EDITORIAL: Transit priority the best option for West Shore

Creating a transit/car pool-only highway lane would go a long way toward easing crawl

Taking transit is a staple for students around the region. But for many West Shore residents who work downtown or anywhere south or east of the Admirals/McKenzie road intersection with Highway 1, busing it doesn’t provide enough time or cost advantages.

That said, we applaud the City of Victoria for completing bus/cycles priority lanes on Douglas Street from downtown to Tolmie Avenue. The lanes are active southbound from 6 to 9 a.m. and northbound 3 to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Great idea, but most transportation planners would agree it’s only a start. During the weekday commutes, Douglas Street north of Tolmie, through to Highway 1, is fed largely by West Shore-based vehicles.

The 2013 Victoria Transit Priority Corridor Plan stated as much. It noted that during peak morning hours, the percentage of the people travelling south on Douglas on buses still favoured vehicles over buses, as far in as Johnson Street. The report also stated that only about 25 per cent of people using the Island Highway corridor ride transit in peak hours.

So what is the next step in addressing the West Shore commute? Since light rapid transit still appears to be light years away, and many drivers would likely take transit if it got them to work or home faster than if they sat in the Crawl, focusing on transit-priority traffic management appears to be the best option.

The Corridor Plan acknowledged bus-only lanes as the most effective way to move more people, more quickly. However, such lanes are most difficult to implement, and certainly the most expensive.

Unfortunately, there’s little political appetite around our fractured region to spend the kind of money this would require, despite a virtual guarantee that it would improve traffic flow. Adding car pool priority to those lanes would further increase their effectiveness and remove more vehicles from the commutes.

Our hope is that the McKenzie interchange project includes transit improvements for the West Shore. Let’s not settle for downtown to Tolmie Avenue, but keep pushing bus priority lanes outward, where they’re needed the most.

Just Posted

Intruder breaks into Langford couple’s home

The intruder was high and thought the house was his

King and Jackson make powerful duo in Shamrocks win

‘Rocks Nation was out in full force, standing room only

Contemporary clay works for sale in Metchosin

The event is on until tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Town of View Royal wants to regulate Helmcken Park and Ride

The Town had to put up residential only parking because of overflow

Saanich Inlet bridge billion-dollar price tag too expensive says ministry

Malahat alternatives not practical from engineering, budget standpoint

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Council scraps other ideas; JSB steel will only be used for art

City staff wanted an open bid to get rid of steel that’s coated in toxic lead paint

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

Most Read