McKenzie interchange a short-term solution

Building more free access to roads only increases traffic

Re: McKenzie interchange

Will the rebuilding of the McKenzie Avenue/Trans Canada Highway intersection improve the severe rush hour congestion for those from the West Shore wishing to access the city centre and the Pat Bay highway? Will  the “20 minutes to town” mantra ever be a reality in rush hour? Not likely. The growth of traffic from the West Shore is sure to continue to outstrip the capabilities of the Trans Canada corridor, McKenzie fix or not. The fix is short-term. Other cities are looking longer term.

Calgary, for example, has severe rush hour congestion and recently won federal funding to extend light rail service. Fortunately for Calgary, traffic planning does not involve 13 separate jurisdictions.

The recent Ecofiscal Commission report on traffic congestion in Canada suggests that cities consider “congestion charging,” such as high occupancy toll lanes. I-405 in Seattle has already introduced this type of toll. Meanwhile, citizens here are asked to consider only the details of a short-term fix.

What are the prospects for reducing congestion in the long run? At the moment they are not good unless light rail, diamond lanes (HOV) and congestion charging are considered in comprehensive transportation planning for a region of some 350,000 people.

As a recent California department of transportation report concluded, building more free access to roads simply generates more traffic. You can’t beat congestion that way, it says. They should know! Who will make plans in this fragmented region that face up to this fact?

John Olson

Colwood

Just Posted

Police impound 19 vehicles for excessive speed on Malahat

Excessive speed is classified as going more than 40 km/h over the limit in that stretch

Rickter Scale: ‘Twas the night before mayhem

The Rickter Scale is a regular column

Sidney has highest walk-in clinic wait times in the country: report

Several Vancouver Island facilities wait times notably poor

Fire hydrant testing in Saanich may cause temporary water discolouration

About 100 locations to be assessed between Dec. 11 and 20

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

Most Read