Time for MOTI to step up, and deal with our roadways

Editorial

Tuesday, May 22 2018

Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), is scheduled to be visiting Gabriola this week - to meet with local transportation organizations and to talk to the Regional District of Nanaimo about the long-stalled Village Way path.

Should there be a tour of the island for the Minister - to get an idea of the state of our roadways - the following roads are suggested to be included in said tour: Harrison, Coats, Tait, Barrett, and Taylor Bay heading downhill towards Malaspina.

These roads should give a good idea of what roadways off the main north-south loop look like after quite literally decades without Ministry expenditure.

These are roads where it is not just unpleasant to drive on, it is getting to being unsafe, and expensive, as most vehicles are not designed for the shake, rattle, and holes of Gabriola roads.

And as stated, they are a small representation of what most of Gabriola roads are like. (The pavement on Tansy seems to retreat a bit more towards Bertha each year)

Every year at roadways meetings at the Agi Hall, we hear the same complaints - but the same answers come from MOTI “No capital expenditures planned for Gabriola for the next ten years.”

We’ve been hearing that for ten years - acknowledging MOTI did spend thousands of dollars upgrading the s-curves of Taylor Bay to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety; and did the upgrade of the Taylor Bay intersection with Ferry Hill.

If indeed the issue with repaving Gabriola roads is the cost of getting materials to Gabriola, it would be suggested to the Minister she have a word with BC Ferries on how much is charged to provincial services to get essential and emergency services on the ferries.

BC Ambulance Service has confirmed in the past that it does not ride for free - neither do the RCMP vehicles when they go on board.

This is not the fault of EMCON, they have a maintenance contract, paid by MOTI, and can’t be expected to keep patching when really an entire section of road needs replacing.

This is a MOTI problem, and it is MOTI, and our Minister, who we are looking at to help us figure out a solution.