There is no question the recently completed Chemainus Road work is a much needed and in many ways greatly appreciated addition to The Little Town That Could.
The addition of sidewalks, bicycle lanes, thematic street lighting and the traffic circle at River Road all constitute a wonderful engineering and construction achievement. And let’s not forget the colourful landscaping touches.
Nevertheless, it is indeed unfortunate that council chose to gut the project of its signature feature, the landscaped median. Did council think we would not notice this omission? I have been told that this ill-conceived alteration to the original plan, the one heartily approved by the public, was allowed at the behest of the business community, concerned by what it saw as a lack of parking.
Come on! When did the business community ever fail to become hysterical over parking? But how in the name of all that is good and sensible did council allow itself to be bullied into this crassly commercial compromise?
The result, of course, has been not only the loss of architectural amenity, but now the much commented upon dangerously narrow traffic lanes. I am not the first to wonder how this will be viewed by drivers of buses, tractor-trailers, cube vans, large RVs, not to mention construction equipment and, yes, fire trucks. Why, why, why?