Photo courtesy of Ryan Wettlaufer Traffic slows southbound on the Malahat after truck crash late last summer.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re-think Island commuting

It seems cars are sacred here, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Malahat needs more than an emergency bypass, Editorial, Feb. 5.

This editorial reflects our love affair of the automobile. Cows may be sacred in India; seems cars are sacred here. Unsure? Just make any negative comment about them and see how many people react. We are certainly highly dependent on them. Some even say “addicted.” Remaining dependent on cars is why we cannot solve the increasing traffic problems and the related increasing cost of insurance.

Adding more lanes or another highway over the Malahat will ultimately solve nothing. “Build it and they will come” is the experience of any region that has tried to build itself out of congestion. Albert Einstein said it well: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

If we were wise we would invest in a robust public transportation system that delivered passengers to frequent trains to/from Victoria at a small fraction of the Island-wide motor vehicle cost I estimate to be about $50 billion a year (costs incurred by owners, operators, businesses, governments and the planet). Perhaps this is why all of the mayors in the greater Victoria area have written to the province demanding that the railway be put into use in the near future. They know that building more highways does not work. Perhaps enough of them have been to Europe and discovered the wisdom of a high-quality public transportation system.

Pity we have not yet gotten on the same track.

Ian Gartshore, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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