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Victoria ditching ‘slip lane’ blamed for congestion, but still called ‘great fix’

Drivers argue with cyclists and pedestrians over road change

The City of Victoria made a significant change to part of one of the city’s busiest intersections, but drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can’t seem to agree on whether it was an improvement or not.

The city replaced what is known as a “slip lane” at Hillside Avenue at Blanshard Street. The lane is known as a way for drivers to slip off one street at an angle before turning right onto another road. A painted crosswalk allows pedestrians to cross between sidewalks, but the lanes can be dangerous if drivers aren’t paying attention.

The “slip lane” was removed and replaced with grass, a sidewalk and a curb cut.

Victoria Coun. Matt Dell posted photos online of the changes recently and got an earful of both positive and negative comments.

“Victoria removed a dangerous ‘slip lane’ to improve pedestrian safety and plant new trees,” wrote Dell. “This used to be an asphalt ‘slip-lane,’ and now it’s a safe pedestrian space, with greenery and two new trees. There are so many opportunities to do this!”

The post produced a lot of feedback about the change and if Victoria should do this in more areas.

“Great fix,” said Eric Gallipo. “I used to ride through that intersection every day on my way to work at Long & McQuade and had many close calls in that exact spot with right-turning vehicles.”

“This is fantastic,” said Vision Zero Vancouver’s X account. “Slip lanes are a true marker of streets designed for cars instead of people, and are a hazard to pedestrians. They do not belong in cities. Well done Victoria!”

But several drivers say getting rid of the slip lane has only meant more congestion on Hillside, especially during daily rush-hour commutes.

“Sorry Mr. Dell but I was there today and this creates a big long line of traffic congestion,” wrote Tony McGee. “Are there traffic studies?”

Others reacted in the same vein.

“It kept traffic flowing, though. Now it doesn’t,” said Cindy Shilling.

“I’ve never seen an issue there. Now traffic backs up,” wrote Davinator_t.

But even more people defended the change.

“This is great Matt,” Nevin Thompson posted. “My son will be attending high school here in September, and this makes things a bit safer. I am not going to let him ride his bike, though. Far too dangerous.”

“Traffic still moves, just in a manner and at a speed that better ensures the safety of other road users, who are also citizens,” wrote John Luton.

READ MORE: Police ticket 10 drivers speeding near Victoria elementary school

Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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