Traffic safety, not mobility, should be priority


Re: “Shelbourne vision adds bicycle lanes; motorists lose some,” Sept. 29.

Option 3 of the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan needs improvement. For a good decision, Saanich council needs sound information in a plan that can be effectively implemented, with a positive impact.

Shelbourne collects and distributes daily traffic (much of it regional) to numerous local destinations (not a corridor).

The current plan provides some relief, but not the long-term results promised in 2009.

A good fit is needed between the characteristics of Shelbourne Street and the public good. Improved traffic flow (all modes) needs integration with the land-use plan.

Widening the current four-lane roadway will make Shelbourne similar to the Blanshard arterial. Why?

An effective action plan will provide large incremental benefits with small incremental costs — made possible by removing one lane, and reallocating under-utilized space for cyclists and pedestrians.

If there is no overall improvement at an acceptable cost, then why the plan?

Traffic safety, not mobility, must be the Saanich priority.

A quality Shelbourne Valley Action Plan will deliver:

• a well-informed diagnosis of the traffic problem to solve;

• before and after performance measures for all forms of mobility;

• performance ratios that quantify underutilized space, for reallocation to cyclists and pedestrians;

• where it makes sense to favour mobility over access, and where it does not;

• the roadway design with the fewest traffic conflict points (potential for crashes).

The best decision-makers have foresight. Will anyone consider the smarter, safer, computer-driven (driverless) cars, sure to arrive within 10 years?

Ray Travers


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