Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton wants to see some concrete action on traffic congestion in the region and she’s not waiting for the Capital Regional District to start a Regional Transportation Service.
After the CRD board past a motion earlier this week to revisit creating the service, Hamilton took matters into her own hands and sent a letter to Premier John Horgan, Claire Trevena (Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure), and mayors from the West Shore and core municipalities.
“It is widely acknowledged that the most significant transportation issue the Capital Region currently faces is congestion on the Trans-Canada Highway during rush hours,” Hamilton said in her letter. “I am requesting a meeting … to put into action the construction of express transit lanes on the Trans-Canada Highway and supporting municipal arterial roads. As leaders, we must take action to meaningfully address the congestion concerns in our region, and make transit a more reliable and attractive option for commuters.”
She received a prompt response from a number of local mayors, expressing their interest in the meeting.
“I want real solutions,” Hamilton said in an interview with the Gazette, “and we need that money.”
With funds from the province Hamilton wants to see priority bus lanes added to the TCH, which is the province’s jurisdiction, between the West Shore and downtown. That lane, she noted could also be used by vehicles that have two or more people.
While she admitted it would take a bit of time for people to adjust their commute, it’s a shift that could solve one of the worst bottlenecks in the region. With more buses passing people stuck in traffic and more incentives to car pool, less vehicles would wind up in the Colwood Crawl, making it move faster for everyone.
“We wouldn’t have a problem with traffic,” she said, adding the region would be able to plan for potential problem areas and work to fix them before being forced to react.
As of Friday afternoon, no date for the meeting had been set.