LETTER: Island Highway traffic troubles following Dec. 20 storm could have been prevented

On the trip back from Nanaimo, the traffic bottleneck began at Lantzville

To the Editor,

After the storm, we made a trip to Nanaimo from Port Alberni and saw the monumental damage done by the Dec. 20 wind storm. Our mountain, Cathedral Grove, Cameron Lake, Little Qualicum Falls…all were disaster zones, showing just how much effort had gone into returning the road to a usable condition. Hard to believe our travel was not seriously impeded. That is, not until a couple of miles north of Nanoose when traffic slowed to a stop-and-go crawl.

We speculated on what might be the hold-up and 20 minutes later we could see a glaring example of bureaucracy inaction.

The traffic lights having lost power, the affected drivers were politely using a three-way stop and go procedure. The travelling public acted in the only safe and considerate manner available to them due to a total lack of involvement by our political leaders and the highway department.

I can accept an excuse for not having the foresight to engineer the traffic control system with back-up power, an oversight that should be rectified as quickly as feasible. I cannot excuse the sheer stupidity of not calling for human traffic control when the scope of the problem became so glaringly obvious.

On the trip back from Nanaimo, the traffic bottleneck began at Lantzville and took more that 45 minutes to pass through.

We were only inconvenienced for somewhat more than an hour but I’ve since talked to a number of people who experienced a much greater waste of their time. I’ve since learned, this bizarre situation was repeated all the way down to Victoria. If one were to add it up, the wasted hours would be many human lifetimes

The people who we’ve given the responsibility for traffic control stole that time. They were paid but did nothing to help the travelling public. I am displeased that I must pay salaries for traffic-planning experts who have no back-up plan for power-outages for highway traffic lights.

Taxpayer complacency suggests too few people are truly upset with the scale of government inconsideration they receive in return for paying all the bills. I hope to live to see the day that the Canadian taxpayer stops saying “I’m sorry” every time they get shortchanged by their political representatives.

Gary Seinen,

Port Alberni

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s Kari Trott set to shine at Canada Winter Games

Trott is one of two Special Olympics BC figure skaters invited to the national event

BCHL: Bulldogs’ Hawthorne commits to NCAA Wildcats

20-year-old goaltender earns scholarship to play Div. 1 hockey next year

Port Alberni realtor trekking the Sahara Desert in support of ACAWS

Chris Fenton of The Fenton Team will spend five days hiking in the Sahara Desert

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Port Alberni bear spraying suspect arrested in Coombs

Nanaimo resident facing 16 criminal charges after “well coordinated” RCMP effort

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read