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Blanshard Street, colour it red

It is a simple one-word question. Why? Why did I get every solid red traffic light while traveling on Highway 17, otherwise known as Blanshard Street, all the way through three municipalities on my way to the airport to pick up friends returning to Victoria?

There must be a good reason for all these unnecessary stops. To be frank, I cannot think of one. It is a highway. It is a major route north and south on the peninsula. What are the traffic engineers thinking? Or perhaps they are not thinking at all!

There is a very elementary traffic principle, which allows for the free flow of traffic on major routes, while minor routes are subject to varying delays. With demand-looping devices embedded in the pavement, there is no viable excuse for unnecessary stops on the way to the ferry terminal or the airport. Synchronizing these lights should be a relatively logical and easy task. There is one authority, namely the Highways Ministry.

It is long past time that someone addressed the problem of unnecessary stops, or at least explained why we have people walking on the moon and cannot systematically move traffic from one location to another on Vancouver Island. Duncan, Nanaimo and many other Vancouver Island cities and town are victims of the poor pavement performance.

Why are school zone signs not covered up during the months when school is not in session? Many progressive cities and towns will cover these 30 kilometer per hour zone signs, so as not to unnecessarily slow traffic. If the school area is often used after hours over the summer months or at other times of the day by associated groups, it would be prudent and progressive to replace the school signs with playground signs, which are in effect every day of the year.
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Why are many people so critical of our police? Our municipal or RCMP protectors of the public, seem to be under scrutiny because of what has happened south of the border. Traffic regulation and enforcement are a priority here because our highways and byways are where the greatest number of accidental deaths occur. There have been a few times I have had to call the police.

Years ago, my cellphone was stolen. The police had it back to me in a matter of hours. How did they do it? I have no idea.

Some years later, one of my driving school cars was stolen. They found it and called me to come over and identify the vehicle. I was impressed with their attention to detail. After an extensive cleaning, the car was back on the road.

ICBC was fantastic in its handling of the whole claims process. Police in our locale are not the same as those being criticized elsewhere. They are not perfect, but they do a difficult job many of us would never seek to perform.

Steve Wallace is the owner of Joan Wallace Driving School on Vancouver Island. He is a former vice-president of the Driving Schools Association of the Americas, a registered B.C. teacher and a University of Manitoba graduate.





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