COLUMN: A little planning goes a long. long way

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you gotta start planning sometime.

Let’s just get this out of the way: I’m from Toronto. Not born there, but lived there for a good part of my life.

Reason why I bring this up is because I’ve witnessed a city mismanage its infrastructure plans and grow exponentially well beyond its own limits; unfinished highways that end up in dead-ends, choking city traffic for miles, or boulevards meant to relieve traffic in the downtown core that somehow fell off the drawing board. With Toronto to soon surpass four million souls, that infrastructure is collapsing.

Think rush hour in Sooke is bad? Try six lanes, coming or going, all full, crawling at 10 km/h from 1 p.m. until past midnight. Every day. Yeah, not cool.

But what does this have to do with Sooke? It’s like comparing apples to kiwis. Well, that collapse can still happen here, even if it’s on a much smaller scale. If anything, Sooke’s options are even more limited; it’s not like we can tunnel our way through, or easily string a highway around a mountain. This isn’t Switzerland or Japan.

It’s Sooke. Council’s efforts with the roundabout should get a lot more credit than they do, because it does help the flow of traffic, regardless if some locals still can’t grasp how it works.

This was the first step, though.

The reality is, Sooke is in a race against time. It’s growing rapidly, while its arteries remain to the same spec as its pioneer days. And what happens when there’s more people? More residents, more services, more vehicles going in and out. Add that to the same road, and you’ve got a problem.

A few, actually. Drivers become more impatient and selfish about their space, whether it’s in front of them or behind them, tempers flare up like popcorn and road rage skyrockets. Diesel smoke fills your lungs as you wait in idle and not even your own tunes bring you calm anymore. Suddenly, you’re in a Mad Max sequel. Sounds dystopian, but it’s already happening.

Freeing up more arteries will help, but it’s not a long-term solution. Develop bus transit.  Connect, vital bike trails to leave people to bike to work instead of driving (one less car on the road will go a long way) or come up with a form of rapid transit that connects Sooke, Jordan River and Port Renfrew to Victoria without using Highway 14 at all.

This is more than just about infrastructure. It’s jobs. It’s people’s lives, their physical and mental health. It doesn’t do anyone any good to sit in traffic for hours and arrive at work or at home all drained and angry.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you gotta start planning sometime. The more we do now to improve our infrastructure, the less the next generation will have to suffer.

•••

Octavian Lacatusu is a Sooke News Mirror reporter.

 

 

Just Posted

Periods of rain in Wednesday’s forecast

Plus a look ahead at your weekend forecast

Sooke cougar sighting unconfirmed

Boy had a close encounter with the big cat

Victoria car show’s ferry event a highlight for arriving hot-rodders

Grand opening event one of several planned for Northwest Deuce Days

Saanich sponsors Jeux de la Francophonie giving $50,000 for the French-language Games

Couns. Susan Brice and Nathalie Chambers opposed funding, citing substantive and procedural concerns

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

COLUMN: Language police are annoying but necessary

The English language is suffering a decline

Most Read