Roundabout taxing for public purse strings

The need for four a short distance apart seems unfathomable

River Road roundabout: The alliteration is the only good thing about this proposal.

The River Road Roundabout Traffic Report privately conducted for the district several years ago did not reveal a need for a roundabout – and a report to council from the then-engineer recommending one did not reflect statistics in the report.

In 2012, the River Road Roundabout cost was an estimated $500,000 – that’s a half-million dollars – and likely has increased since. Nor does it include property acquisition, brown-field assessment and resultant remediation costs before any construction work commences.

At the time, I spoke with ICBC’s highway development manager who told me that its maximum roundabout contribution is $50,000. Then, as there were some 18 in place or planned in North Cowichan at the time, he gratuitously added the comment that “somebody up there likes roundabouts – that’s far more than elsewhere in B.C.” You do the arithmetic.

Yet another roundabout at Victoria Street would result in four roundabouts twixt Victoria Road and Henry Road – a distance of a couple of kilometres. This feel-good project funded by your property tax dollars seems inconsistent with the economics of the area at this time.

That $500,000-plus, together with at least as much for Victoria Street, would finance a lot of other services such as parks and housing plus numerous other projects that ‘go begging’ for lack of tax dollar funds.

Pat Mulcahy,


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