Traffic improvements such as the McKenzie Interchange at the Trans Canada Highway are part of an ongoing plan for regional transportation upgrades to minimize traffic congestion. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

COLUMN: The Saanich Snarl, just another gridlock

Travis Paterson is a multimedia journalist with the Saanich News

It might not pass through Colwood but it’s still the Colwood Crawl to Saanich News readers, but with a few caveats.

Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce at a Tuesday luncheon (that mostly focused on housing), Premier John Horgan referenced the “Saanich Stall,” a variation of the Saanich Snarl term that former Colwood mayor Carol Hamilton said last year.

READ MORE: Colwood Crawl doesn’t actually crawl through Colwood

Truthfully, the Colwood Crawl that jams up the Trans Canada Highway at McKenzie-Admirals isn’t actually Colwood’s problem, nor does it travel through Colwood. Rather, the name has drifted over from its original namesake, the rush hour jam along Craigflower and the Old Island Highway. The Old Island Highway was never designed for the estimated 85,000 vehicles that travel daily on the TCH between Victoria and the West Shore.

However, there are several euphemisms – some are more creative than others – and an appetite for clarity.

“I think you’re conflating two different gridlocks,” said local resident Scotty Stone. “The Saanich Snarl is on Highway 1 Trans Canada.”

From the locals there’s the View Royal Vortex, a crafty piece of alliteration, the Costco Creep, the Langford Lag and Stew’s Snafu, the latter a shot at Langford’s hasty development, one presumes. There’s also the Tillicum Tangle, which prompts a whole new discussion, exactly where does the Saanich Stall begin, and is it separate from the Colwood Crawl?

Before we move on, there’s also the Westshore WTF (points for bluntness) or Insanity Island, a hopeless situation drivers unwittingly cast themselves into (points for creativity).

But back to Saanich. Could the Snarl be reserved for the five-corners intersection of Wilkinson and Interurban?

Call it what you want but with climate change looming, at least the region has leaders pressing for solutions to get out this mess. The revitalization of the E & N corridor, either as a commuter train or some kind of light rail, is among the most promising options to alleviate daily commuter congestion on the TCH.

Is there a Utopian version of Greater Victoria where transit has a carbon footprint close to zero and wait times are minimal?

– Travis Paterson is a multimedia journalist with the Saanich News

reporter@saanichnews.com

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