LETTER – Downtown Courtenay BIA responds to letter critical of traffic in city’s core

Dear editor,

This letter is in response to the letter by Jamie McCue Pedestrian commuter concerned with driving habits in Courtenay core in the March 19 issue of the Comox Valley Record. This letter suggested that the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association (DCBIA) should be ashamed of how car-centric downtown has become, stating that Fifth Street “seems like it’s a highway” and pointed to cars speeding and running yellow and red lights on Fifth Street.

It is unfortunate that during a time where our community should be banding together and lifting each other up, the husband of one of our city councillors would reach out to defame one of the city’s key stakeholders. The DCBIA strives to ensure that we accommodate all forms of transportation allowing the greatest accessibility for every person visiting our beautiful downtown. The demography of the Comox Valley is such that vehicle transit is currently the preferred mode of transportation, and although we encourage alternative means of travel, we are dedicated to providing for all of our customers and visitors.

Most businesses would not agree with your opinion that there are many people speeding down Fifth Street, especially when there is a stop sign at every block, and even if we did agree with this view, as civilians we are not able to stop or penalize this behaviour.

Safety in our community is an important concern for us and there are many stakeholders involved in keeping the streets safe for all modes of transportation. The DCBIA has worked hard to ensure the safety of bikers and pedestrians in our downtown. This is part of why we petitioned city council to invest in a 6th Street multi-modal crossing dedicated to pedestrians and bikers.

It is very disheartening to be singled out by an individual that does not have a full understanding of the picture. The DCBIA has no jurisdiction over speed limits or the driving habits of individuals and this issue is much larger than our mandate. As a responsible and concerned citizen, maybe you could try bringing this up with the RCMP or at the next city council meeting.

Jenny Deters,

President, DCBIA

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