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Capital Region co-operating on transportation needs

Victoria city staff is putting together a wish list of all its transportation priorities with regional significance.

It’s part of an effort by the Capital Regional District to study the travel needs of the wider community.

“How about an electrical plug-in for the Ogden Point facility?” suggested Mayor Dean Fortin, also listing the Douglas Street rapid-transit corridor, and a runway extension at the Victoria International Airport.

Without co-ordinated planning, the region will not meet its targets for biking, walking and bus ridership, said Robert Lapham, CRD’s general manager for planning and protective services. 

“One of the real carrots at the end of this is the ability to realize investments from senior government,” Lampham said. “Once we get a solid plan, we’re better able to shop that plan.” 

At stake is a $1 billion gas tax fund, to be distributed to worthy applicants in B.C. between now and 2015. Victoria already has one application pending, with the endorsement of the CRD, for $5.5 million to build the multi-use trail on the new Johnson Street Bridge. 

During the previous five years, the Capital Region scored three grants from this fund: $11.3 million to build the E&N rail trail; $5.65 million to improve B.C. Transit’s capacity; $7.4 million to upgrade the Island Highway.