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

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

A map of the Village Forest Lands near Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland adopts forest management direction statement

Less detailed than full plan, documents sets out decision-making for village-owned land

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

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

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read