Royal Bay Secondary students walk up a path on their way to the high school Wednesday morning. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Royal Bay releases map to encourage alternative modes of transporation

Officials hope map will help ease congestion in area

Royal Bay Secondary has released a new map to encourage students to get to school in differrent ways and reduce congestion around the high school during peak times.

The “best routes map” includes the most direct walking or cycling routes and nearest transit stops to get to the school on Ryder Hesjedal Way. It also includes a drive to five location, which encourages parents to drop students off a five minute walk away from the school to help reduce congestion as well.

Like most schools, Royal Bay sees the most traffic congestion in the morning between 8:45 and 9 a.m. and the afternoon at around 3:30 p.m, when some 1,200 students are trying to get to and from school. Much of the traffic comes from school buses and parents dropping off students.

“When we first started up here I was noticing there was a lot of car traffic to get kids here,” vice principal Mike Bobbitt said, adding many students come from Metchosin and Colwood.

“We have a high number of students busing and an extremely high number of kids arriving by vehicle so it’s created quite a bit of traffic congestion in the area … at the end of the day it’s triple as bad.”

Over a year ago, Bobbitt was contacted by the Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe), who, in partnership with the Capital Regional District, wanted to create active and safe routes for schools. That’s when Bobbitt jumped on board to be a part of the program.

According to a report to the Sooke School District, 35 per cent of Royal Bay’s student population arrives by either school bus or by transit, 34 per cent are dropped off, 19 per cent walk, nine per cent car pool and one per cent ride their bike.

Since the map was released in mid-September, Bobbitt admitted he’s not sure what the uptake has been so far, but said the school will continue to communicate that it’s safe to go to school using different modes of transportation

“Our focus is on getting kids close. They’re high school kids, they’re fully capable of taking care of themselves. Get them close and drop them off to avoid that congestion around the school,” Bobbitt said.

For more information or to view the map, visit royalbay.sd62.bc.ca.


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kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

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