Commuter blames View Royal planners for Helmcken/Rudyard traffic scenario

More prudent to discuss these concerns with the road planners who significantly contributed to the traffic issue

As I have commuted through the area of Rudyard and Stormont roads in View Royal for years, I mostly disagree with the views expressed in your newspaper and by the residents of those streets.

First of all, the claim that this is a “relatively quiet area on a residential neighbourhood street” is only partially true, and particularly not for the morning hours. As you may know, right below Rudyard Road is View Royal elementary school, and a lot of morning traffic on Rudyard is caused by the drop-off of students.

Travelling through the area, I also always wondered how a prohibition to turn left on Rudyard Road coming southbound on Helmcken Road between 6:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. is helping “tranquility” of the neighbourhood as it is my experience that there is quite a significant number of cars coming from the other direction (and certainly not all of them law-skirting commuters) legally turning into Rudyard Road at that time of the day.

Secondly, it is my view that instead of blaming irritated morning commuters it would be more prudent to discuss these concerns with the road planners who significantly contributed to the traffic issue several years ago.

They did so by remodeling and “beautifying” the Old Island Highway between the intersections of Admirals Road and Helmcken Road, narrowing it down to one lane in both directions, installing two additional traffic lights on a stretch of road a bit more than a kilometre long, and completely ignoring the fact that this route is a major arterial commuter road (in fact, the only feasible alternative to using Highway 1) to and from downtown Victoria and Esquimalt. The result is they were successful in slowing down traffic to a crawl for several hours every morning and evening, Monday to Friday.

In addition, although discussed for years, no real alternative in public transit has been provided so far for commuters coming from the Westshore and beyond, which could potentially alleviate the traffic concerns in this area and the entire region.

There are plenty of other neighbourhoods in the Greater Victoria area that are affected by the steadily increasing amount of traffic in the region. Imagine if all of those neighbourhoods decided to “gate off” their streets as it is proposed by the residents of Rudyard and Stormont roads – Greater Victoria would just be one big gated community and everybody may as well stay at home.

It is time to find an all-encompassing traffic solution for all of Greater Victoria. That certainly would reduce the number of disgruntled residents and irritated commuters to the benefit of all of us.

Miriam Starkl-Moser


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