Good Roads, - Where?

Good Roads, - Where?


In November, last, an association was formed in New Westminster, B.C., known as the Canadian Highway Association, with W. J. Kerr as president, and P. W. Luce as secretary. President Kerr, in a short leaflet, sent out by the secretary, is quoted as saying, “Good roads are a social and economic necessity, and good roads we will have all over Canada before I am ready to acknowledge that the work of the Canadian highway Association is finished.” It is to be hoped that his forecast becomes a reality.

What is the aim of this association? We quote from their letterhead: “Our object is the opening of a transcontinental highway from Halifax, N.S., to Alberni, B.C.” The question is whether a national transcontinental highway is the best possible method of highway improvement. What class of people are likely to be most benefited by such a highway? From the same leaflet we quote: “The Canadian Highway will be an accomplished fact within the next few years, and the outside world will then know that in this broad Dominion there is a road more than 3,000 miles long, over which an automobile can travel from coast to coast in safety and with comfort. The country that offers the wealthy tourist the splendid roads that Canada will have, the magnificent scenery and exceptional opportunities of investment, will reap a large harvest from its visitors.”

Does this look as though the road was going to be of great benefit as a highway for the people? It is quite evident that the proposed scheme is one to get Government aid to build a highway on which the wealthy class may ride their automobiles, to the exclusion of other traffic. Such a road would, would, as suggested, be a tourists’ paradise, but its commercial value as a public highway is questioned. Our transcontinental railways seem to be all that is needed for transcontinental commerce. We believe in good roads as firmly as anyone, but these roads should be at the service of the majority of the people, not the “favoured few”. What is needed is a system of good public highways, leading as feeders to the railways of our land, and incidentally to the thriving towns and cities in each locality, these roads to be utilized by all.

A transcontinental highway is all right as an advertisement and a means of keeping up fashionable hotels and restaurants. It would be a fine thing from the viewpoint of the “goggled automobilist,” but the money necessary to build it would go a long distance toward making many bad concessions passable for the farmer’s wagon during seasons of mud and heavy teaming, or smoother for a pleasure trip behind his not-to-be-despised driving horse. Let us have more good roads, and let us have them in the proper place.


Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture