Your letters for Saturday, June 23

Traffic circles shouldn’t tie us in knots

Re: “Traffic circles aren’t a solution,” Letter, June 21.

There is a procedure for using a traffic circle. Traffic circles are common all over the world and are utilized in the same manner by millions of motorists every day without issues.

How come dummies in Alberta can’t figure out how to use them after all these years? More importantly, how did they get their driver’s licence?

Has anyone not got their licence in Alberta because they did not possess the skills to drive a car? It seems everyone can get their automobile licence, so it would reason that we all have the same  skills.

Peter Szecsy, Calgary

Driver education is the key

I have never heard such a ridiculous argument for not having traffic circles.

If people don’t understand how to use them, we should educate them. Maybe make driver education mandatory, so the new generation does not get the training from uneducated parents, but from people who actually know what to do.

In Europe, a lot of intersections are being changed from lights to circles, and for a reason. Traffic flows far better and it saves lives and money. People have to slow down at a circle, but they can speed up when they see a green light.

And if the city is smart, it will get them sponsored by companies. In Europe, a lot of circles carry the name of the sponsor, and the sponsor is responsible for the maintenance (either art or green space), so costs would be close to nothing.

The key word here is educate.

Bo Fransen, Airdrie

There’s a win-win option for flood mitigation

Re: “Pros and cons of mitigation plan,” Opinion, June 16.

The Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir is not cheaper. Only upfront capital costs are included. 

What’s been missed? Ongoing costs of operating this massive experiment, including remediation of infrastructure after a flood, compensation to Rocky View Country for financial harm of indefinitely sterilizing valuable land and all the taxes it will forego in perpetuity, compensation to Springbank for carrying the environmental, health and social consequences in perpetuity.   

What about a McLean Creek dam? Substantial, quantifiable benefits exist: flood mitigation (and not just for Calgary), drought management and fire protection for areas west of Calgary, possible hydroelectricity, parks, recreation areas, camping, pathways and water sports. 

No doubt most Calgary residents would take flood mitigation and another recreation destination close enough for a day trip.  

Don’t be fooled: the choice is not Springbank or nothing; it is Springbank versus other alternatives, and Calgary wins either way. 

Sadly, under Springbank as proposed, Calgary’s direct neighbours to the west lose. As Albertans, we can do better.  

Karin Hunter, Springbank

Karin Hunter is president of the Springbank Community Association.

Airport LRT line won’t be built soon

Re: “Airport LRT before food trucks, please,” Letter, June 20.

I agree with Mark Hambridge’s letter regarding an LRT line to the Calgary airport terminal. 

My response is, please, don’t hold your breath, as the Calgary Airport Authority has a vested interest in keeping LRT out.

Just look at the fare for Calgary Transit’s Route 300 at a whopping $10.50 for the privilege of riding that bus from the terminal. It’s not exactly encouraging people to leave their cars at home.

Regular transit fares are $3.30 on all other routes, including Route 300 when operating outside the airport.

The airport authority is addicted to parking revenues and taxi concession fees. Decent, well-priced LRT would drastically reduce these revenues. No carbon footprint for these folks, just more cars, please, with the parking revenues that they generate.

Sadly, the airport authority board is accountable to nobody but themselves. They hold an annual AGM charade, and an annual visit to City Hall is another charade.

The recent overbuild of the terminal expansion is a good example. Because of this, Calgarians pay one of the highest airport improvement fees in Canada — $31.50 versus $21 in Vancouver.

Anthony Hickey, Calgary

Plants make a good companion

If you want a pet, but your parents won’t let you, then get a pet plant.

Plants are good creatures that aren’t expensive. You don’t have to buy food for them, and they’re silent, but good.

Hanna Schwanke, Calgary, age seven

We’re being gouged for our utilities

Readers have started to notice how much their utility bills rise beyond the actual consumption charges.

I will provide another example of how much we pay to get the product delivered and maintain the account. I recently got my natural gas bill for my Calgary residence while receiving the gas bill for my seasonal home in Arizona.

In Calgary, I consumed $7.89 worth of gas and received a bill of $67.96. In Arizona, I consumed $7.05 worth of gas and received a bill of $19.71.

I should also mention the cost of water in Calgary is 2.5 times more expensive than what it costs me in Arizona. Go figure.

Keith Bryant, Calgary

Trump needs to reach out for assistance

U.S. President Donald Trump is a very sick person, who, in my opinion, needs serious medical help to find and reconnect the dissociated and lost parts of his cerebrum.
Ernest Cudby, Calgary

More pipelines should await Canadians

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Rachel Notley succeed in ramming the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion down the throats of protesting British Columbians, risking billions in taxpayer dollars to do it, I expect that Trudeau will approve Energy East and, unafraid to risk even more billions in taxpayer dollars because it is much more in the national interest, ram it down the throats of protesting Quebecers and environmentalists, along with an oil tanker ban on the East Coast.

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