He suggests that ‘experts’ in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) should make decisions for the region. But this ministry has been paving over everything to make room for more and more cars for half a century. Yes, the NDP and Greens are now in control, but only a superhero could reverse half a century of ingrained culture overnight. NDP Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena seems good, but I have not seen any super powers yet.
If things had changed at MoTI, the much-delayed Douglas Street/Highway 1 bus lanes to the 6 Mile Pub area would be approved by now. The CRD must push the province to fund transit rather than more blacktop boondoggles, as the CRD Regional Transportation Plan calls for. And the CRD’s directors must act now rather than waiting until their new transportation service is set up.
Bids solicited for extension of Douglas Street bus lanes
Lindsay Kines / Times Colonist
November 15, 2017
Bids for the next phase of the Douglas Street bus lanes — designed to speed bus travel along the busy Douglas corridor — have been reopened.
The B.C. government and City of Victoria have reopened bidding on construction contracts to lengthen the priority bus lanes on Douglas Street. The Ministry of Transportation issued a call for bids Tuesday to extend the northbound lane from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridge, where Burnside and Interurban roads cross under the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue reading “BTA gets Commitment for Emergency Meeting if Bus Lanes Over Budget”
Letter to the editor by Better Transit Alliance member Eric Doherty:
Bus lanes already under construction
Times Colonist, October 27, 2017
Re: “Run electric buses on E&N corridor: firm,” Oct. 24. Why is so much time being wasted talking about bus lanes on the E&N corridor when bus lanes on the Douglas Street/Trans-Canada Highway corridor are already under construction? Continue reading “Another Letter to Editor!”
The new Vital Signs report has a lot of good information on what people in Greater Victoria want, beyond lower transit fares. The report shows that people are tired of transit riders getting stuck in traffic, and think we should reduce our reliance on cars. It also says we should “take urgent action to combat climate change.” Continue reading “Better Transit Alliance letter to editor in Times Colonist”
Prime Minister Trudeau, former Premier Clark and most of Canada’s premiers signed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in 2016. This Framework contains a policy shift that could fund much better transit in our region, and reduce climate pollution. But this likely won’t happen without local support!
The Framework commits the federal and provincial governments to “shift from higher to lower-emitting types of transportation, including through investing in infrastructure.” This means investing more in better transit and less on urban highways that just become congested again.
Last spring Saanich Peninsula Green Drinks hosted a presentation by Eric Doherty of the Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria around transit options for the region. The evening, hosted by Central Saanich Councillor Alicia Holman included a slide show followed by a lively discussion.
Doherty’s presentation held the position that a community can’t build its way out of traffic congestion – growth supersedes road building and road building facilitates further growth. He suggested that, in the Southern Vancouver Island region, this was demonstrated by the road ‘improvements’ that took place to eliminate what is lovingly referred to as the Colwood Crawl – the traffic stand-still/crawl that happens on Hwy #1 and roads parallel to it heading into Victoria in the morning, and out again in the late afternoon . . .
The Better Transit Alliance tries to send an observer to every Victoria Transit Commission meeting. And the last meeting was more eventful than usual, with some bad news which we reported to the media. The basic story is that, like most construction projects in the region these days, the price for the bus lanes was higher than hoped as all the construction companies are very busy. Unfortunately there was not a big enough contingency fund in place, and bus lane construction has been delayed.
We are going to be pushing all levels of government to step up to the plate and fund the Douglas / Highway 1 bus lanes all the way to the 6 Mile Pub area as soon as possible (even if it costs significantly more than it would have a few years ago). And we are optimistic that it will happen quickly; we think this can be completed within 24 months of municipal and provincial governments deciding to proceed. Here is some of the media coverage of the issue: Continue reading “Better Transit Alliance breaks story about bus lane delay”