The Colwood Crawl stretches as seen from the Helmcken Road overpass in View Royal. Traffic stretches past the Thetis Lake exit. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Buses remain key to solving Colwood Crawl, say local politicians

Minister Claire Trevena says EN corridor not quickest way to relieve gridlock

When it comes to easing traffic congesting on the Trans-Canada Highway, local politicians still say public transportation is the fastest way to get people out of their cars.

“I’d much rather see them [the province] focus on the quicker fixes that will net us the best result faster. Putting bus lanes on the shoulder of roads that exist now to get the traffic moving on the Trans-Canada, that would be of benefit,” Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton said, adding getting the E&N Corridor up and running is a long-term solution.

Hamilton’s comments come in response to a letter sent by Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

In the letter dated Jan. 25, Trevena said while the ministry is continuing to look at the E&N Corridor between Langford and Victoria as a possible way to improve transportation in the region, it might not be the answer everyone is looking for.

“This work is complex and restarting rail on this corridor may not be the quickest way to address the gridlock that we see today,” she said. “In the interim, we are accelerating the implementation of bus lanes along the Trans-Canada Highway to provide immediate relief to the current gridlock.”

RELATED: Increased optimism about future of commuter rail service from West Shore

Langford Mayor Stew Young agreed that fixing congestion problems on the highway should be addressed first and noted it should be widened with extra lanes to accommodate traffic traveling to and from the West Shore.

As for the E&N rail corridor, Young said “that corridor has to be turned over to the province so it will become their responsibility. I have to say it and I’ve been saying it for five years, get rid of the Island Corridor [Foundation] – we don’t need a non-profit controlling the most important … section of moving people on our Island.”

For years, communities on the West Shore have been calling on the provincial government to help ease traffic woes on the Trans-Canada Highway.

In November, a collection of mayors and representatives from Colwood, Langford, View Royal, Highlands, Metchosin, Esquimalt, Victoria and Saanich, met with Trevena at the legislature to discuss the daily commuter crush on the highway. That same month, the Capital Regional District also voted to move forward with the creation of a new public transportation service for the region, that would oversee various aspects of transportation and planning.

RELATED: Key players talk bus lanes to help with Colwood Crawl

Langford Coun. Denise Blackwell agreed with Trevena.

“In my view, getting the province to work on extended bus lanes along the highway is probably the fastest,” she said. “It’s a good route, even if you just paved it and got buses going back and forth.”

Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean will lead consultations with local First Nations and municipal partners.

With files from Katherine Engqvist


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Residents of tent cities unfairly labeled as criminals, says report

Some neighbours supportive of Regina Park camp

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Deadly mushroom spotted in Greater Victoria

Early return of death cap mushrooms prompts Island Health warning

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

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

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read