To the editor,
With a municipal election on the horizon, I would like to suggest that candidates give serious thought to the Nanaimo traffic situation.
The Malahat is not the only vulnerable highway on the Island. With a burgeoning Island population, Nanaimo is a vital transportation hub for the entire Island, with the ferry terminals, airports and busy commercial activity. There is one area of the inland highway system that is extremely vulnerable, and that is the highway between Nanaimo and the exit to Nanoose Bay. I learned this the hard way in April on a Friday night, when I was stuck in my car on this section of road with no escape, waiting for an accident to clear.
I realized for the first time that this was the only possible route connecting the north and south Island. If a two-vehicle accident can shut the highway down for three hours, stranding hundreds of drivers, I can’t imagine the impact of a drastic event in the summer.
I’ve never seen any traffic enforcement on this section of highway, where excessive speeding is the norm, so the potential for a major accident is significant. As a side note, it seemed to me that the response to the event in April, in terms of monitoring the stopped traffic for health and safety issues, providing information and managing traffic, was woefully inadequate.
Barbara O’Neil, Nanaimo
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