Province to speed up traffic at McKenzie Interchange

Traffic patterns will extend green light times for southbound commuters starting Friday

If you’ve felt traffic around the McKenzie Interchange has been slower than normal, you wouldn’t be alone. This following a week of complaints from drivers frustrated about the pace of rush hour traffic both southbound in the morning and northbound in the late afternoon on Highway 1.

Black Press has confirmed that ministry staff will make changes to ease traffic congestion, starting Friday morning (June 15).

“The ministry can confirm the timing of the green [and] red cycles [at the intersection] is the same as the previous configuration,” stated an email response from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“The only change has been in the sequencing of the light (who goes first) and this occurred Sunday night.”

In short, the ministry says nothing had changed. But drivers were wondering among other points, why the province failed to consider the fact that north-south traffic volumes between downtown Victoria and West Shore communities exceed volumes going east-west along McKenzie Avenue when putting the new lights into operation.

It appears that the complaints from drivers have caught the attention of ministry staff.

“We have decided to add green time for southbound Highway 1 traffic tomorrow morning to help reduce congestion,” the Ministry continued.

“Ministry traffic engineers are also working with the contractor to see if traffic would still operate safely at the new intersection configuration if we return the programming back to the sequencing used at the old intersection.”

That means starting Friday, motorists from the West Shore should see a slight reduction in their commute times and they can further look forward to the completion of the project, which the province anticipates will further reduce traffic congestion known as the Colwood crawl.

We want to hear more about what you think of the current traffic situation between West Shore communities and downtown Victoria. Leave your comment on this story or email your local Black Press Media editor.

– With files from Ragnar Haagen

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