Colwood mayor Rob Martin says the biggest challenge Colwood will face in the future is transportation and traffic. He says city council will need to focus on main artery roads, such as Sooke Road, Metchosin Road, Latoria Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Colwood mayor Rob Martin says the biggest challenge Colwood will face in the future is transportation and traffic. He says city council will need to focus on main artery roads, such as Sooke Road, Metchosin Road, Latoria Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

‘No longer the sleepy town’: Colwood mayor reflects on halfway mark of term

Gridlock, ferry service and walkability among concerns for council

Halfway through their four-year term, it seems Colwood Mayor Rob Martin and city council couldn’t be in a better position, especially in a pandemic.

In September, they announced a new branch location of Royal BC Museum, the purchase of a new elementary school in Royal Bay and confirmation of Seaspan Shipyards dropping an 81,500 square foot office anchor at the Allandale District.

Plus, Netflix and Warner Bros have begun filming their 10-part series Maid, in popular Colwood locations.

RELATED: New tenant announced for Colwood’s Allendale District

But the work isn’t done.

“I lose sleep over our traffic and transportation plans,” said Martin. “There’s no easy fix to this problem. We will end up gridlocked if we don’t find the best way to address this and I’ve heard pushback from the community about our growth.”

More than 2,000 residential units are expected in the Royal Beach area, but Coun. Dean Jantzen says tensions should ease as the plan is formed around a tentative 20-year buildout cycle.

Coun. Stewart Parkinson agrees it’s important to get the rezoning at Royal Beach “done right.”

“There have been … significant concerns over parking and traffic,” Parkinson said.

“I believe council has been realistic in the approach although future trends in vehicle ownership, transit usage and cycling are difficult to predict.”

As Martin glances over a panoramic view of Royal Beach and Royal Bay lands, he states his firm conviction that Colwood is “no longer the sleepy town it used to be.”

He believes Colwood will be a key player for Greater Victoria’s road to economic recovery post-pandemic.

The new museum branch is expected to provide 650 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs. The new school affords 200 construction gigs and 50 permanent while another 100 are expected for the Seaspan portion of the Allandale project.

ALSO READ: Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

As the chair of Colwood’s transportation committee, Coun. Dean Jantzen believes there hasn’t been a focus on walkablity and cycling within the city.

He sees Sooke Road as inconsistent from one block to the next, with pieces of sidewalk randomly interspersed.

He points to the intersection of Ryder Hesjadel Way and Latoria Road as the ideal for main artery roads, with sidewalks on both sides, bike lanes and accessible crosswalks.

Coun. Gordie Logan added that he wants to see an equal investment in main arteries, such as Metchosin Road, Latoria Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Sooke Road.

He pointed out there is no sidewalk along a 1.4-kilometre stretch of Metchosin Road, between Painter Road and Sooke Road.

“If we want to get people out of their cars, we have to make it more attractive to them,” said Logan.

Meanwhile, Coun. Doug Kobayashi sees the efforts to increase affordable homes in the city as a big plus for Colwood.

A giant hole that sat on Wale Road for more than nine years has since been filled in with an 124-unit building set to open by early 2021.

In addition, Colwood Corners will see a 15-storey affordable rental tower built to replace the 40-year-old Colwood Lodge seniors complex along Belmont Road.

Looking to the future, the mayor says he places full support behind a passenger ferry between Colwood’s waterfront and downtown Victoria.

Martin wants a full feasibility study done, but that would take an estimated $1 million to accomplish, a price tag he won’t invest unless the province shows greater support or considers funding a portion of the study.

“Rob has brought an unparalleled level of excitement and enthusiasm to the job,” said Logan. “I am absolutely floored because I’ve never seen this much excitement filtered down to staff in the 21 years I’ve been on council.”

– Black Press Media reached out to all city councillors for comment.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

City of Colwood,Colwood council

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

 

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin says the biggest challenge Colwood will face in the future is transportation and traffic. He says city council will need to focus on main artery roads, such as Sooke Road, Metchosin Road, Latoria Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin says the biggest challenge Colwood will face in the future is transportation and traffic. He says city council will need to focus on main artery roads, such as Sooke Road, Metchosin Road, Latoria Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

Saanich police are warning residents that rutting season has begun and deer may get their antlers tangled in items left in yards. (Saanich Police Department/Twitter)
Deer with items tangled in antlers spotted in Saanich as rutting season begins

Police, B.C. Conservation Service warn of possibly aggressive bucks through fall

Police will be diverting traffic between Island View Road and Amity Drive from 12 to 1 p.m. Oct. 23. (Google Maps)
Section of Pat Bay Highway closes for Mi’kmaq fishing rights demonstration

Police will be diverting traffic Oct. 23 from noon to 1 p.m between Island View Road and Amity Drive

Oulette the Great Horned owl was spotted alive just days after her mate, Ollie, was found dead from suspected rat poisoning on Oct. 17. (Photo by Cheryl Redhead)
Great Horned owl mate found alive in Cuthbert Holmes Park

Oulette spotted in tree above where male Ollie died of suspected poisoning

Saanich firefighters were called out to Hartland Road on Oct. 21 to help transport a mountain biker with neck and back injuries out of the woods. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patient with neck, back injuries rescued from Saanich bike trails

Saanich firefighters called in to help paramedics with transportation off Mount Work

Saanich South Liberal candidate Rishi Sharma commits to addressing issues at the five-way intersection of Interurban and Wilkinson roads in partnership with the municipality if elected. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich South Liberal candidate commits to improving Interurban/Wilkinson intersection

‘Confusing five-way intersection,’ needs attention, Rishi Sharma says

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian - Black Press Media)
POLL: Have you voted yet?

As election day quickly approaches, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have… Continue reading

Most Read