The City of Victoria is looking at a downtown traffic study, presumably because enough people have complained.
The transportation infrastructure needs of the City change with every new development and dedicated bike lane, so taking a fresh look at the resulting traffic patterns is not a bad idea.
Given that the city is committed to improving transportation systems for drivers, cyclists and those riding public transit – including making major infrastructure investments in roads and commuter lanes – this appears to be a positive next step to create efficiency in getting people into, out of and around downtown.
No one enjoys stopping at every red light on their commute to or from work, and updating the signal system is a natural step to take in streamlining the major transportation corridors in our busy downtown.
But fixing the light signals can only do so much for congestion.
Once they start looking, there may not be much that can be done to improve the situation, that is, unless more people ditch their cars for public transit or start riding their bikes more often.
Having more people move downtown and bike or walk to work will mean more changes may need to happen to the traffic control system. City staff ‘tweaks’ timings at individual intersections as complaints arise, but as Victoria changes, we should consider funding studies like this more frequently or where feasible, having staff undertake the work.
We hope Victoria’s neighbouring municipalities can follow suit and take a good look at commuting patterns, as the majority of drivers making their way into the city every day come from outside the city’s boundaries.