I’m writing this letter out of frustration with the almighty sacred car in the Comox Valley. I recently switched jobs which brings me from working at a home office to working in the downtown core. Two weeks into commuting downtown by walking or by bike, I’m aghast at how aggressive, distracted, and speedy most of the drivers are in Courtenay. I started making a note each time I’m ignored at a crosswalk, sped past in a school zone, or notice a person on a device, and it’s disturbing to see these things trending day over day. What’s more disturbing is it seems to get worse the closer I get to downtown. Every demographic is guilty here too. It’s young and old, male and female, it’s as if all rules and public decency are gone out the window once the car starts up.
Riddle me this: Why is it OK to drive 50-plus through the complete street in upper Fifth Street? Why is it normal to ignore the posted 30km zones near parks and schools? I get you’re probably in a hurry but at what cost? Driving 50-80 km/h is completely unacceptable. Fifth Street is probably the worst of all for speeders and cars running yellow and red lights. Sadly it seems like it’s a highway or thoroughfare. The downtown business association should be ashamed of how car-centric downtown has become.
What’s the solution?
First and foremost I’d love to see people slow down and follow the posted speed limits, and for the RCMP to be more present for enforcement.
Second, keep your device away until you arrive at your destination. Third, it would be wonderful to see the City of Courtenay enhance safety measures which include flashing lights or lighting at crosswalks, safer bike lanes, and more emphasis on getting people out of their cars and considering other modes of transportation.
Please pay attention to how you are driving because it affects everyone around you.
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