LETTERS: estate properties – waterfront roundabout

In response to our previous article on the possibility of sub-divisions replacing QB’s iconic estate properties, reader Charna Macfie writes:

“This is a helpful and comprehensive overview of a major development proposal in Qualicum Beach that many residents are not aware of. It is likely, if residents learn about this proposal, that it will become a contentious and divisive issue within the community. The applicant has support from the development community who have connections with and easy access to Council.  While the average person living in Qualicum Beach does not have the same influence and access. This imbalance may affect the outcome of the proposal and the future of Qualicum Beach.”

In response to our previous article on the proposed waterfront roundabout at Memorial Avenue and Highway 19A, reader Dave Golson writes:

“I have presented cases for many safety concerns at town hall meetings several times going back a couple of years. Here are some of the challenges.

Roundabouts work to maintain traffic flow in non built-up areas where there are clear view sight lines, no nearby businesses requiring access, and minimal pedestrian activities. In this case we have the opposite with a nearby gas station with 3 separate access / egress points, a hotel, a beachfront with tourist office and lookout, multi directional bike routes, and finally the main route for pedestrians to link the village centre with the beachfront.

The roundabout itself would increase safety risks in my opinion:

  • It removes all existing signalised crossings for pedestrians, cycle and mobility scooter users.
  • Due to a reduced diameter island, it does not lower the speed of motorist speed significantly for east west traffic, and only 2 of the 3 road arms have the recommended offset to slow traffic entering the traffic circle. ( the arm off Memorial Ave does not possess one as it could not be fitted to allow 2 way egress onto Memorial Ave from the gas station.)
  • I estimate Motorists will be able to maneuver through some of the traffic circle at speeds above the recommended max of 30 kph. The distance from the traffic circle to the eastbound non signalised pedestrian crossing on 19A may be insufficient for motorists to stop and avoid impact with seniors slowly crossing the road here.
  • A pedestrian crossing from the east side exit of the gas station on Memorial Ave to the east side shared sidewalk of Memorial Avenue itself will have to look well over 90 degrees back over their left shoulder for any eastward traffic on highway 19A, and look ahead to westward traffic also exiting the roundabout onto Memorial Avenue, before attempting to use the crosswalk. The pedestrian will rely on motorists signaling their intent to move onto Memorial Avenue.
  • The central safety islands must be wide and large enough to house multiple mobility scooters, cyclists and pedestrians crossing in both directions at the same time, again bearing in mind there is no signals to stop any traffic at any time.
  • Cyclists have to choose whether to stay on the west side of Memorial Ave after the roundabout and travel all the way up the gradient, or choose to cross to the east side shared bike path, and then cross back onto the west side of Memorial Ave when the reach the town core after Village Way.”