Modern rail, historic buildings able to co-exist

Roundhouse buildings can be integrated into transportation picture for Victoria

Victoria council and city planners surely could have been more creative visionaries and developed a strategy to conserve the historic Roundhouse building, while also preserving our historic rail line.

Huge successes have been realized by cities of all sizes across Eastern Canada and the United States that are reclaiming and modernizing rail for continuous connection to communities. Continuous modern rail could boost local economies, reduce social isolation and ease environmental stressors. Can we not learn from this?

Recently presented demographic survey analysis from across Canada indicates that Vancouver Island (and specifically Victoria) will continue to steadily attract approaching retirees for permanent residency. It seems to me that this population would especially benefit from continuous, modern rail transportation.

By blending the old and the new, modern rail can be established in Victoria and must, once again, traverse the Johnson Street Bridge into Old Town. Current building standards indicate that modern rail could be supported on the new Johnson Street Bridge.

One of the many reasons the historic Roundhouse building and rail must be preserved is the character it brings to this city. Buildings and transportation amenities with history are beautiful and serve as a reminder of days gone by. They add colour to the community and they are revenue generators.

In short, historic structures are good for tourism and business and they add vibrancy to our city core. Why has our city council demonstrated a lack of forethought in some of its fundamental planning? Are their values in harmony with those of taxpaying citizens of Victoria?

Marilyn Ferguson


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