Let’s get moving: Interim traffic fixes

We need to get moving. Traffic snarls on our major roads are an everyday occurrence. Gridlock costs commuters time that could be spent at home with family. It costs businesses money when customers are too frustrated to drive to their store.

Solving our traffic woes has long been a priority for residents and municipal councils across this region. It now seems that we might actually get moving.

Victoria and Saanich Councils met last month to discuss transit on Douglas street. Both Councils supported working with BC Transit to design and implement interim fixes for Douglas street. Last week, Saanich Council passed a motion to get started.

We know rapid transit will attract more riders and free-up congested vehicle lanes. But we also know it could be years before a shovel goes into the ground for LRT. What can we do in the near-term on Douglas and all our major streets?

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and Bus Only lanes during peak hours are one quick fix. These lanes give preference to buses and multi-passenger vehicles by getting them passed the traffic. A higher number of passengers per vehicle results in fewer cars on the road. Fewer cars means faster travel times.

Queue-jumper lanes are another way to get the bus down the road faster. These lanes give transit vehicles their own lane at major intersections. When the lights change, the bus gets ahead of other traffic with its own time-advanced signal.

Synchronized traffic lights and extended green lights to get buses through can also speed up trips.

Getting buses through traffic improves travel times. Better travel time creates an advantage for transit riders and encourages more people to ride the bus.

Let’s make changes now that will improve travel times and get people to where they need to go. It’s time to get moving.