Is there anything to be done about Victoria’s long-standing problem with traffic at the Colwood-Langford-Victoria bottleneck? Colwood Mayor Rob Martin says there is.
The area, more infamously known as ‘the Colwood Crawl’, is where traffic from five surrounding communities, and the Malahat, all meet up in a pinch-point.
“Roads aren’t the long-term solution to our transportation issues. No matter which way we do it, we have to move people into public transportation,” says mayor Martin.
As part of his 2018 campaign for mayor, Martin promised that he would take Colwood in a progressive transportation direction, suggesting that “options [for traffic] would include the use of our waterways and overland transport, including light rail and re-thinking transit and HOV lanes.”
This isn’t the first time the idea for alternative transportation methods has been pitched. The idea of running a passenger ferry between the Westshore and downtown areas has been talked about several times over the years, but has never seen any development.
In 2017, previous Colwood mayor, Carol Hamilton, started talks with Premier John Horgan about addressing the congestion issue. Rob Martin, although only elected in October of 2018, has since picked up where Hamilton left off.
How realistic is it, really?
Martin identifies the McKenzie Interchange as the pinch-point of the congestion, and suggests the new improvements being made are simply a short term solution.
With regards to the potential new seabus route, Martin told Victoria Buzz, “we’re looking at moving people from Colwood, from the Royal Bay Area, all the way across the water right into Downtown Victoria. I’ve read studies that say we can move 1,000 people an hour that way.”
Martin hasn’t had any official conversations with the government, but plans to send out correspondence to both the Province and BC Ferries this week.
Although Martin is leading the conversation regarding waterway transportation, technically any development in ocean transportation has to go through the Provincial Government and Colwood would have no official jurisdiction on the matter.
In order to get the project underway, Martin is trying to stir up public opinion. He acknowledges that opinions fall on both sides. While some citizens are in full support, others feel that it is an unrealistic goal – conditions in the waterway are often rough, and the project would be costly.
Martin doesn’t have an estimate for costs yet, but acknowledges that subsidiaries would probably be necessary.
What do you think? Is the idea of a commuter ferry worth floating? Let us know in the comment section!