Monday, December 12, 2011

Traffic in this region

In general we do not have major traffic issues in this region, the Colwood Crawl sucks, but it is nothing compared to a dozen or more daily traffic snarls in the Lower Mainland.    Though actions by local governments are hardly doing much to improve the situation.

I am concerned how many of the core arterial roads in this region are only a single lane in either direction.   I do not think that any arterial road should be less than two lanes in either direction.

Narrow Arterials:

  • Interurban - this should be two lanes either direction as far as Camosun
  • Burnside from Interurban to Mackenzie
  • Helmecken/Wilkinson - this should at least be two lane from Hwy #1 to Interurban.   It should really be fully double laned all the way from Hwy #1 to Hwy #17 - allowing a cut through from the Westshore to the Peninsula would very quickly reduce the need for the Mackenzie interchange.
  • Admitals - this should be two lane from Hwy #1 to the intersection with Craigflower
  • Tyee/Skinner/Craigflower/Old Island Highway - this should be two laned the whole way
  • Bay Street - two laned from Goverment to Esquimalt Road

You will notice these are all between the Core and the Westshore.  They were built with their small capacity decades ago when there was no demand but since then they have not been upgraded to what is needed.  These roads were already major travel routes before anyone bought a house on them.  

There could be a case made for making Carey Road and Glanford Road into dual lane roads, but I do not think the dire need is there.

Just adding the extra lanes would dramatically improve traffic flow because a lot more traffic could flow through various traffic lights.   Left and right turns get in the way of traffic flows.   Any problem with any vehicle quickly shuts the whole street.   Finally, there would simply more space for the vehicles.   Currently the traffic backlog stuffs up intersections behind and makes gridlock a serious possibility.

  • The traffic backups do have an impact on business as it takes longer to deliver goods.   
  • The large majority do commute to work in a car and the lack of properly built arterial roads causes people to lose a lot of time.   Many people take the bus and in a lot of locations the time for the bus is much slower than it needs to be because of the lack of travel lanes for vehicles.
  • Shopping for almost all families means driving to the store and purchasing more than you can carry on a bus.
  • It increases greenhouse gases as the vehicles are spending time in stop and go traffic.
  • It means any road repairs required make for a traffic hell

Adding these arterial lanes will not increase the number of miles driven any faster than not adding them.   The addition of them is not going to increase the growth of the population at the western end of them.   It also does not encourage people to live in the Cowichan Valley because it does nothing to improve that commute.

What it will do is make life a bit more enjoyable for a lot of people in the whole region.
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