Residents travelling south on the Douglas Street (TC-Highway 1) will no longer able to turn left onto Carey Road as the province improves northbound bus lanes. Submitted

Residents travelling south on the Douglas Street (TC-Highway 1) will no longer able to turn left onto Carey Road as the province improves northbound bus lanes. Submitted

Province puts brakes on left turns onto Carey Road

With apologies to Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza, southbound drivers wanting to get off Douglas Street soon won’t be able to stop short at Carey Road, as the left hand turn onto Carey Road will permanently close on June 10.

The permanent closure accommodates a new northbound bus lane under construction, and promises to improve traffic flow, the provincial ministry of transportation and infrastructure said in a release.

Once crews have completed the work, Carey Road will function as a right-in/right-out turn for northbound traffic.

While somewhat tricky, the left-hand turn onto Carey Road has historically allowed drivers to skip the intersection at Highway 1 and Saanich Road, if they wish to reach Blanshard Street or enter Uptown. The intersection at Douglas Street and Saanich Road is one of the busiest and accident-prone intersections in the region.

The province has announced that it will upgrade the intersection to improve safety with two signalized turning lanes for southbound traffic along Douglas Street.

These changes are part of plans to address traffic congestion in the Capital Regional District.

Dedicated bus lanes enable faster, efficient public transit and help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

The affected transportation corridor is one of the busiest commuter routes in the city. It currently carries as many as 1,700 vehicles per hour during peak travel times.

At the same time, public transit buses move 40 per cent of the people, who are taking this route during peak hours, while only making up three per cent of the traffic.

Plans call for the completion of the northbound Douglas Street bus lane extension from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridge by fall 2018 for a total cost of $14.2 million.

The province is contributing $9.575 million, while the federal government is providing up to $4.625 million under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.