While I completely empathize with the businesses on 43rd Avenue and the potential impact to their livelihood should this ‘Road Diet’ take place, I am also looking at this from an analogical view.
Consider if you will, the city as being like a human body. You have veins, arteries and capillaries. The veins and arteries’ job is to move the blood around the body as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Contained within blood you have your red blood cells, which carry oxygen.
These are your shoppers and people who live and sustain life to the city, both fiscally and humanly. You have your white blood cells, which fight infection.
Consider the white blood cells to be emergency vehicles such as ambulance, fire truck and police if you will. They are the first responders of our immune system.
Plasma is the near colourless water that all the blood components travel in as they move about the body. You can consider all vehicles en mass to be plasma. Platelets help blood to clot at wounds so we don’t bleed to death. For lack of a better comparison, think of this as mass transit and large commercial vehicles.
Now, what happens when we fill our body with the wrong foods? We get, for one thing, narrowing of the arteries. This makes it difficult for the blood which sustains life to get to where it needs to go quickly and efficiently.
This means going to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment is a royal pain, especially with children in the vehicle. Road rage anyone?
The city bus, which does use 43rd Avenue as part of its route, and are in and of themselves a greener alternative also, have their timetable compromised, the large transport vehicles who just need to get to where they need to go without worrying about boutique shopping, they are thrown in the mix.
Also what really concerns me is the potential traffic snarls slowing down emergency vehicles.
If you have gridlock on this street, there will be no room for us to move aside as the law states to let the vehicle pass. If my house is burning down I want that fire truck there yesterday.
Because of the strategic location of 43rd Avenue, it is a vital road to move vehicles through town quickly and efficiently. Don’t narrow the artery. It only leads to serious health problems.
Patricia Bodenmann, Vernon