SCREECH: Transportation service will give residents and businesses a say in improving the system

Transportation issues are top of mind across the Capital Regional District. If there is one thing we can all agree on it is that something has to be done.

Yet, when it comes to establishing a service that will get on with the business of how to get people where they need to be, opinions are strong. It seems no one can agree.

The latest controversy relates to the proposed creation of a CRD service to consider the overall transportation needs of the region and guide us in developing a roadmap, so to speak, going forward.

Some suggest such a service is unnecessary and that transportation shortcomings are well known. Besides, the province is considering the transportation needs of the Greater Victoria area in its own studies.

All of which is true, but in advocating for the creation of this service, for which taxpayers will see zero net cost increase, I see a means to engage the people who use our corridors in solutions that will work for all.

Healthy economies and the wellbeing of communities are bound in the best use of land and an effective system of moving goods and people. Europe, where even the oldest cities have modern transportation infrastructure, has long recognized this. Our system, on the other hand, frustrates and I believe it is an obstacle to our potential. We need a plan to move forward.

The proposed transportation service will involve us all – residents, business owners, transit users, drivers – along with a team of transportation experts, all looking at better ways to get people moving. The residents and business owners I talk to have innovative ideas on how to unblock transportation, ideas that go beyond laying blacktop.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is taking a hard look at transportation on the south island, but let’s be clear; when it comes to infrastructure that affects our community, we want a voice at the table. It’s time to look beyond our municipal borders and work with all partners across the CRD. The province expects the voice from our region to be united and the proposed transportation service is a first step toward that.

If as a greater community we can’t agree to a forum at which to discuss the issues many of us deal with daily, we will ultimately hand our transportation system over to a higher level of government and take what we get. I prefer a model that will strengthen our hand in speaking to the province, and provide comprehensive information and the insight of system users along with professional transportation planners.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But to discard the idea of a transportation service as just another level of bureaucracy is to do a disservice to the people and businesses that count on our system. The service is a small step toward solutions. In the long run, those solutions may not involve the CRD at all, but for now the CRD provides the necessary forum.

We need a starting point. The status quo is simply unacceptable.

I am convinced that a forum for the interests of the region is the right place to start to build a transportation blueprint that works for us all.

– View Royal Mayor David Screech


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Belmont junior boys basketball team feels confident heading to the provincial championships

The Bulldogs were one of the top four Island teams that made it to the tournament.

Ground breaking for Belmont residences takes place next week

Community to meet team developing the space on the former Belmont Secondary school site

West Shore athletes eye spot at Youth Olympic Games

Online fundraising campaign aims to help May sisters compete at trials

Metchosin Baha’i event supports region’s homeless

Towels, toothbrushes and socks to be collected for Our Place’s bath program

Royal Roads University and First Nations Technology Council partner for tech education

The program provides six technical and innovation streams to indigenous groups

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cougars hold upper hand on Westshore in VIJHL South semifinal

Victoria leads series 2-0, games 3 and 4 go tonight and tomorrow

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Most Read