I was disappointed to see a critical letter of Burns Lake’s recent street revitalization efforts in the Lakes District News.
I for one think the redesign of our sidewalks and streets has made an enormously positive impact on our town and community. Whenever change occurs, it’s never going to please everyone, but the benefits of these changes to our downtown core far outweigh the detriments. Main Street Burns Lake is much more attractive than it was before, improving the quality of life for current residents and quite possibly attracting more in the future. People considering a move to Burns Lake, such as doctors and nurses for the new hospital and tradespeople for the new mill, will see that the village council is proactive in their approach to urban beautification and improvement.
In reference to the lack of ‘a preponderance of foot traffic’ in our town, a considerable portion of the population in Burns Lake do walk everyday and do not own vehicles. Besides, haven’t we learned anything from the urban debacles of the past century? Successful communities do more than just provide parking space. Towns that consider vehicles paramount in their planning and design are ugly, noisy and dangerous. If the recent changes mean large trucks have to slow down driving through town, that’s a positive, not a negative. In addition, many long-haul truckers do not pay taxes in this town and frequently pass through without stopping and supporting the local economy. Yet anyone that lives here knows this community is much more than just a speed bump on the Yellowhead Hwy.
Lastly, as someone who has spent considerable time in larger municipalities, I know that the extra few seconds it takes to drive around to the post office or to park and walk half a block to shop, is nothing compared to what the majority of Canadians endure on a daily basis in terms of traffic, paying for parking and walking to stores. If acquiring the skills necessary to avoid driving over a meridian is all it costs to significantly beautify our town, then I’m all in. Here’s to the village for a job well done.