EDITORIAL: Traffic solutions are much needed around West Shore

Localized slowdowns need addressing as much as the big fixes

With the West Shore continuing to be one of the fastest-growing areas of the province, it’s not surprising that announcements of funding these days are mostly related to controlling traffic in and around the area.

West Shore residents commonly get stuck in slow-moving traffic, whether it’s on the Trans-Canada Highway heading into town to or from work, driving down Jacklin Road around quitting time, or heading out Sooke Road at that same time.

We admire residents of our area, however, for their ingenuity.

Vehicles jamming the righthand turn lane at McKenzie Avenue and the TCH? Go straight down Admirals Road and turn right at Island Highway in View Royal. Westbound traffic crazy on the TCH? Some try veering onto Burnside Road West and out to Helmcken Road before ducking down to the highway.

Believe us, we’ve seen westbound drivers try them all. And the glut is going to get worse before it gets better.

Last week’s announcement of provincial and federal funding to build an interchange at McKenzie Avenue/Admirals Road and the Trans-Canada Highway was long overdue. But that project will no doubt cause slowdowns as it moves through the construction phase, which is not likely to be finished until 2018 or beyond.

As for the Westshore Parkway expansion through west Langford, it’ll no doubt take up a certain amount of traffic passing through Langford and Colwood to get to the TCH, but we question whether it will affect much of the eastbound downtown commute.

Big-money projects like those announced last week will no doubt make an impact and deserve to have the trumpets blaring in celebration.

But it’s the more localized problem areas that really need addressing, such as the Millstream bridge over the highway, Jacklin Road, Sooke Road and other arterial roads in our growing area that affect how quickly people can get home or get around our West Shore communities. Address those and the locals will be cheering.

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