(Black Press Media file photo)

(Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria tries again on regional transportation strategy

CRD board requests priority list to improve people-moving, reduce emissions in region

Despite vastly different needs between rural and urban jurisdictions, the Capital Regional District is taking a shot at determining a list of regional transportation priorities, this time with climate targets in mind.

At its Dec. 9 meeting the CRD board directed staff to work with partner jurisdictions – municipalities and the province – and BC Transit to create a priority list that best serves community needs and includes low-carbon options. The board also approved the formation of a transportation standing committee while asking staff to research options for a transportation governance model that will “provide long-term advocacy and action.”

“The board has identified transportation as a strategic priority and we want to work collaboratively as a region to begin improving congestion and moving towards a lower-carbon, multi-modal transportation system,” said board chair Colin Plant in a release.

RELATED STORY: South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

CRD directors discussed a staff report outlining existing gaps in transportation planning and implementation, created mostly by the lack of regional cohesion on projects, advocacy, funding and decision making.

The report stated that since 2011, 15 plans and studies have attempted to define and identify solutions to two ongoing problems: morning and afternoon traffic congestion that increases travel time and decreases quality of life; and the inability to build new road infrastructure to meet increased demand, a scenario that creates a focus on encouraging residents to shift their transportation modes.

Among those was the 119-page regional transportation plan completed in July 2014 that outlined themes, called for revised governance and funding arrangements, and detailed outcomes and actions.

View Royal Mayor David Screech, following up similar comments by Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeill-Smith, said this plan contained everything the region needs to move forward.

“The plans are in place, it’s time to take action as we’ve gone ‘round and ‘round on this,” Screech said, adding he would support a regional referendum on a new governance model.

FROM THE FILES: CRD board agrees on new Regional Transportation Service

Longtime Langford councillor and CRD director Denise Blackwell said her fast-growing municipality has always believed in the need for a regional transportation authority. She voiced a long-held frustration that despite being the third-largest municipality in the region, Langford has no representation on the Victoria regional transit commission, which oversees bus service.

Directors from outlying municipalities did their best to remind those from the core about their communities’ differing needs.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait supported a regional approach and a unified voice on transportation issues, but stressed that “it comes down to the trust that smaller communities will not be left behind.” Sooke is a growing community that is attracting new residents not only for its relative affordability, but because they are choosing to live there, she said. Tait said conversations around regional transportation issues need to factor in the CRD’s regional growth strategy.

READ ALSO: The ‘Colwood Crawl’ doesn’t go through Colwood

“This is essentially an urban problem, I don’t want to see urban decisions compromising the way rural communities operate,” said Metchosin Mayor John Ranns.

The differences in transportation needs across the region are not as great as some directors articulated around the table, stated Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

“Traffic congestion in peak periods is an economic problem, the [transportation] mode shift challenge is a climate problem,” she said.

CRD staff will report back to the board early in the new year once the list and the options for governance models are complete.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Capital Regional DistrictTransportation

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

Just Posted

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Saanich is giving local businesses a break by waving renewal fees for 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich waives business renewal fees for 2021

The municipality raised $48,000 from businesses licences in 2020

The Sooke school district has filled all spots for their French immersion and nature kinderagarten programs in 2021-2022 school year. Regular kindergarten registration is still open and available. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke school district gets surplus of nature, French immersion kindergarten applications

Not enough room for almost half of nature kindergarten applicants

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read