The City of Port Alberni has been talking about a ring road around the city to divert truck traffic for well over a decade. In 2004, a Harbour Road pre-design study was conducted. In 2012, a report outlined three options plus costs.
Yet, there is still no ring road. And trucks still lumber up Third Avenue, bisecting our city via residential routes.
The issue has recently revived and returned to the council table. Only instead of a decision on the plan once and for all, we sense that another ‘study’ or ‘report’ is pending.
At the same time, the provincial government is finally looking at the feasibility of a second route into the Alberni Valley (it’s only been 30-plus years). And the Huu-ay-aht First Nation and Steelhead LNG have been talking about improving the road to Bamfield via a loop route from Bamfield to Duncan through Port Alberni on the east side and Anacla on the west.
If we’re not careful, we will lose all funding opportunities for a ring road, plus any funding that the government may be eyeing for these other projects, simply because we cannot decide on what we want.
A ring road would take traffic away from uptown and the areas of the waterfront people would like to see developed for tourists, such as Harbour Quay. At the same time it would provide those companies that operate industries on our waterfront to keep continued access to our deep-water port.
A compromise must be found or a decision made. Enough is enough.
— Alberni Valley News