Traffic woes need different solution: CEO of Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Public transportation is a better solution to traffic problems than building new roads, according to Catherine Holt, the CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

Currently the CRD is facing many traffic issues, partly due to construction. At the McKenzie Avenue and Trans-Canada Highway interchange, there is an overpass being built, which hopes to ease the morning and afternoon congestion. Holt said building a road isn’t an ideal solution, because new roads bring more traffic.

“No city in the world has solved its traffic problems by building more roads,” Holt said. “All that happens when you build more roads is you encourage more traffic and you create more problems.”

Holt said cities that are doing well with traffic are those with convenient public transportation.

“The cities that continue to function are the ones that have an alternative to the car that really matter,” Holt said. “You need a transit system that is robust enough, it’s frequent enough, it’s affordable enough, and it goes to enough places that it’s absolutely an alternative to the car.”

Holt said traffic solutions shouldn't be left to the local municipalities, but should be overseen by higher levels of government.

“The solution that I’m advocating is that mile high, kilometer high, view of the region,” Holt said. “Taking our transportation issues up a level and not leaving them in the hands of our 13 municipalities. We’re back to the fact that many of our traffic problems are caused by no regional planning.”

Holt said adequate regional planning would bring more decision making and governance for the region.

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