Harbour authority takes on speeding taxis in James Bay

New program allows authority to suspend Ogden Point cab permits

  • Aug. 12, 2012 7:00 a.m.

VicPD reserve Const. Diane Luszniak keeps track of vehicle speeds along Oswego Street. Police are monitoring traffic following concerns expressed by residents.

The 229 cruise ships docking at Ogden Point this summer may bring in enviable tourism dollars to Victoria, but the increased traffic also presents a major safety concern to surrounding residents.

Each weekend, dozens of taxis funnel through the two-lane streets of James Bay, often prompting complaints about speeding.

“They just go fast – really fast. They don’t yield to pedestrians,” said Rhonda Schilling, who criss-crosses Oswego Street each day as a Canada Post letter carrier.

Reserve Const. John Varley voluntarily monitors traffic speeds across the city on behalf of Victoria police.

“Several residents have come up and asked us to be (on Oswego Street) at the time the cruise ships come in, because the cabs are just notorious for flying through here,” he said.

To appease humbugged residents, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has teamed up with local taxi companies and VicPD to penalize lead-footed drivers.

“The (taxi) permits now say if you are caught speeding, we will pull your (Ogden Point) pass for a period of time,” said Curtis Grad, harbour authority president and CEO.

“That’s something entirely new this year and it’s been a pretty effective tool and the taxi management companies have been fully supportive of that.”

The harbour authority uses two of its own speed monitors to keep track of taxis wanting to maximize on the more than 10,000 passengers and crew that arrive at Ogden Point between Thursday and Sunday in the summer months.

In mid-June, VicPD started an education program with taxi drivers servicing the cruise ship terminal, about the same time complaints started coming in from area residents.

“We will co-operate with them, we do worry about the safety of the people in the James Bay area,” said Surinder Kang, operations manager at Yellow Cabs.

Kang said he was only aware of one driver who has had a permit suspension after being flagged for speeding, but said the program will likely continue in the coming years.

“It’s just like the police giving you a ticket … I hope it deters and the drivers co-operate,” he said.

While Grad declined to give specifics on the number of penalized drivers, he said the perennial issue has been effectively reduced.

“It’s fair to say it’s got the attention of the drivers and the desired effect is there,” he said.

Between May and October, 675,000 cruise ship passengers and crew will pass through Ogden Point.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grave site at Ross Bay Cemetery vandalized overnight

Graffiti found on grave of Sir James Douglas

Petition calls for suspension of Victoria councillor Ben Isitt

Isitt says petition ‘does not provide a reliable barometer of public opinion’

North Saanich man fears tougher moorage policies could cost him his home

Stewart Jackson has been living on a boat off Lillian Hoffar Park for about four years

Sidney dogs lose a beloved companion

Dozens gathered in Beacon Park to remember Sidney’s ‘dog whisperer’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

— Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read