (MFR) volunteers are providing support and… Continue reading

Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo
Courtenay donut shop wins Small Business BC Award

Bigfoot Donuts has won the Premier’s People’s Choice category of the Small… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo
Courtenay donut shop wins Small Business BC Award

Bigfoot Donuts has won the Premier’s People’s Choice category of the Small… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read