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

The coroner on scene of a workplace fatality in Oak Bay on Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Dangerous branches delay removal of body in Oak Bay workplace death

Traffic restricted on McNeill Avenue near Byng Road

An artists rendering of the proposed Aragon Properties development in Sooke’s town centre shows a friendly, walkable neighbourhood. (Contributed graphic)
Large housing development eyed for Sooke core

Aragon Properties seeks to build 132 housing units

(Black Press Media file photo)
Be prepared: Know what to do in the event of a Greater Victoria tsunami warning

Localized alert systems can provide potentially life-saving information

The Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers posing as Amazon customer support. (AP File Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Watch out for Amazon imposters, says scam expert

Better Business Bureau is warning of a rise in Amazon scammers as people online shop more

The Saanich Fire Department is reminding rural Saanich residents to be safe and follow the guidelines when the open-air burning season resumes Oct. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)
Open-air burning season resumes Oct. 16 in rural Saanich

Saanich firefighter talks outdoor burning guidelines, fire safety

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

Most Read