Re: Officials are on the right track, Feb. 22 letters.
Keeping in mind that the railway has been in this location on the Semiahmoo Peninsula for more than 100 years, it is rather like people who move next to an airport and then complain about the planes.
Once again we see people who have their own agenda without regard to the implications and consequences, and likely to become a case of “be careful what you wish for,” since everybody seems to agree that the cost would run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
One writer suggested there are federal infrastructure funds available. These are your tax dollars that are being discussed. Don’t you think that there are other more worthwhile projects that are waiting to be funded?
Keep in mind that politicians love nothing better than to commission studies, since they give the impression that they are doing something, when in fact generally nothing comes of it other than a waste of tax dollars.
Examples would be the money spent on determining whether White Rock would be better off contracting with Surrey for firefighting – wasted because the recommendation was ignored; money spent by White Rock with a California company to come up with a marketing line – also ignored; and, of course, the biggest one to date, the plan to spend $3.6 billion on a bridge that will just move the bottleneck from the Massey Tunnel a half-hour up the road to the Oak Street Bridge.
Coming back to the question of relocating the railway track, would it not make sense to write to the railway company, BNSF, which owns the right-of-way, to find out whether they would be willing to move and, if so, what they would expect in return – or is that too simple?
Given the perceived problems that White Rock has with tourism – and in particular Marine Drive – members of the public have already written to PAN with some great suggestions to revitalize the area, such as the trolley bus to bring people down to the beach and making sections of Marine Drive pedestrian-only.
Another suggestion would be to extend the walkway through to Crescent Beach, by making it suitable for cyclists and pedestrians, such as the seawall around Stanley Park, and wide enough for emergency vehicles. It would stabilize the railway track, provide emergency access to and from Crescent Beach, as well as provide a tourist attraction that is currently lacking not just for tourists but also locals in both White Rock and South Surrey.
For those who are concerned about crossing the track to get to the beach, this could be addressed by pedestrian overpasses and culverts under the tracks.
Ken Harrap, Surrey