(News Release) VICTORIA – This week, the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board approved a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), after an extensive collaborative process and direct consultation with all municipalities, electoral areas and other regional and provincial authorities. The Plan was developed in response to a region-wide desire for an integrated regional multi-modal transportation network, and recognition of the need to align future land use and transportation decisions.
At the direction of the Board, the CRD is now working to determine the operational details associated with implementing a new transportation service and will consider consolidating some existing transportation functions under a new service authority. A new transportation service authority would enable the consolidation of some existing and proposed CRD assets, facilities and services into one service area to advance the implementation of regional priorities.
“58% of travel in the CRD is inter-municipal,” said CRD Board Chair Alastair Bryson. “Increased access to alternate modes of transportation will be required to meet our goal of reducing dependence on cars and limiting the projected increase in the number of single occupant vehicle trips that will come with the future growth of the Capital Region.”
Developed in collaboration with all 13 municipalities, three electoral areas, BC Transit and the Ministry of Transportation, the RTP identifies immediate priorities, governance options and long-term strategies to guide planning and development of a multi-modal transportation system that meets future growth demands and is focused on sustainability.
The RTP builds upon existing mode-specific plans such as the Transit Future Plan and the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan. At the core of the plan is the identification of a Regional Multi-Modal Transportation Network that connects regional mobility hubs or centres, and provides residents and visitors a choice in their transportation decisions.
The plan is based on the following seven principles:
· Coordinated and engaged approach to local and regional planning
· Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector
· Integrated transportation and land use planning
· Capitalized potential for alternatives to driving alone
· Enhanced role for public transit
· Maximized efficiency of existing transportation corridors for all modes
· Prioritized strategic investments that serve regional mobility needs
“To deliver more sustainable transportation in our region and increase our response to climate change, we need to capitalize on the opportunity to coordinate urban growth and transportation decisions,” said Chair Bryson. “Under the existing model, no one agency has direct authority for establishing funding or implementing regional transportation priorities. The CRD Board has repeatedly promoted a change in governance that would impart the CRD with leadership and authority for transit and transportation decisions.”
“Regional investments must be pursued through a unified voice and costs cannot be borne by any one municipality,” Chair Bryson added. “Under a new service authority, a regional funding program would be established over time.”
The creation of a transportation service would require a transportation service establishment bylaw. A three-phased approach to implementation is recommended beginning with the consolidation of existing transportation functions, followed by the addition of other new non-transit, priority functions identified in the RTP and finally the addition of transit. As needs and opportunities differ across the region, sub-regional working groups have been proposed representing the West Shore, Saanich Peninsula, core area and electoral areas to work on localized priorities and initiatives.
For more information on the Regional Transportation Plan visit: https://www.crd.bc.ca/project/regional-transportation-plan