Make changes before Sidney dies altogether

I have had enough of reading the letters from so many negative people.

I have had enough of reading the letters from so many negative people, so against the proposed Sidney Gateway shopping centre to be built on the airport lands, most of whom do not live in West Sidney if in fact they live in Sidney at all and probably don’t even travel to West Sidney at any time.

I for one am delighted with the proposal. I have lived in West Sidney for 42 years and raised my family here. Absolutely nothing has been done for this area, not even sidewalks, we are totally ignored. In fact, in 2011, I actually wrote to Sidney council to inquire about the possibility of sidewalks in our area and I was informed that infrastructure plans for road improvements, sidewalks etc. are not in the town plans until 2023.

As is it is, we have to walk or drive our cars across the highway to get to the shops, to school, to the doctor, the dentist, optometrist etc. and we do it without complaint.

As for Sidney being such a great shopping centre, why is it that there are so many empty shops in town? Could it be the high rents equaling higher prices?

Costco wanted to come to Sidney and they were turned away only to locate in Langford and now look at the amazing changes that have happened there. What did we get in that location instead of Costco? The West Sidney Industrial Park — and without any input from the community.

I for one and I know I’m not the only one, drives to Victoria every week to do my main shopping. I shop locally for odds and ends that I run out of. Let me assure you, I love Sidney and all that it has to offer but there is still room for growth. The land for the Gateway has never been used for anything. It will never be farmed and will sit empty. It is neither beautiful nor useful.

The proposed roundabout will be a real asset for those of us that travel along those roads each day. As it is, those commuting from Sidney or off the highway fly up Beacon Avenue to McDonald Park Road well over the speed limit and we have to take our lives in our hands to get on to Beacon from Galaran. As for people coming off the ferry, unless they plan to go to Sidney, by the time they get to the traffic lights at Beacon Avenue they are probably not in the left turn lane and so they continue straight on in to Victoria.

With a shopping centre, there is a better opportunity for people to take a right turn to enjoy a visit there and from there they can cross back over the highway and explore Sidney, especially if there are some good information racks advertising all that is available in town. This is an area where the business association needs to work together with the proposed Gateway to compliment and support one another.

Please, you closed minded people, wake up, start to think of others and not just yourselves and let’s make some changes before Sidney dies altogether. Let’s just consider someone else for once.

Janet Smith, Sidney

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