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

Just Posted

Saanich Police speed reader board stolen

Traffic safety device taken from the 4700 block of Interurban Road

New leader aims to grow Oak Bay Volunteer Services

About 200 volunteers offer about 500 residents with support services

Partnerships are key for Peninsula youth clinic

The clinic has a new home and some funding for a year, but there is more to do

Gonzales Hill home project comes under scrutiny Thursday

Proponents of controversial development to argue their case at board of variance meeting

Teenager target of indecent exposure at Willows Beach in Oak Bay

Suspect exposed his genitals to a teenage girl Saturday

Viewer Photos: First day of Spring around British Columbia

Our loyal viewers sent us some of their favourite Spring photos from all corners of the province

Human remains found in Campbell River in February under investigation as a homicide

In mid-February, RCMP announced that human remains had been located in a… Continue reading

Five Canadian kids charged with making school threats

Police say online threats are on the rise

Not even Ellen DeGeneres can get Virtue, Moir to say they’re more than friends

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday

Victoria partners on ‘Stigma-Free Zone’ event tonight

Free event will see discussions around mental illness and reducing existing stigma in the community

RCMP warn public to stop pouring gas on fires after three incidents

Police responded to three recent incidents that sent seven people to hospital

BCHL Today: Surrey Eagles in the driver’s seat and Ethan Martini takes a seat

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Courtenay man identified as Vancouver Island’s newest multi-millionaire

Geoffrey Bennett won the March 17 BC/49 jackpot

Most Read