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Langford as a core municipality


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#1 gkz

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 02:43 PM

Currently we think of Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, and Oak Bay as the "core municipalities", and the Westshore (including Langford) as peripheral.

 

I've lived in a large American city for the past few months, and it's changed my perspective on distance and commuting. Commuting the same distance as Langford to Victoria is considered "close by", while the true people considered commuters are traveling the equivalent of Duncan to Victoria, every day (1h to 1.5h in one direction a day).

 

Distance wise, the Westshore and Langford should not be considered far away, but it is considered so due to the heavy traffic and transportation choke points. In the next couple of years however, these will be cleared up, and I think our perception of Langford and the Westshore will change, and it will be considered a core part of Victoria.

 

The biggest and most important of all, will be opening of the McKenzie interchange. This will cause the commute from Langford to Victoria to drop by 22 minutes in the morning, and drop 17 minutes on the way back in the afternoon. According to the study, these time savings will persist even to 2038. 

 

As always, people will call "induced demand" when traffic projects are proposed. First of all, if after a road improvement travel times go back to their original state (ie. the speed of the flow is the same), there are still more people able to take part (ie. the volume of flow has increased). However, for the McKenzie interchange, and the other improvements below, it is not simply a matter of adding another lane, but improving the flow of traffic through grade separation, or improved entry/exit points, etc.

 

Aside from the McKenzie interchange, there are several other traffic issues in accessing Langford and the Westshore. First, the merge and backups at Leigh Rd. The 4-laning to Goldstream will move the merge point down, and eliminate the rat-running occurring at the interchange. There will still be backups, but with the 4 laning and the dual left-hand turn lanes, these should only affect those going over the Malahat.

 

Second, the overloading of the Millstream interchange. Several projects are working on this. First, the Bear Mountain Parkways extension to Leigh Rd will transfer all travelers from Bear Mountain away from Millstream. Second, the extension of Leigh Rd over the railway tracks to Langford Parkway will move traffic from the Westhills development. Third, the Westshore Parkway extension over the railway tracks and to Sooke will first eliminate some highway traffic between Goldstream to Langford, as they can now use an internal route, and will will move over some traffic from Sooke. We will go from having one main access to Langford, to having three.

 

These significant transportation network improvements will drastically reduce travel times to and from Langford, and I believe will change its perception from being a peripheral municipality, to being a core municipality of Victoria.

 

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A map of some Langford roadway improvements:

Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 2.37.27 PM.png


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#2 RFS

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 02:47 PM

i agree. my ideal amalgamation would include westshore
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#3 dasmo

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 02:57 PM

Yep, if they get a tram going from town to town it will make Langford much more desirable along with downtown. I think the overpass will have more impact than a simple widening. It's a cluster there not just because of the west shore. Mackenzie it the only way out from the east side. It's backed up past Carey Rd in the mornings! Still, it's a single artery choke point for an indefinite future. ESQ will not accept a highway going through it. The north side is cut off by park. Only hope is a bridge at mill bay but no one wants that on this side of that bridge. Train is it folks...
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#4 jonny

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:01 PM

Langford certainly is not far away. The traffic is terrible because there really is only one inadequate road in/out. If the roadway improvements really reduce congestion, it will only further fuel Langford's growth.

#5 Szeven

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:19 PM

I would be interested to know what large American city the OP has lived in. Is Victoria comparable to a large American city? While I agree Langford is close by, I just don't see how we could be compared to something like Seattle, New York, Chicago etc.

#6 On the Level

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:26 PM

It's all perception.  The Westshore flies in the face of the whole Bikatoria movement (or whatever new name Lisa Helps is giving it now).  When you are hoofing groceries for a family of 4 and are only allowed to use a bicycle basket, it needs to be close by.  Anything pas the Gorge and you're starting to head into uncharted territory.  



#7 LeoVictoria

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:32 PM

> In the next couple of years however, these will be cleared up

Haha good one. :)

#8 dasmo

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:52 PM

I would be interested to know what large American city the OP has lived in. Is Victoria comparable to a large American city? While I agree Langford is close by, I just don't see how we could be compared to something like Seattle, New York, Chicago etc.

Times change, cities change. Victoria was once the largest city in BC....

#9 dasmo

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:53 PM

It's all perception. The Westshore flies in the face of the whole Bikatoria movement (or whatever new name Lisa Helps is giving it now). When you are hoofing groceries for a family of 4 and are only allowed to use a bicycle basket, it needs to be close by. Anything pas the Gorge and you're starting to head into uncharted territory.

I hear Langford is getting grocery stores soon!

#10 jonny

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:58 PM

Well, it's kind of a reality check to compare with other cities. Langford is treated by some as though it is out in the sticks and if you live there you 'deserve' a horrific commute. It's only about 15kms from downtown. By most standards, that's a short drive.

I work with people who commute from Nanaimo, Sooke, Mill Bay, Duncan, Cobble Hill, etc. A 1-1.5 hour commute is common, even here.

#11 dasmo

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:02 PM

The problem isn't the distance. It's the punishment. It's easier to drive for an hour then to sit in the crawl for 3/4 of an hour. It's crazy.... Especially because we aren't a city like LA.

#12 jonny

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:08 PM

Totally, which to me speaks to a couple of things.

1. It's insane to me that we are developing the Westshore heavily and not the Peninsula at all.

2. Taxpayers need to be prepared for major public funding for massive TCH upgrades all the way up to Mill Bay. When there's only one way in and one way out, and Langford is one of BC's fastest growing munis, the math is pretty simple to me.

3. The anti development crowd in the core needs a reality check.
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#13 exc911ence

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:11 PM

I'm all for the rework of the McKenzie/Hwy 1 interchange but the reality is that the congestion will just move a couple of kilometers towards downtown at the traffic lights at Tillicum/Hwy 1. Eliminate that light and the congestion moves to Saanich/Hwy 1 by Uptown... as long as traffic is forced to stop, congestion and delays will result. Just look at the Pat Bay....

 

Speaking of, wouldn't it be nice if it was possible to link the Pat Bay to Hwy 1 with a designated thoroughfare? No lights, no level cross-street access, etc? While I'm dreaming, let's just eliminate every highway traffic light between Swartz Bay and say, Port Hardy! Someone wake me up....  :rolleyes:


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#14 On the Level

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:21 PM

I'm all for the rework of the McKenzie/Hwy 1 interchange but the reality is that the congestion will just move a couple of kilometers towards downtown at the traffic lights at Tillicum/Hwy 1. Eliminate that light and the congestion moves to Saanich/Hwy 1 by Uptown... as long as traffic is forced to stop, congestion and delays will result. Just look at the Pat Bay....

 

Only a portion of the traffic that goes through McKenzie ends up going through Tillicum (55%) so that's a common misconception.  I'm not saying there won't be some form of congestion in the future, but the issue is with the traffic turning left, not coming into town. 


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#15 On the Level

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:31 PM

Totally, which to me speaks to a couple of things.

1. It's insane to me that we are developing the Westshore heavily and not the Peninsula at all.

2. Taxpayers need to be prepared for major public funding for massive TCH upgrades all the way up to Mill Bay. When there's only one way in and one way out, and Langford is one of BC's fastest growing munis, the math is pretty simple to me.

3. The anti development crowd in the core needs a reality check.

 

The communities are very different and have different ideals.  I don't think either community understands the other very well.  They also have different/competing interests.  

 

I agree the TCH needs a major upgrade, but Victoria isn't going to want anything to do with it.  If anything, upgrading the TCH goes against the CoV platform of living beside where you work, and I am sure they would do everything in their power to block it.

 

Those living in the Westshore don't really care or believe in the CoV platform and in their view, they have a lot to prove their way of life is better (new firehalls, new libraries, new recreation centres, new schools, new parks, etc etc etc).

 

The two are polar opposites.



#16 RFS

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:38 PM

i would agree with that and also go further and say it isn't just the westshore. people in the peninsula, gordan head, cedar hill, much of saanich, malahat, pretty much everywhere outside of downtown don't care, believe in, or even know about the CoV's zany platform and views

#17 SamCB

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:49 PM

I would actually support Langford creating more of a CBD feel with legitimate skyscrapers and high density development. It may very well end up being the "centre" of the CRD if Sooke keeps up the current pace of development and if Stew Young's tax break incentive actually lures government offices to Langford. I already commute out there from the core for Costco at least once a week.

 

I'm really sick of the anti development rhetoric in Victoria. Stew Young is doing a great job building a city, but I think he should take it even further. 

 

(but seriously, change the name of the municipality to Westshore. Langford is a terrible name).


Edited by SamCB, 08 January 2017 - 04:50 PM.

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#18 SamCB

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:51 PM

1. It's insane to me that we are developing the Westshore heavily and not the Peninsula at all.

I thought the peninsula was basically off limits due to most of it being in the ALR, no?


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#19 jonny

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 05:10 PM

I thought the peninsula was basically off limits due to most of it being in the ALR, no?


Currently it is, for the most part. The ALR and urban containment is provincial legislation that could be changed. Laws are rewritten all the time.

Edited by jonny, 08 January 2017 - 05:12 PM.


#20 Mike K.

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 05:17 PM

Langford is indeed a terrible name. It needs to be changed.

What's keeping many downtown Victoria businesses in downtown Victoria is:
A) long-term leases
B) tenant improvements
C) dependence on other nearby businesses
D) management and many employees living and working on the east side of the region
E) availability of appropriate office/commercial space

By 2025 I predict we're going to see an office and commercial hub materialize not unlike Selkirk Waterfront somewhere on the Westshore, and my money is it will be at or near Royal Bay.

A reverse commute is going to become an insanely marketable thing in the years to come as workers from the core head west for employment.

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