Three extreme wind events on Kootenay Lake within nine months – signs that climate change is on us! The 150-year-old trees that fell on the power lines, causing our power outages, had not seen those kinds of winds in their lifetimes. The costs of repair will keep mounting with future extreme weather.
One solution, though more expensive in the short term, will solve several problems at once. We can bury the power lines under a bicycle lane. This is frequently done in Europe, where utilities are hidden in conduit under a gravel or paved lane with paving stones at the junctions for access to repairs.
This is certainly more aesthetically pleasing. The proliferation of power lines on the North Shore in the last few years reminds us of a third world country with birds’ nests of wires and lines hanging hither and thither. It will only get worse as we use more and more electronics. A bicycle lane will add a measure of safety to bicyclists and pedestrians compared to the current narrow shoulders. And buried power lines cannot get knocked down by increasingly frequent extreme weather, keeping our power on and saving money in the long run.
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