A view from Carey Road, looking towards the Pat Bay Highway, of afternoon traffic moving along McKenzie Avenue. Don Denton/News staff

Establishment of a Capital Region transportation service passes first hurdle

CRD board agrees on bylaw, but voter assent needed to move forward

Plans are moving along to establish a new public transportation service for Greater Victoria.

On Wednesday, Capital Regional District board members agreed to forward a bylaw for approval that would create a regional body to oversee various aspects of transportation planning.

Such a service would utilize existing regional transportation functions such as BC Transit and BC Ferries and not come with any new funding requests from local municipalities. It would provide the CRD with the ability to identify top transportation priorities, co-ordinate between municipalities, integrate regional walking and cycling trails, collect and analyze data as well as advocate more effectively for government funding.

The Local Government Act requires the bylaw to be approved in order to move forward with the larger plan.

In 2014, the CRD declared a regional transportation service a priority and set to work developing a plan for the vision with local government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and BC Transit.

Among the findings were that the region’s unique built and natural environment limits further expansions of road networks in the area, despite increased pressure from population growth and changing trends in land-use patterns. Not only that, reliance on the traditional method of single-occupancy travel options will require a change in approach as more people travel through the region.

At a later meeting the CRD board will consider what method will be used to determine the wishes of the voters, as well as further discussing governance models for the proposed service, as it relates to the bylaw approval process.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

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