COLUMN: Please build me a pneumatic tube so I can avoid Chilliwack traffic

Reporter’s Notebook

Recently, I’ve been finding that it’s taking longer to get around town.

When I first moved here in January of 2007, there was barely any traffic at all, and when people complained that it took 10 minutes to get from Sardis to Fairfield Island, I laughed heartily and said, ‘You sheltered fool! I used to live in Vancouver and it once took me three months to move three blocks on Oak Street.’

Seriously. I was the subject of a missing persons report. All that time, I was just trying to turn left on 57th Avenue.

Anyhow, the last year or two, it’s gotten a lot more Vancouver…ish in Chilliwack.

That left turn lane at Vedder and Promontory Road? The line of cars goes 20 deep some days. Last weekend I listened to the entire audio-book version of Lord of the Rings as my vehicle crawled from the Canadian Tire to the freeway entrance.

Poor Smeagol. All he wanted was his Precious.

Honestly, I just don’t want to be late for my yoga sessions anymore. You have no idea how mean those people can be. It’s all smiles and namastes until you’re two minutes tardy. Everyone’s doing the ‘Half Lord of the Fishes’ pose when I walk in, and it’s nothing but judgemental looks.

I just can’t take it anymore.

Anyhow, all that road-widening that was just announced? That is great. Totally for it! Well done!

But I’m writing the City of Chilliwack planning department today with a bold proposal that I hope will pique your interest. I’m pitching a more personalized, ‘outside the box’ solution to this pressing, nay, urgent problem.

What I’d like you to do is build some sort of underground pneumatic tube transportation system running from my Promontory home to the former Safeway/now FreshCo.

I know, it seems a little ambitious, but hear me out.

I saw an article from 2013 where Elon Musk said he could use a tube to get someone from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes. If that’s accurate, it would take less than five seconds to cover my 12-kilometre commute.

So, why would you do this? Well, I’m a taxpayer, so the government owes me.

Also, you would be saving me a ton of stress. I’ve recently developed an intermittent eyebrow twitch that I’m convinced is due to increased traffic. I may end up costing society hundreds of dollars in medical costs if this isn’t addressed.

Also other reasons that I’m happy to invent between now and the time we meet in person.

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If it helps, high-profile city officials are welcome to use my tube whenever they wish. I don’t know where Mayor Ken Popove lives, but the tube would exit right near his tire place. Think of the career advancement potential for the city planner who made that happen.

I’ll say up front that I can’t contribute anything financially to this project. I just got through taking out a third mortgage so I could fill up my gas tank this morning.

But consider this.

I calculate that at today’s prices, I’ll save approximately $3,567.97 at the pump per month once I have my pneumatic tube. We can talk about funnelling some of that scratch back into worthwhile projects just like this one.

Long term, we could add branching tunnels that emerge around Cottonwood Mall and Cultus Lake.

If you agree to do this, I definitely promise to keep it quiet, because I know that if one person gets an elaborate pneumatic tube transportation system, everyone will want one.

I do have some neighbours who will snoop around, but if anyone questions the heavy equipment operating around my front yard, I’ll just mutter something about a ruptured gas pipe and close the door.

And really, all I’m asking for is an underground pipe. How controversial could that possibly be?


@TheProgress
editor@theprogress.com

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