Dear Councillor Spiers, Re. the comments attributed to you in The Morning Star and Richard Rolke’s recent article on the subject of a Vernon bypass:
I feel that the council that shelved this question back in 2008 was very shortsighted and possibly influenced by special interest groups such as downtown merchants.
Having driven over much of North America over the years in both automobiles and various types of RVs, I can say that no traveler will drive into a city or even town if there is a reasonable alternative, unless they specifically want to do so for some reason.
To say, as some have in the past, that a bypass would rob downtown businesses of prospective customers makes no sense.
In the traffic that we have in Vernon on 27th and 32nd Streets, a driver is solely concerned with safe driving and getting out of the traffic as soon as possible.
This is even more true here in Vernon now that the city has made the main shopping street pedestrian friendly and less accessible to vehicles (The change is very attractive).
Quite apart from the traffic congestion is the equally, if not more important question of air pollution.
I never drive anywhere when walking is practical and in so doing I am on 27th and /or 32nd street up to five days a week.
The exhaust fumes, particularly diesel, are sometimes overpowering.
Any driver knows that a vehicle consumes more fuel in stop-and-go driving than driving at a steady speed and each time a vehicle accelerates from a stoplight it emits a lot of exhaust fumes; sometimes one can see clouds of black smoke coming from diesel trucks as they move ahead from stop lights. A bypass would not only ease the traffic congestion in town but the bypass traffic, moving at a steady pace, would cause less pollution.
To the downtown merchants who feel a bypass would hurt their business, I believe the contrary would be the case.
Residents of surrounding communities would be far more likely to come into Vernon if the traffic congestion did not exist.
I feel that city council, in this particular matter, has a responsibility not only to Vernon residents but to residents of surrounding communities, to do whatever it takes to relieve this congestion.
It ain’t gonna be easy and it ain’t gonna be cheap.
It will undoubtedly adversely effect some people and if it were me I would be upset too but the greater good should prevail.
A.R. Gobbett, Vernon