Dear Island Morning Talkback,
Thanks for your article on the Holzers in New Haven and how the TCH reroute proposal will affect their lives.
You can understand why most people are confused about this. Three plans were shown to islanders in the Fall under the Atlantic Gateway guidelines for funding -- one of which was the ill-advised notion of cutting through Strathgartney Provincial Park.
Then the provincial government picked a fourth and totally different plan. It affects people like the Holzers in New Haven, people along Peter's Road in Churchill, and people in Bonshaw along Green Road and by the Crosby's Mill fishing area. Nobody saw this plan outside government. Since the government will not accept public input on it, nobody will have the chance to comment on it unless they look up the petition "Stop Plan B" at "gopetition.com"
It's a really beautiful area of the province, and, sure, the road could use some improvements for safety, but not a whole new highway blasted through the Bonshaw hills.
It's also going to be really expensive, adding to the deficit, and that is going to affect *everyone* on this island. (Looking at the difference of the length of the proposed highway versus the existing one, and calculating driving speed, this $16million highway will save 16 seconds of driving-- that's not worth it!)
The province needs to reconsider this proposal instead of bulldozing it through.
Chris Ortenburger, Bonshaw
We're getting 8 million from the federal government? - No, we're getting 8 million further into debt.
It's all about safety on this dangerous section of road - No. There's been just 1 fatality on that stretch of road in the last 10 years.
It will shorten the route. No - Well maybe by about 16 seconds!
People want it. No - Just look at today's poll
It's needed. No - It's just that Federal funds are on offer so we'll take it whether we need it or not.
Denis Calnan interviewed Shona and Matt Holzer of the Windsor Motel about the lack of information.http://www.cbc.ca/islandmorning/episodes/2012/02/22/highway-changes-concern-motel-owners/
Jack MacAndrew compares fighting this highway proposal with other protests against misguided government ventures.
Islanders are warily watching what is happening to the financial structure of Europe; if there is any ‘take-home message' of the last four years of the global downturn, it is the value of fiscal prudence.
One of the most egregious examples of blatant fiscal irresponsibility is the Atlantic Gateway funding proposal to reroute the Trans-Canada Highway between Bonshaw and New Haven.
This proposal is an outright waste of $8 million, money our province does not even have in its coffers. They will have to borrow it, adding to our ridiculously high deficit, which stands at $70 million this year alone.
This small section of highway can be improved and safety issues addressed at a fraction of the cost. As others have said, "We can't spend ourselves to prosperity." Our children will be saddled with this debt, and our government's abilities will be severely limited in the future by bad choices such as this.
Let's not imitate the roller coaster of the economy of Greece. Demand fiscal responsibility, starting with cancelling this Plan B Atlantic Gateway TCH proposal. Check out the petition at www. gopetition.com, searching for TCH and Bonshaw.
Chris Ortenburger, Bonshaw
As a new resident to the Island, I've been impressed by how wonderfully personal and accessible life feels here on P.E.I. Things like the New Year's levees seem to promote an attitude of small-town pride and openness.
It's especially disappointing to see, therefore, the way the proposed Trans-Canada Highway realignment in Bonshaw has evolved so far. I would expect only a metropolitan city government to concoct a plan to build an unnecessary highway through a provincial park, not P.E.I.
Now the government proposes to build that same unnecessary highway through private lands and a smaller park at taxpayers' expense. This Island doesn't need to buy more roads, it needs to concentrate on preserving its natural beauty, its welcoming culture, and keeping that unique feeling that is born from being small, beautiful, and not covered in fast highways.
Devon Ross, Charlottetown
I am writing in regard to the proposed 'Plan B' Trans-Canada Highway re-routing project in Bonshaw.
I grew up in Bonshaw and have seen the community go through many changes. It is one of the most beautiful areas on the Island. It is a community that has struggled to preserve the natural beauty surrounding it while developing social and community structures and has done an excellent job of both.
In my 32 years, I have driven the stretch of highway between New Haven and Bonshaw more times than I can remember and have seen many of the accidents that have happened on that road. In fact, I have been in some accidents myself on that road, and have known some of the people who have been killed there in accidents. I can tell you that, in my experience, none of those accidents were ever caused by 'dangerous grades and curves'. They were caused by carelessness, bad weather, inadequate salting/sanding in winter, and excessive speed.
I strongly believe that the proposed highway realignment is completely unnecessary and would cause a great deal of damage to the Bonshaw community. I believe that things like reducing the speed limit and installing a set of lights would address the 'dangers' on that road.
Spending taxpayers' money on a realignment of the highway is unnecessary and reckless. Farmland and forest will be destroyed, views will be ruined, and the people who have chosen to live in the country because of the peace, quiet, and serenity, will now be face to face with a new highway -one which will no doubt encourage motorists to drive even faster. At the same time, there are many secondary roads on P.E.I. that require maintenance and upgrades that, year after year, are neglected.
The government of P.E.I. seems to be going ahead with this project with no public consultation or opinion being taken into account. That, above all else, is completely unacceptable. We live here and these choices will directly affect our backyard.
Monica Lacey, Charlottetown