As a member of TraC (a Sunshine Coast non-profit society promoting alternative transportation), I applaud our regional district politicians priority status to the Marine Drive project. In reality, it would be difficult to find much opposition to making this important transportation and tourism artery safer for all.
TraC hopes to be invited to the planning with the other stakeholders. Our enthusiasm could easily be deflated due to the realities of funding, rules and regulations and, of course, politics. All the design options will have benefits and drawbacks. The outcome will have to endure a generation or more. This is a big project with big dollars. With that, the true cost of the project should include comprehensive maintenance.
Safety is our major concern. We would like to see our children and our elderly use this corridor without fear. A well-designed bike path will entice those who are not confident of their bike skills to use it. The perfect path would cost extra. Would the community want to pay extra? Perhaps a decision on a less expensive option may sacrifice usage for those at the edge.
TraC would like the Sunshine Coast Regional District to provide estimates of potential usage for all the options presented. A poor compromise or unmaintained bike path may end up being a subsidized parking spot for Marine Drive residents.
Elections are approaching. Politicians are listening. If you feel the need for safe and maintained alternative local transportation and off-Coast tourism corridors as we do, please help entice our politicians to a positive outcome.
Joe Vechter, TraC director, Halfmoon Bay