The Colwood Crawl stretches into the distance, as seen from the Helmcken Road overpass in View Royal. (Gazette file photo)

The Colwood Crawl stretches into the distance, as seen from the Helmcken Road overpass in View Royal. (Gazette file photo)

The ‘Colwood Crawl’ doesn’t go through Colwood

Former Mayor Carol Hamilton says the nickname stuck because it is catchy

You’ve been there. Waiting in traffic for what feels like ages to get in and out of Victoria on the Trans-Canada Highway.

The phenomenon is referred to as the “Colwood Crawl,” but it doesn’t actually run through Colwood.

Former Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton said she thinks the term was coined around 2009 and stuck around because it’s one of the more catchy nicknames for the traffic snarl that keeps people waiting in their cars for close to an hour most days.

“It rolled a bit easier than what we like to refer to as the Malahat Mess, the Langford Languish, the Saanich Snarl, the View Royal Vortex … they settled on the Colwood Crawl,” Hamilton said.

READ MORE: View Royal mayor calls for region and province to meet about transportation issues

Hamilton noted her work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in the past years has identified that the traffic issue isn’t directly in Colwood. She said it has just become one of those terms that will be hard to shake until transportation isn’t a problem anymore.

Hamilton said a lot of the traffic problems start before Langford and continue on due to various issues such as overpass lanes that drivers use to skirt around traffic, or points of converging traffic.

And while the highway doesn’t run through Colwood, Hamilton said the traffic problems get pushed out to neighbouring communities when drivers use smaller neighbourhood roads to try and surpass highway traffic.

“They’ll go twice the distance dipsy-doodling just so they don’t have to stop,” Hamilton said. “I’m not sure how many cars they beat at the end of the day but they think it’s faster.”

READ MORE: Heavy traffic leads to slow commute from West Shore into Victoria

Hamilton said it wouldn’t hurt for municipalities to have a larger, overarching plan for roads and access. However, she said when there are so many partners working together, it can get tricky. “Municipalities, at the end of the day, have rule over their own roads.”

Hamilton also said a big reason for traffic issues is the number of single-occupant vehicles on the road.

“I don’t know that we’re going to get away from that, I don’t think we’re going to have families choosing to live in condos downtown,” Hamilton said. “And yet we need to service downtown in a way that keeps traffic moving.”

She’s hoping that there will be continued interest throughout the region to collaborate on what solutions to traffic problems might look like.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

colwood crawltrans-canada highway

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

Just Posted

Sewer construction will mean limited access to West Shore Parkway from Sooke Road for the next week. (Courtesy of the City of Langford)
West Shore Parkway access limited from Sooke Road

Crews working on sewer construction for the next week

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two houses at the Mount St. Mary long-term care home on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)
Island Health declares outbreak at Victoria long-term care home

Resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19 at Mount St. Mary facility

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform, letstalksooke.ca, where residents can share feedback and stay up to date on projects and initiatives that are happening in their community. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke launches online engagement portal

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform… Continue reading

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read