My gratitude to Saanich News for listening to my views on the Shelbourne Plan (Aug. 1).
It is unlikely there will be a reduction on Shelbourne in average daily traffic flow of some 24,000 vehicles/day. Vehicle numbers have stabilized in western economies, even with increasing GDP.
Attention should now focus on finding the best fit between Shelbourne Street characteristics and public needs. Traffic problems are spatial and temporal problems.
Removal of one lane has already occurred on McKenzie (28,000 vehicles/day) between Shelbourne and Gordon Head Road. This innovative two-way traffic street design (aka relaning, road diet) has also proven effective on Royal Oak Drive through Broadmead. Underutilized space on a four-lane street is redistributed to two cycling lanes (typically, centre left turn lane added), within existing road capacity. Numerous studies (before and after data), demonstrate traffic diversion to side streets, typically does not occur.
Potential performance (safety and traffic movement) benefits are numerous: improved sight distance for drivers, traffic calming, fewer conflict points (locations where accidents could occur), reduced collisions and injuries, and a more attractive street for cyclists, pedestrians and businesses.
When combined with 60 per cent public support, Shelbourne Plan Option 2, a win-win solution – which integrates improved traffic movement (all travel modes) with land use – is possible.