LETTER – Courtenay councillor responds to letter penned by downtown businessman

Downtown Courtenay businessman’s open letter to Courtenay Coun. David Frisch, Having a bike coalition do an assessment on bike path needs is a conflict of interest, published Oct. 4, drew this response from the councillor.

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Hi Michael,

Thanks for the questions. I’m always happy to keep people informed of what’s progressing at the City of Courtenay.

1) The $30,000 for bike lane design on 17th Street was reallocated from a $30,000 approved budget item to paint buffered bike lanes on 17th from Fitzgerald to Willemar. It was unanimously approved by council in response to a desire for a safer option for adults and children who are traveling by bikes.

2) The installation of bike lanes, as well as pedestrian and car infrastructure, is following our Transportation Master Plan (available online at courtenay.ca under community master plans) I agree it would be wise to assess the use of bike lanes once there is a complete network of safe lanes in place for people of all ages and abilities to get to work, school, and shopping centres.

3) I’ve been a member of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition (CVCCo), and used bikes for transportation, for many years. I also own a private vehicle and have had a driver’s licence since I was 16. My focus has been on developing a safe, efficient transportation network that allows all people to travel, while keeping our community’s high quality of life. Ignoring those who travel by walking, by bike, by transit, mobility scooter, etc. and forcing them into private cars would spell disaster for those of us who need to drive as we’d quickly run out of room to build wider roads and it would be economically unfeasible.

4) Transportation funds do not come from licensing, but rather from municipal property taxation and provincial and federal grants.

5) There is no raise for mayor or council during the pandemic, and will not be considered until the end of our term for the next incoming council.

I hope that clarifies the issues and know that I welcome all requests for information and polite feedback from the people of the Comox Valley.

Sincerely,

David Frisch

Councillor, City of Courtenay

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