View Royal’s Mayor David Screech says transportation issues need to be addressed by the province and regional municipalities and he’s hoping to get a meeting together soon.
Screech is putting forward a recommendation to send a letter to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure at the inaugural View Royal council meeting Tuesday night. The letter will request that the minister meet with regional mayors as soon as possible to start putting together a plan.
“I think transportation issues are the biggest problem, short of housing, that the region as a whole faces,” Screech said. “It’s a huge issue in View Royal.”
He also said housing is connected to transportation issues with people moving far away from the city centre to purchase affordable housing and commuting one to two hours a day for work.
Screech said he believes residents would like to see a cohesive planning process in the Greater Victoria region. He said he thinks a regional approach to transportation would help alleviate many of the issues faced by residents.
“We never prioritize transportation issues in the region,” Screech said. “I think it’s time we had a plan that we follow saying these are the top five priorities and this is what we’re going to work with.”
Screech thinks it is not a politician’s place to identify solutions to transportation problems. He said professional planners should be brought into the conversation to decide what the priorities are.
“Transportation is a collective effort,” Screech said.
He also said it is important to look at things outside of roads and transit to improve transportation, citing things like car pool incentives and staggered shifts with some of the region’s larger employers to reduce traffic on roads.
“We need to look at how we encourage all forms of transportation,” Screech said.
Screech said he thinks the province has neglected Greater Victoria when it comes to investments in transportation. He said the most important thing to do is meet with the province and other mayors to begin planning.
If the motion passes Tuesday evening, Screech said he’ll write up a letter tomorrow in the hopes that talks can begin in a few weeks.