Diners sit at outdoor tables along White Rock’s Marine Drive, as traffic flows westbound along the popular waterfront route. On Aug. 12, two-way traffic will resume. (Roger Elmes photo)

LETTERS: ‘Wonderful experiment’ coming to an end

One-way traffic along Marine Drive has been a boon to most businesses, writes Roger Elmes


Over 100 people were eating outside on White Rock’s West Beach on a recent evening.

And on East Beach, where restaurants have been slow to build temporary patios, the one that did respond gets good crowds every night.

Imagine, while COVID-19 numbers are again on the rise, now due to the Delta variant, people are able to eat outside in the fresh air, away from less well-ventilated interiors.

It looks like they are all having fun, too, and spending money in White Rock.

And, gosh, the traffic is still moving and it’s actually far safer to walk along the West Beach sidewalk without west-bound traffic pushing at your shoulder.

So, what’s wrong with this picture?

In a few short weeks, instead of in September as originally planned, this wonderful experiment is going to disappear.

And White Rock will have missed a great opportunity to nurture this effort along, tweaking it as necessary, and then over the winter making a thorough assessment of whether it adds the pizazz – to be repeated each summer to attract business to the beaches.

Sadly, after council had provided the leadership (or were dragged, kicking and screaming) to create this brilliant and successful experiment, they have listened to the less entrepreneurial and canned it.

Roger Elmes, White Rock

Peace Arch News