Transportation will be a hot topic for the West Shore in 2017.

EDITORIAL: West Shore transit solutions and more for 2017

Reflecting on 2016 and looking ahead to what promises to be an eventful 2017.

The end of any year is always a great time for reflection on the year that was. On the West Shore, we saw one of the community’s cornerstone families take a step into retirement, experienced the tragic loss of one of our police officers and witnessed a continued back and forth on the region’s sewage problem.

While it may have seemed like an especially eventful year, it would be foolish to expect anything else from one of B.C.’s fastest growing areas in 2017.

That’s what we gathered during discussions with the West Shore’s five mayors.

Each municipality, big and small, had some items to keep an eye on heading into the new year, and if anything it could be one of the area’s smallest communities that makes the biggest headlines in the early part of 2017.

An item that’s been called the biggest in Metchosin’s history is due to come to a head towards the end of January as residents go to the polls and decide the fate of a three-way boundary swap that would reshape the landscape of the West Shore.

The proposal, not without its detractors in the rural municipality, will also impact Langford and Beecher Bay First Nation and the referendum promises to be a headline-grabbing decision one way or another.

Still, the continuing story on the West Shore continues to be growth, as View Royal, and especially Colwood and Langford, will see the continuation of major development projects that will bring in new residents throughout the year.

As a result, the Colwood Crawl might be worse than ever, and it’s easily the region’s biggest challenge as both the public and private sector look to make the commute into town more manageable.

There are the usual rumblings of LRT and bus lanes, and the ultimate solution might come from bringing more jobs out here, but whatever the fix happens to be, it would benefit the entire region if there was something new and exciting to discuss in this space one year from now with regards to regional transportation.

How various levels of government deal with this headache will be key to a successful 2017.

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