View Royal trafic woes to be worsened by interchange

The impact of the MacKenzie interchange gong show will soon be upon us, writes a View Royal leader.

The impact of the MacKenzie interchange gong show will soon be upon us. But many drivers already make desperate moves as a result of poor traffic flow.

At the Helmcken overpass, desperate commuters aided by a traffic light attempt to move up a few spaces by using the overpass. If the light is red they will do a 360 at the first roundabout on Helmcken Road and re-enter the on ramp. There are an increasing number of “short cuts” used by commuters – some legal, others not.

For example, Rudyard/Stormont saves going through the dreaded Helmcken/Old Island Highway light. Even though it is illegal from 6:15 to 8:15 it is used by hundreds. There are many others as well. All in an effort to get a perceived advantage.

With increased pressure created by construction and the use of on board GPS, commuters are finding routes through residential streets. People in a hurry speed at every opportunity and when the likelihood of being caught is remote, speeding is a given.

When I asked West Shore RCMP, I was told in indirect terms that it was a municipal matter and not a policing priority. I’d like to read a supplementary article about driving courtesy during commute times or how neighbourhood safety is being  put at risk. Children walking to school, distracted by their “devices” are most at risk.

I thought streamlining traffic flow by making Island Highway three lanes – two heading to Admirals Road in the morning and two the opposite way in the afternoon – was an obvious solution. The resulting 40 km/h single lane scenario has made it a continuous “playground zone” from Colwood to Esquimalt.

The Island Highway would be more correctly named The Old Island Slow-way or perhaps Old Island Boulevard.

I don’t think this is “calming” for the 2,500 Esquimalt commuters heading to Dockyard every morning.

Paul PrestonView Royal

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