(Black Press Media file photo)

(Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria tries again on regional transportation strategy

CRD board requests priority list to improve people-moving, reduce emissions in region

Despite vastly different needs between rural and urban jurisdictions, the Capital Regional District is taking a shot at determining a list of regional transportation priorities, this time with climate targets in mind.

At its Dec. 9 meeting the CRD board directed staff to work with partner jurisdictions – municipalities and the province – and BC Transit to create a priority list that best serves community needs and includes low-carbon options. The board also approved the formation of a transportation standing committee while asking staff to research options for a transportation governance model that will “provide long-term advocacy and action.”

“The board has identified transportation as a strategic priority and we want to work collaboratively as a region to begin improving congestion and moving towards a lower-carbon, multi-modal transportation system,” said board chair Colin Plant in a release.

RELATED STORY: South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

CRD directors discussed a staff report outlining existing gaps in transportation planning and implementation, created mostly by the lack of regional cohesion on projects, advocacy, funding and decision making.

The report stated that since 2011, 15 plans and studies have attempted to define and identify solutions to two ongoing problems: morning and afternoon traffic congestion that increases travel time and decreases quality of life; and the inability to build new road infrastructure to meet increased demand, a scenario that creates a focus on encouraging residents to shift their transportation modes.

Among those was the 119-page regional transportation plan completed in July 2014 that outlined themes, called for revised governance and funding arrangements, and detailed outcomes and actions.

View Royal Mayor David Screech, following up similar comments by Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeill-Smith, said this plan contained everything the region needs to move forward.

“The plans are in place, it’s time to take action as we’ve gone ‘round and ‘round on this,” Screech said, adding he would support a regional referendum on a new governance model.

FROM THE FILES: CRD board agrees on new Regional Transportation Service

Longtime Langford councillor and CRD director Denise Blackwell said her fast-growing municipality has always believed in the need for a regional transportation authority. She voiced a long-held frustration that despite being the third-largest municipality in the region, Langford has no representation on the Victoria regional transit commission, which oversees bus service.

Directors from outlying municipalities did their best to remind those from the core about their communities’ differing needs.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait supported a regional approach and a unified voice on transportation issues, but stressed that “it comes down to the trust that smaller communities will not be left behind.” Sooke is a growing community that is attracting new residents not only for its relative affordability, but because they are choosing to live there, she said. Tait said conversations around regional transportation issues need to factor in the CRD’s regional growth strategy.

READ ALSO: The ‘Colwood Crawl’ doesn’t go through Colwood

“This is essentially an urban problem, I don’t want to see urban decisions compromising the way rural communities operate,” said Metchosin Mayor John Ranns.

The differences in transportation needs across the region are not as great as some directors articulated around the table, stated Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

“Traffic congestion in peak periods is an economic problem, the [transportation] mode shift challenge is a climate problem,” she said.

CRD staff will report back to the board early in the new year once the list and the options for governance models are complete.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Capital Regional DistrictTransportation

Just Posted

A patio built by The Village is shared by three eateries in Estevan. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay eateries sharing communal patio space in Estevan Village

The Village invested $25,000 in streetside patio, hopes to make it permanent

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

UVic Department of Anthropology chair and professor, April Nowell, at home with a copy of her new book, Growing Up In the Ice Age. (Courtesy of April Nowell)
New book by University of Victoria professor explores lives of Ice Age children

April Nowell spent two decades researching archaeological evidence of children, teens

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Most Read