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#41 G-Man

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:41 PM

Too true. But that still doesn't explain why Langford would get rid of one light to put one at another spot in the same area.

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#42 ressen

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 08:05 PM

Langford may have an interest in having a traffic light at its North Western entrance in order to facilitate and encourage visitors to exit the highway and explore Langford. There is talk of a West Shore tourist information center to be located just off the highway at this intersection.

#43 G-Man

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:34 PM

^ wishful thinking on the part of Stew if that is the thought.

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#44 Mike K.

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 09:18 AM

A distinct lack of green clouds our transportation issues

JACK KNOX

The good news is Carole Taylor didn’t do a Britney and read the budget with her head shaved, which the taxpayers of B.C. could have taken as a desperate cry for help and sign of a slipping economy. As it turns out, the finances, and Taylor’s tresses, are fine.

The bad news is that it took seven minutes for Trans-Canada commuters to drive the 1.6 kilometres from the Colwood cut-off to the Helmcken overpass yesterday morning. For those keeping score at home, that’s an average speed of 13 kilometres an hour in a 90 zone.

The worse news is that nowhere in the provincial budget was there the slightest hint of transportation relief for Vancouver Island, where every day we try to squeeze more traffic through the same old asphalt funnels. And no transportation relief means no environmental relief, either.

There was, in fact, a noticeable absence of focus on things environmental in the budget, something of a surprise given all the headlines about Gordon Campbell out-Arnolding the Governator in last week’s green-themed throne speech. “We’re not seeing the numbers back up the vision,” the Sierra Club’s Kathryn Molloy said yesterday.

The budget extended the $2,000 tax break on hybrid vehicles, gave biodiesel a tax exemption, said something about wind power and school property tax, even unveiled a $40-million LocalMotion Fund to help local governments build bike paths and walkways and get kids playing in parks. Sounds sexy, but still a three dressed up as a nine when compared to the billions being chucked around elsewhere. Taylor talked about “$103 million for environmental leadership,” but that turned out to include just $4 million for climate change and $45 million from Ottawa to buy 20 hydrogen buses, vehicles that will be tested in Victoria before heading to Whistler.

The province’s transportation plan includes $3.5 billion in capital spending over the next three years. There’s $854 million for Vancouver’s downtown-toairport rapid-transit project, $491 million for the Lower Mainland’s Gateway program, $266 million for the Sea-toSky Highway.

But for the Island? Nothing, or at least nothing big. There’s no resurrection of plans to replace the intersection at McKenzie and the Trans-Canada with a traffic-freeing interchange, something that was supposed to be part of the Vancouver Island Highway Project a decade ago. We haven’t even seen confirmation that the province will chip in $5 million to Langford’s dream of a Spencer Road interchange — a project that would actually just accommodate the sprawl of the West Shore, pushing even more traffic into the Victoria-bound TransCanada funnel.

This is true of all highway projects. Building blacktop is hardly a green endeavour — the exact opposite, in truth. But geez, somebody at some point will have to do something to both mitigate the environmental impacts of growth and Roto-Rooter the traffic flow. As it is, we on the south Island are condemned, for the foreseeable future, to day after day of one-to-a-car, slow-speed commuting, tailpipes belching all the way.

The budget includes not even a sniff about actually coming up with some form of rapid-transit alternative (not that you can expect the province to act on a big-ticket item like that if the local politicians don’t first show leadership, which they haven’t). Nor is there much prospect for a more user-friendly transit system. The budget includes another $10 million to expand bus service across B.C., plus $22 million to buy 121 buses to be spread around 25 communities, including Greater Victoria. Nice, but little more than tinkering.

Perhaps something more substantive will emerge when the province’s energy plan is unveiled within a couple of weeks. Hope so, because while the economy may be humming along nicely, the traffic isn’t, and the environment isn’t getting any greener.

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#45 Mike K.

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 12:27 PM

Building a $30 million interchange to reduce congestion caused by an intersection seems like a great investment. Until you find out Langford is building an intersection two kilometers north of the proposed interchange.

No wonder the province isn't interested in funding this thing (at least it's not as high a priority as Langford originally believed).

Province neglects Spencer Road in new spending for highways
By Rudy Haugeneder
Goldstream Gazette
Feb 28 2007

$30 million project could be in jeopardy

The Spencer Road and Trans-Canada Highway interchange isn’t a certainty anymore.

The provincial budget’s promised spending on B.C. roads and highways in the coming year didn’t mention funds for the proposed $30 million interchange.

The budget includes spending on high-profile projects like improvements to the Sea-to-Sky Highway leading from Vancouver to the 2010 Whistler Olympic site and the new William R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna.

However, that doesn’t mean government funding for the interchange is dead, said Jeff Knight, a transportation ministry spokesperson.

The ministry “doesn’t know yet” exactly how much money the province’s finance ministry has allocated for transportation, he said.

Under the category of roads and highways, the budget said the province will give $3.9 billion over the next three years to the Transportation Investment Plan. The program combines public and private sector investment in ministry infrastructure projects.

Until the budget details are “worked out” and finalized for the fiscal year that begins in April, Knight said where the money goes remains uncertain.

Langford Mayor Stew Young was hoping the interchange would be mentioned in the budget’s highlights.

Earlier this month Young said the provincial government is committing about $5 million to the interchange, which could be completed within three years.

Young is cautiously optimistic the province will spring for its fair share thanks to an “ongoing consultation process” that’s been going on with the ministry.

“It’s not a dead issue,” he said.

Having local MLAs who are in the Opposition ranks rather than in government doesn’t help, noted Young. “Unfortunately, that’s politics,” he said.

Building and completing the interchange would attract more economic development to the West Shore over the next decade “than anything else on my horizon,” said Young, adding he wants a resolution in the next two months because he fears if negotiations drag on, “we will see nothing.”

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#46 G-Man

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 01:08 PM

Building and completing the interchange would attract more economic development to the West Shore over the next decade “than anything else on my horizon,” said Young, adding he wants a resolution in the next two months because he fears if negotiations drag on, “we will see nothing.”



If this is true than Langford must be in some real trouble. They are saying that this single overpass is more important than the less than green West hills devlopment and more important than the possibility for Commuter rail on the E&N. Also if this is so good for the economy than does it make sense to build another intersection on the same highway just 2 kms to the North of the the proposed overpass?

Why is no one (but us) speaking on this point?

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#47 Mike K.

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 01:12 PM

I can see the need to preserve ecologically sensitive areas, but this article makes it seem like Colwood councillors want to close the lagoon road because people from Metchosin are using it for shortcuts. They're further concerned that large developments (which they approved!) such as Colwood's upcoming Lagoon Estates will further increase traffic (yeah, no doubt with zoning requiring 2.2 parking spaces per suite!).

Colwood eyes blvd. closure

By Rudy Haugeneder
Goldstream News Gazette
Mar 02 2007

Rush hour Metchosin drivers using Ocean Boulevard as a shortcut to avoid the Colwood crawl are in for a future shock.

They may soon be forced to stay on Metchosin Road to get to the congested Island Highway.

Shutting down traffic on the narrow two-kilometre-long sliver of a boulevard that separates Esquimalt Lagoon and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, would result in a huge storm of protest, council acknowledged Tuesday.

The boulevard is used when Metchosin commuters turn right onto Lagoon Road and Ocean Boulevard, which ties into the Island Highway next to the Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre. The only traffic lights along the shortcut are on the Island Highway.

Council, including Mayor Jody Twa, say there’s “very little” local traffic on the road compared to the number of Metchosin commuters.

Twa summed up council’s remarks when he warned that any decision to close the Esquimalt Lagoon section of the road would result in “an absolute uproar,” even from people in Victoria where people consider the 13-hectare Coburg Peninsula “their area.”

He said closing Ocean Boulevard “would be like closing Dallas Road” in Victoria.

Twa half-jokingly said he would prefer to be out of town if council decides to close the boulevard. Coun. Jason Nault agreed, saying whatever the decision to reduce traffic, “many people are going to be angry.”

Others on council said closure is probably the best way to protect the ecologically sensitive lagoon and peninsula that is increasingly being crowded by residential developments like the 20-hectare, 585-unit Lagoon Estates project on Esquimalt Lagoon below Royal Roads University forestland.

“Maybe we should hold Metchosinites out,” said Gordie Logan.

David Saunders said a lot of the traffic down the lagoon is Metchosin people using the lagoon as a thoroughfare. “I would like to see it restricted,” he said.

Reducing traffic flows were among recommendations included in the Coburg Peninsula interim management guidelines report presented to council.

The report, which included recommendations made at public open house meetings and via written comments, said “many people” want the boulevard to stop being used as a thoroughfare or commuter route.

But shutting down Ocean Boulevard won’t happen overnight.

Staff were instructed to get new traffic-count figures before any action is taken, including a now-and-after traffic study that takes into account Metchosin commuter traffic temporarily diverted to Happy Valley Road by the Bilston Creek bridge upgrade.

During the council debate there was no mention of the number of Colwood residents using Ocean Boulevard as a shortcut to the Island Highway.

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#48 Mike K.

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 08:40 AM

Activists camp out in trees in bid to stop interchange

BY BILL CLEVERLEY Times Colonist staff

Local activists took to the treetops yesterday in their campaign to stop a planned $30-million Trans-Canada Highway interchange near Spencer Road in Langford.

“We’re hoping to have some direct influence. I feel people have been shut out of this process,” tree sitter Zoe Blunt said via cellphone from a platform high up the tree, off Leigh Road.

“There hasn’t been public consultation and participation. If we’re shut out we have to take whatever steps we can.”

Blunt said she and others were prepared to stay as long as it takes to get their message heard.

Mayor Stew Young said the tree sitting is unlikely to make any difference.

“They are on provincial land right now and it’s going to be a year or so before we get to the point of having to go there, so they can sit there as long as they want,” he said.

The alternative to the intersection is more vehicles backing up and idling through Goldstream Park, which is extremely harmful environmentally, Young said.

“They can make their statement, but the people of Langford support what we are doing.”

Victoria mayoral candidate Ben Isitt, addressing the Capital Regional District board yesterday, asked directors to go on record as opposing the interchange.

Isitt cioted a number of reasons to reject the interchange and put effort and money into building alternative transportation links such as effective light rapid transit.

“There’s the impact of increased greenhouse gas emissions. There’s social justice issues related to that interchange to do with threatened mobile home parks. There’s endangered species and a Douglas fir forest. The Langford Lake cave is currently covered in flagging tape and spray paint and there’s a sensitive ecological area that will basically be blown up to make way for that project,” Isitt said.

“Opponents of the project are referring to it as the Bear Mountain interchange because from all the maps that are currently available, this development is designed primarily to serve the Bear Mountain project rather than the residents of Langford and the Western communities.”

Isitt said Langford has acquired properties along Leigh Road for the project even though provincial funding has not been approved. Langford believes the project will have regional benefit and is hoping the province will kick in $5 million toward the interchange.

CRD chairwoman Denise Blackwell said it’s primarily Langford and private developers’ money going into the interchange and she doesn’t believe a tree-sit will stop it.

“It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know what they are trying to prove. We all want LRT. We want transportation planning and I don’t know that sitting in a tree is going to achieve that,” said Blackwell, a Langford councillor.

The board took no action on Isitt’s request.

CRD director and Saanich Coun. Vic Derman, chairman of the CRD TravelChoices Select Committee, said Isitt is probably correct in that it’s not good transportation planning to build one interchange in isolation from all other transportation needs in the region.

Young said Saanich should fix its own problems in areas such as Tillicum before criticizing Langford.

“Obviously [Derman] doesn’t respect the wishes of Langford taxpayers,” Young said.

“I am trying to plan for the future and use some common sense. It needs to be dealt with and I would really like the support of other politicians in the region, but I don’t need it. If they are stupid about it, there’s not much I can do about it.”

With files from Judith Lavoie

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#49 G-Man

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 08:41 AM

We having had a good tree or pole sitting in years. She should try for the record.

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#50 Mike K.

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 08:44 AM

^yup. But what will she do when her cellphone battery dies?

Anyhow, the following article mentions a large improvement for Esquimalt Road in Victoria between Dominion and Tyee. The bus bays are particularly welcome!

Trail network in for upgrade
Funding comes from LocalMotion initiative


BY BILL CLEVERLEY Times Colonist staff

View Royal, Victoria and Saanich were big winners yesterday as Community Services Minister Ida Chong announced $17.3 million in funding to build trails, bike paths and walkways throughout B.C.

Work will begin this summer in View Royal to make Six Mile Bridge cyclistand pedestrian-friendly.

The municipality will get $218,650 in matching funds for the bridge improvements — bike lanes and a wider sidewalk on one side. Total cost is $437,300.

View Royal Mayor Graham Hill is enthusiastic about the project. The bridge represents a hazard now, he said, “and what is going to happen here is an improvement in safety.” Planning is already underway. Saanich will receive $550,000 in matching funds to improve trails, crossings and walkways over 15 kilometres linking the University of Victoria through the Blenkinsop Valley with the existing Lochside Trail. Total estimated cost of the project is $1.1 million.

Work will begin within the month, said Mayor Frank Leonard.

“Some of [the route] will be coastal, using our Gordon Head coastline and then some of it will be on part of our road network using bike lanes along the roadsides. But we’ll try to stay as close to the coast as we can for most of it.”

Victoria will get $587,047 improvements to Esquimalt Road.

The plan is to create a new section of two lanes for vehicles and two bike lanes on Esquimalt Road between Dominion and Tyee roads. Bus bays, landscaped medians and boulevards and reconstructed sidewalks are also part of the project. Total cost is $1.17 million.

The funding is coming through the first round of the province’s LocalMotion initiative, aimed at making local communities greener and healthier places to live.

“Everybody has their different ideas about improving their bikeways, their walkways, their pedestrian areas, increasing access for people with disabilities,” Chong said while announcing the funding, using scenic Arbutus Cove in Saanich as a backdrop.

“But really it’s also about also encouraging more [non-vehicle] commuter traffic, which goes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is one of the key components of our Green Cities projects.”

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#51 Holden West

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 09:15 AM

The board took no action on Isitt’s request.


That's a phrase you hear quite often these days.

Anyone remember the sad case of the 1980s record setting pole sitter by Capital Iron?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#52 G-Man

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 10:43 AM

That is why I brought it up. That guy rocked. Why is it sad though?

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#53 Holden West

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:07 AM

(Copyright Times Colonist (Victoria) 1999)

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I was waiting in line at the frenzied Value Village 50-per-cent- off sale last weekend when the woman in front of me told me about Victoria's world record pole-sitter.

It was back in 1984, when she was working in a salon in the Store Street public market that used to be where Value Village is. A young guy, Mark Sutton, had decided to climb a pole 15 metres above the store and stay there until he broke the modern-day record of 440 days.

For a while, he was famous, at least in Victoria. Everybody talked about him, and people would hang out on the sidewalk to stare up at him. One of the salon worker's friends had even "gone up the pole" one night. "He was alone up there a long time."

The Times Colonist librarians remembered him immediately when I came back asking for any files on a pole-sitter from the '80s. Pole- sitting may not be the most productive activity, but people don't forget you if you stay up there long enough.

Sutton was 24 and on welfare when he climbed the pole in February 1984 in hopes of setting a new record and raising $500,000 for the Canadian Paraplegic Association, his second-pick charity after he and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind had a falling out. He camped on a 2.5-square-metre platform, hauling up free food daily and pocketing a $50 weekly stipend from market merchants.

The high life wasn't without its problems. A few people lobbed rocks at Sutton. Another threatened to cut the pole down. And a letter writer of the day noted that Sutton couldn't hope to beat the real world record set by monk Stylites, who spent the last 45 years of his life on top of a pillar in Syria back in the sixth century.

And like all those cross-Canada treks that never quite work out as planned, Sutton's pole-sitting raised only $13,000. "People just don't think it's a good cause," said a disappointed Sutton not long before his descent on day 488. "I tried my best. I did my best. I can't twist it out of them."

Sutton was depressed, constipated and weak by the time he came down. Victoria merchants gave him six nights of free meals and accommodation in local hotels, and 2,000 well-wishers feted him in the streets.

And then he disappeared from the newspaper files.

I went looking for him this week to find out how the intervening years had turned out. "Last I heard, he was working for Nissan selling cars," recalled the woman in the Value Village lineup.

I tried the phone book and called, predictably, Mark Sutton. He turned out to be a good-humoured man who shared the same name as the pole-sitter. He said they even had the same middle initial, A.

"Last I heard, he was working for Nissan selling cars," said the other Mark Sutton. "That was a couple years ago now, though."

"Mark Sutton? You just missed him by a few months," said the woman at Victoria Infiniti Nissan. "As far as I know, he moved to Vancouver in September, to the Southside dealership."

So I called Southside, and a minute later there he was, now 38 and sounding a long way away from the kid who clambered up a pole 15 years ago. He wasn't happy to hear from me.

"People who didn't even know me said some bad things about me in the media during that time. As far as I'm concerned, I'll never talk to a newspaper, TV or radio again," said Sutton.

I offered to give him my phone number in case he changed his mind. "I'll never change my mind," he said.

Sutton didn't hold the world record for long. He was beat out by Melissa Sanders, an Indianapolis woman who claimed the title in 1988 after living in a shack on top of a pole for 516 days. Her record still stands.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#54 gumgum

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 12:52 PM

Moral of the story: If you're plan to live on top of a pole, get a PR agent first.

#55 Icebergalley

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 03:19 PM

I think Ingmar has very effective PR skills...

#56 ressen

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 06:41 PM

I took a trip out to the proposed Spencer road interchange area. After parking at the end of Leigh Rd. I walked in to a nice cool forest, growing on a rocky slope. The surveyors ribbons were clearly visible as to the route the connector road would take. Walking along some paths took me to the tree hugger camp ,where I spoke to one of four young people. He told me where the Langford lake cave was to be found, and as it turns out I had walked right past it. He thought that it might be forty meters long, but as I did not have an electric torch with me at the time I decided not to go spelunking that day. I think that I will return to inspect the cave an other day soon, as there is no doubt that this road is going to be built. The houses on Leigh Rd. are mostly vacant and the distance to the highway is less than 200 meters.


This is the end of Leigh Rd.

#57 Galvanized

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 10:03 PM

^Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing!

Does anyone know if there is a rendering or site plan floating around for this thing?
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#58 ressen

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 11:19 AM



the blue lines are my best guess as to where the roads will go. The line to the right will most likely connect up with Mc Callum Rd. (Costco) and note the white CRD lines denoting future roads. The road being built on the top left is now extended to the blue lines.

#59 renthefinn

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 11:27 PM

Crap! At every turn, Langford forges on to emulate Surreys examples. Scary!

#60 hungryryno

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:11 PM

I wonder what Shell / Subway has too say about having their close highway access and convenience eliminated.

Part of me thinks that is the ONLY reason why Spencer Road remained a traffic light when the approaches from Spencer to McKenzie were completed!!!

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