Colwood council is taking a stand against the Capital Regional District’s regional transportation service proposal.
In a statement, council agreed traffic congestion is a problem in the community, but they do not agree that the CRD is the solution and if the CRD is involved it will further frustrate residents and will take longer to implement. Mayor Carol Hamilton noted that if the CRD were to take on this transportation proposal, it would authorize the CRD to increase taxes by $2.5 million.
“There is no question that we as regional mayors need to work together to make a strong case to the province to fund the transportation priorities that are clearly identified in multiple existing plans,” Hamilton said in the statement. “We don’t need another costly and bureaucratic CRD service creating more endless plans to get that done. We just need to get on with it.”
To fix the problem, highways, municipal roads, transit, the E&N corridor and ferry options will need attention and the CRD doesn’t have authority over them, Hamilton said.
At a recent meeting, council agreed to send a letter to the CRD board stating “a vague, ill-defined service for the purpose of political gain is very short sighted,” and noted the discussion should instead be on finding solutions rather than creating another service. The letter also outlined nine studies that have already been completed on some notorious areas within the region during the past seven years.
“There are many infrastructure projects identified in all of these reports that incrementally address traffic congestion problems, and yet the CRD cherry picked a governance model as a priority to be created to add yet another stack of studies that continues to state the same thing as all of the rest. It is time for the jurisdictions with legal control of their roads and their budgets to work on tangible solutions,” the letter said.
Council also stated its objection to a CRD staff report to the board dated Jan. 10 that implied the board should seek approval through an alternative approval process (counter petition).