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LETTER: Not opposed to revitalizing the downtown area

Concerned about seeing two-way heavy vehicle traffic on North Railway

The story in last Friday's Record states that I am opposed to council's plan to revitalize downtown.

Let me be clear, I am not opposed to a revitalized downtown. I am opposed to moving Highway 7 onto Railway Street. I am opposed to seeing big trucks moving in opposite directions on a narrow urban street especially when the West Coast Express is coming in. I am opposed to the loss of many, many parking spaces on Railway which will kill the businesses struggling there.  I am also opposed to two-way traffic on First Avenue which will require truck loading zones taking away more parking.

I am opposed to the district going into the landlord business which they did by spending almost $2 million of taxpayers money to purchase the old Overwaitea building between James and Welton. I am opposed to the district spending millions to build expensive city-owned and operated tiered parking lots. I oppose the expenditure of many more millions chasing an unrealistic daydream including a civic centre and new city hall downtown as depicted on page 40 of the 'revitalization' plan on the district website.

I am also opposed to paying expensive consultants for more studies to join the numerous others gathering dust at city hall.

I am in favour of an increased police presence downtown to bring a sense of safety. I am in favour of stopping the proliferation of pawn shops and cheque cashing/payday loan places downtown. I am in favour of increased enforcement of the 40-km speed limit downtown. I am particularly in favour of developing a realistic approach with the businesses and property owners downtown that does not require taxing the vast majority in Mission who never go downtown.

Randy Hawes