LETTER – Downtown business owner calls out ‘agenda-driven’ councillors

Dear citizens of Courtenay,

Getting tired of bike lanes, bottleneck traffic, a council controlled by four councillors whose agenda is theirs and theirs alone?

If you don’t ride a bike, you are scoffed at and ignored. Ask why your downtown core businesses and the DCBIA have gone before council to tell them the rehabilitation and cantilevers for the 5th bridge are not a good idea. After 8.4 million you have a dressed-up pig with lipstick, more bike lanes and bottleneck traffic keeps getting worse.

Council is dead set against a new bridge and will not properly investigate its cost or listen to public input. If you like the new 5th Street from Fitzgerald to Menzies, and love the bike lanes from 5th Street to 26th Street and are about to enjoy the pig with lipstick, then sit back and relax cause your getting all of it. But if you don’t and you feel like your city is on a runaway train going over a cliff, then it’s time to speak up. Let your mayor and these four councillors know it’s your city and that it’s time to stop the environmental excuses used to promote their agenda.

So call, write, or email:

Mayor Bob Wells 250-334-4441- bwells@courteaney.ca

Counc. David Frisch – dfrisch@courtenay.ca

Counc. Will Cole-hamilton – wcole-hamilton@courtenay.ca

Counc. Wendy Morin – wmorin@courtenay.ca

Counc. Melanie McCollum – mccollum@courtenay.ca

Let them know how you feel about a council held captive by these four councillors and demand no more bike lanes, cantilevers or rehabilitation until they promise to improve traffic flow first. We drive 20,000 cars over 5th st. Bridge every day. They say we ride 500 bikes per day which is questionable ( maybe in the peak of summer only ). They would prefer we all ride bikes and ditch the car to alleviate the pressure of fossil fuels, but even if we all used electric cars, you’d still have a bottleneck stopping traffic from 5th and Cliffe all the way to Back Rd. and Ryan Rd. intersections every day.

The decision council is making is extremely important to our little city and its future. Don’t let your voice be left out in the cold.

AND DID YOU KNOW? The Courtenay river is the shortest river in North America ( asked and answered on Jeopardy ) and it’s in our backyard along with our glacier. It would be nice to have a Bridge we are proud of that eases traffic flow and congestion, helps bikes and pedestrians cross safely and provides a glorious entrance to our downtown core and beautiful parks.

It’s time to stop this divisive council from pitting bicycles against cars. We need to live together amicably and without division.

And by the way, because of council refusing to do night work on the bridge and keep at least one lane open at reasonable times, people may feel they have no choice but to leave the traffic mess behind and shop in Campbell River or Nanaimo and we could be one of them as much as we prefer to support local business.

Michael L. Gilbert

Owner, Michael’s off Main

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