A Saanich councillor wants to start “rattling a few chains” when it comes to regional transportation.
Coun. Judy Brownoff used that phrase when she spoke in favour of a letter that the municipality will send to provincial government in seeking a say in the Southern Vancouver Island Transportation Strategy (SVITS). Local critics of that plan say it focuses too much on the search for an alternative to the Malahat Highway.
She said it is important for Saanich to work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, BC Transit and other partners because of the role that the municipality plays.
Saanich, she said, has most provincial roads in the core area of the CRD (Capital Regional District) and the three worst intersections on Vancouver Island lie within Saanich according to an ICBC report.
It identifies the intersections of Highway 17 and Sayward Road; Blanshard Street and Saanich Road; and Admirals Road, McKenzie Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway as the three worst intersections based on the number of crashes in 2017.
All three are under provincial jurisdiction.
“Saanich Police provides policing for these roads, and Saanich currently carries the majority of traffic on our roads,” said Brownoff.“People drive through Saanich to get to regional destinations like UVic, Downtown, Camosun and other destinations.”
Saanich’s Uptown area will also host a regional transit exchange, she added.
While the CRD has taken up the issue, Saanich needs to raise its voice, she said.
“We need to bring this motion forward, write these letters, and start rattling a few chains about the traffic issues that we experience in Saanich, that we tend not be able to change,” she said.
Saanich has also asked the provincial government to invest additional dollars for forms of active transportation. The provincial government has ear-marked about $6 million for various projects under the Clean BC Plan.