Letter to CRD Board – Regional Transportation Priorities

May 10, 2021

Dear CRD Chair Colin Plant & CRD Board members

From: BC Sustainable Energy Association Victoria Chapter, Better Mobility Saanich, Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria, Capital Bike (formerly Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition & Bike to Work Victoria), Cities for Everyone, Citizens Environmental Network in Colwood, Climate Justice Victoria, Council of Canadians Victoria Chapter, Greenpeace Victoria Local Group, Island Transformations Organization, Oak Bay Climate Force, Saanich Eco Advocates, Urban Thrive, and View Royal Climate Coalition.

Re 8.4 Identification of Regional Transportation Priorities report – May 12 CRD Board meeting

We support the CRD Transportation Committee’s recommendation “That the categorized priority areas listed in Appendix A be confirmed as amended, subject to clarification of the description of the ‘Highway Safety Improvements’ priority to ensure alignment with the Mode Share targets in the report.” This is a step towards creating transportation infrastructure priorities that are ranked according to CRD criteria including GHG pollution, sustainable transportation mode share, and affordability.

We applaud the hard work that has gone into this report by CRD and municipal staff and CRD Transportation Committee members. However, this report recognizes that the “status quo will not deliver [the CRD’s] mode share targets for several generations” and that a “commitment to change across all priority areas” is necessary (P6). We understand that this is an ongoing process, and expect to see a resolute commitment to change from CRD staff and board members given that the CRD likely cannot meet its climate targets without exceeding its  sustainable mode share targets.

CRD staff has previously indicated that a large percentage of transportation infrastructure spending in our region by the provincial and federal governments is dedicated to highway expansion projects. These provincial and federal funds could be reallocated to projects that better meet the CRD’s multiple objectives. As B.C.’s Minister of State for Infrastructure, Bowinn Ma, asserts increasing car capacity to try to achieve free flow traffic “doesn’t relieve congestion [and] in fact makes things worse.” Having more people spend more time stuck in traffic congestion should not be what the CRD advocates for.

The CRD must not advocate for projects that undermine its own mode share, safety, GHG reduction, and affordability objectives.

Your unanimous climate emergency declaration demonstrated real leadership. We ask that you build on this leadership by taking a ‘failure is not an option’ stance regarding the CRD’s mode share and climate targets in setting infrastructure priorities.

About the endorsing groups:

BC Sustainable Energy Association Victoria Chapter bcsea.org/chapters/victoria

Better Mobility Saanich twitter.com/MobilitySaanich

Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria www.bettertransityyj.ca

Capital Bike (formerly Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition & Bike to Work Victoria) capitalbike.ca

Cities for Everyone citiesforeveryone.org

Citizens Environmental Network in Colwood ColwoodCENiC@gmail.com

Climate Justice Victoria climatejusticevictoria.ca

Council of Canadians Victoria Chapter victoriacouncilofcanadians.ca

Greenpeace Victoria Local Group facebook.com/groups/2006503676272379/

Island Transformations Organization islandtransformations.org

Oak Bay Climate Force facebook.com/groups/oakbayclimateforce

Saanich Eco Advocates

Urban Thrive urbanthrive.ca

View Royal Climate Coalition viewroyal.ca/EN/meta/new/2021-latest-news/building-a-more-resilient-view-royal

Open Letter to CRD Transportation Committee

Re CRD motions on transportation and climate – February 17 Transportation Committee

Dear Capital Regional District Transportation Committee Members,

Thank you for voting on December 9, 2020 to develop a list of transportation priorities informed by the CRD’s declaration of a climate emergency and the CRD’s climate targets.

We now understand that you will be considering two related motions at the February 17 Transportation Committee meeting.

Continue reading “Open Letter to CRD Transportation Committee”

Open Letter to CRD Board on Transportation and Climate Motions

Dear Capital Regional District Board Members,

Re CRD motions on transportation and climate – January 13, 2021 board meeting

Thank you for voting on December 9, 2020 to develop a list of transportation priorities informed by the CRD’s declaration of a climate emergency and the CRD’s climate targets.

We now understand that you will be considering two related motions at the January 13 CRD Board meeting.

We support both motions put forward by CRD Director Ned Taylor and ask that you vote in favor for both:

1) Motion re CRD letter to Ministers Fleming and Ma:

Continue reading “Open Letter to CRD Board on Transportation and Climate Motions”

Open Letter – CRD response to South Island Transportation Strategy

Dear Capital Regional District Board Members,

Re CRD response to South Island Transportation Strategy

Thank you! Your 2019 votes against a new ‘alternate route’ Malahat highway and for the CRD Climate Emergency declaration has resulted in the provincial government releasing a South Island Transportation Strategy (SITS) that is a significant step forward.

We would like you to take the next step, and request a re-prioritization of provincial and federal funding to be compatible with the aspirations of SITS, the CRD’s unanimous Climate Emergency declaration, and the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Continue reading “Open Letter – CRD response to South Island Transportation Strategy”

Save Transit – Write to your MP today!

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Our transit system in Greater Victoria is threatened like never before. Revenues from gas taxes and transit fares have evaporated, and the federal government is bailing out private yacht clubs and luxury car dealerships while refusing to provide emergency operating funding for public transit. There have been significant cuts to transit service in Greater Victoria already, and much deeper cuts could be on the way.

In the past, bail out funds have often gone to urban highway expansion boondoggles that make traffic and pollution worse, instead of to badly needed transit improvements.

The Better Transit Alliance has joined the Save Transit in BC Coalition, which is calling on the federal government to provide emergency operating funding. You can help by using their letter writing tool to tell your MP why you want emergency funding for public transit NOW.

Some points you might want to include in your letter include:

Continue reading “Save Transit – Write to your MP today!”

[BTA News] Green New Deal Town Hall Thurs – Support Youth Transit Passes – Good News, Bad News

In this Newsletter:
1) Green New Deal Town Hall Thurs
2) Support universal youth transit passes in Greater Victoria
3) Good News – Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities supports funding shift for transit
4) Bad News – Provincial Government funds highway expansion & delays bus lane completion

Continue reading “[BTA News] Green New Deal Town Hall Thurs – Support Youth Transit Passes – Good News, Bad News”

Victorians for Transportation Choice letter to CRD re climate emergency

Dear members of the Capital Regional District Transportation Committee

April 23, 2019

Re April 24 agenda Item 5.1 – Motion with Notice: Transportation Improvements on Highway 1 and Highway 14 Corridors

Victorians for Transportation Choice (VTC) is very concerned about the direction of the Southern Vancouver Island Transportation Strategy (SVITS) and related provincial government plans to spend many millions of dollars on road and highway projects in our region. We urge you to support this motion and provide a strong regional voice.

Continue reading “Victorians for Transportation Choice letter to CRD re climate emergency”

BTA Letter to Victoria Transit Commission

Dear members of the Victoria Transit Commission,

re. Priorities and upcoming Victoria Transit Commission workshop

The Better Transit Alliance (BTA) understands that the Victoria Transit Commission will soon be holding an internal workshop to discuss setting priorities for BC Transit. We would like you to consider these points in your workshop and other actions.

Climate Emergency

Our region needs transportation solutions that address the needs of local residents while rapidly reducing greenhouse gas pollution as called for in the Climate Emergency declaration unanimously passed by the CRD. Every investment and decision must be examined to determine if it is going to be effective in reducing climate pollution over the next eleven years.

Continue reading “BTA Letter to Victoria Transit Commission”

[BTA News] No highway through Sooke Hills Park, Yes to bus lanes! CRD Meeting Feb 27

In this newsletter:
• Invest in transit, and protect the Sooke Hills Park!
• Province foot dragging on filling Hwy 1 bus lane gap
• CRD needs to hear from you – in person or by email
• Electric bus article
• Breaking – Victoria to fund youth transit passes!

Invest in transit, and protect the Sooke Hills Park!

The Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park is part of the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt, the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) green belt linking Saanich Inlet in the east to Juan de Fuca Strait in the west.

The provincial government wants to build an “alternative emergency” Malahat route through the CRD’s Sooke Hills Park. Continue reading “[BTA News] No highway through Sooke Hills Park, Yes to bus lanes! CRD Meeting Feb 27”

Car Free Day: Survey Says…

If you stopped by our booth at our first Car Free Day Victoria on June 18, 2017, then you might have participated in our informal sticker survey. We loved chatting with everyone who stopped by and hearing some of your transit concerns in Greater Victoria- as well as many positive stories of transit experiences in the CRD!

Our (un)scientific survey results are very interesting! Some observations: Continue reading “Car Free Day: Survey Says…”