Thursday, August 12, 2010

Uptown Centre Traffic Issues

I had made a note of the problems I could see with the traffic flows at the new Uptown Centre the other day, now it seems at least one member of Saanich council has noted there is a problem.   Vic Derman has seen the same issues I saw.

  • The Oak Street entrance road to the mall has little storage for cars waiting for the light, it will back up into the parkade
  • The street level parking will be constantly clogged as people in Victoria try to always park on the surface
  • The left turn bay from Saanich Road into the mall is much., much too small to handle the traffic wanting in.
  • The access to the upper level is too close to the intersection of Blanshard and Saanich
  • The underground parking is set up in such a way to almost ensure traffic problems

There are more problems and I can not see how they can be remedied.  The problems arise from core problems in the design of the traffic flow.

From the August 10 issue of the Saanich News
Traffic snarls at Uptown point to mistake made during approvement process, councillor says

Published: August 10, 2010 1:00 PM
Updated: August 10, 2010 3:48 PM
Saanich council made a big mistake last year by not requesting financial return on a parking variance at the Uptown development that could've been worth upwards of $4.5 million, councillor Vic Derman said.
The error could lead, literally, to troubles down the road.
Though the councillor has only biked, not driven, to the new shopping centre, he said he's seen traffic congesting along Saanich Road where shoppers enter the newly-opened underground parking lot. “That $4.5 million could've been used to address some of the issues that might be appearing now,” Derman said referring to the back-ups and Uptown’s need for traffic control people.
“It will evolve,” said Uptown general manager Roberta Ferguson. “Right now we ask people to be patient with us, because we’re not even finished with phase one.”
However, the traffic control people will be a regular sight at Uptown for the foreseeable future, she said. “I think eventually people will understand the site and we won’t need to have as much traffic help out there, but they’ll be there to help people get comfortable with where they need to go.”
But Derman, who in early 2009 asked that council consider financial return for parking that could help alleviate traffic, said he wants to see a longer-term transportation plan for Uptown that includes more bike racks and public transit.
“There's a whole pile of things (Uptown) can do to try to encourage alternatives where you didn't have to arrive by your car, but I'm not sure that got through to them,” Derman said. “So if we find the vast majority of people are going there in single occupancy vehicles, we could have some real issues there.”
Ferguson said Uptown will begin to roll out a transportation demand management program, that will include the promotion of public transit, bikes and car sharing, in the fall.
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