EDITORIAL: Traffic flows major concern

Roads projects will affect virtually every resident on the West Shore

The Gazette reported on a pair of important traffic infrastructure stories this week that will affect West Shore drivers.

The unveiling of three options for an interchange at McKenzie Avenue/Admirals Road and the Trans-Canada Highway received the most attention, as it should. The bottleneck slows the flow of traffic every weekday for commuters from the western communities.

Coming up with a way for Hwy. 1 traffic heading to Victoria, Saanich east and the Pat Bay Highway to move more smoothly will be a critical infrastructure solution, and one that has been a long time coming. Not only will it improve commuting times from the West Shore and back, it will help facilitate further economic development here, as more people cross the lengthy commute off their list of cons when considering where to buy a home.

Less hoopla surrounded the City of Langford’s ongoing plans to help traffic move more smoothly and safely through the largest municipality on the West Shore. Projects around Leigh Road and the West Shore Parkway, and the increasing potential for a western exit road from the still-growing Bear Mountain community are all good news for Langford residents, shoppers and others who are looking for alternative routes to get where they need to go.

Those routes have the potential, on a lesser scale than the McKenzie interchange, to help alleviate some of the traffic tie-ups that plague the West Shore. Langford continues to be one of the fastest growing municipalities in the province, and as such, planned improvements to the way traffic moves around are vital to keep that growth rate sustainable.

This week’s first open house on the McKenzie interchange project options attracted hundreds of interested people. While many were Saanich residents whose municipality, and in some cases their neighbourhood, will host the project, West Shore residents had just as much reason to find out what’s been proposed as a solution to this longstanding problem.

We’ll be watching the progress on all of these projects with great interest, in hopes that the goals of improving traffic flow in and around the West Shore materializes.

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