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.

MORE OPINION: Read the latest letters, columns and editorials at The Progress Opinion

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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UFV student nurses offering respite to frontline nurses, care aides

Website helping to match volunteers with those who need help with daily errands

VIDEO: Head-on collision on Chilliwack Mountain Road

Road blocked in both directions Thursday morning

EDITORIAL: British Columbia’s renters and landlords needed help yesterday

Too little too late from both federal and provincial governments

COLUMN: Let’s avoid public shaming amid a dynamic health crisis

What is unacceptable today might have been fine last week

COVID-19: Fraser Valley crafters are busy sewing cotton masks for health-care workers and others

One Chilliwack woman has made 125 masks so far, and is still going strong

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

Fraser Valley care home has two confirmed cases of COVID-19

Two residents at Mission’s Chartwell Cedarbrooke Retirement Residence have been diagnosed

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Surrey woman’s face

Cloverdale woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Most Read