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LETTER: United approach needed to deal with Vancouver Island transportation issues

(Black Press Media file photo)

Working together may be our only way to deal with our transportation woes on Vancouver Island.

Transportation advocacy can be a mixed bag at times, frustrating and rewarding. It’s hard to predict the future of where things are going and it can be challenging trying to convince elected officials and members of the public to get on board.

We seem to be at a turning point for a lot of things, especially transportation. Perhaps it’s time to put aside our differences and work together for a common goal to improve the transportation situation on this Island. Yes, I know, easier said than done.

Probably the most challenging part is bringing all advocacy groups with a stake in it to the table. Each with its own view and set of goals will add to the complexity of the issue. But it doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes is for everyone to listen and discuss it like mature adults (an attribute that seems to have gone away on social media).

Whether you support rail, buses, cycling, carpooling, ferries, etc., we need to work together. We all know cars aren’t going away, but we need to understand that just focusing on them won’t help either.

And look I get it, we all have our biases. I support rail, but I am not naive. A proper transportation system needs all working parts to succeed. We need a multi-modal transportation system that includes all of the above that benefits everyone.

I think all governing parties have failed to address this issue head-on, either doing things piecemeal or focusing on just one mode and forgetting the others.

Another issue is allowing a massive upswing in development without the proper transportation infrastructure to support it. This needs to change, especially since the majority of this development is car-centric and is putting more pressure on our already overwhelmed roads.

So, what does this mean?

We need a united voice or at least an understanding of what needs to be done and put pressure on our elected officials to do something instead of using talking points like it’s an election year. It means properly educating the public on matters (social media unfortunately has done the opposite). It means engaging with First Nation communities.

And finally, we need to be proactive and not reactive. The current status quo isn’t working and it’s time to change that.

Aaron Lypkie



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