pros and cons for the new McTavish Interchange

The McTavish Interchange (PNR April 6) is often referred to as the Airport Interchange, and many feel the money could have been better spent on the McKenzie and Tillicum intersections on the trans-Canada highway.

Perhaps. But the airport is only part of it. People seem to overlook the fact that in peak season there are 16 ferries each day discharging full loads of vehicles every hour from Swartz Bay onto the Pat Bay Highway.

Traffic lineups at the Beacon and McTavish traffic lights are often backed up to a kilometre in length, all stopped with engines running.

And of course the same number of vehicles is also heading north towards Swartz Bay — to say nothing of growing Sidney and commuter traffic flow. The removal of just the one traffic light at McTavish will make a big difference.

The Pat Bay Highway was designed in the 1950s and now, nearly 60 years later, it is obsolete, overloaded, and dangerous. In the early 1990s the highways ministry planned to upgrade the highway to freeway status, thus removing the traffic lights and all those grade level left turns, but was met with such resistance from Peninsula residents that it abandoned the idea.

Today we pay the price.

John Dawson,

North Saanich