To build a Duncan highway bypass or not, that is still the question.
And the answer is no closer to being determined, even though it’s literally been a hot topic for decades.
Chemainus and Crofton residents are regularly impacted by the traffic bottlenecks along that stretch of highway, as we’re also centrally located between Nanaimo and Victoria and many people frequently use that route.
Hard to believe, the Inland Island Highway that stretches from outside Nanaimo and runs north to Campbell River has already been there for 20 long years. Could you imagine if the main highway still ran though Courtenay and the slow twisting seashore route up to Campbell River and how bad the traffic would be?
The Nanaimo Parkway route has been around even longer as a bypass for the busy Nanaimo city centre, although that’s clogged from numerous traffic lights as well.
The Ministry of Transporation seems satisfied the Duncan congestion can be handled with better signalling at intersections. That’s where they’re wrong.
There are simply too many traffic lights in a short stretch of highway to effectively move traffic through Duncan.
The answer should have been figured out years ago while traffic was relatively light compared to today and that’s the building of overpasses. That’s an unlikely solution now and we’ve all seen the mess trying to incorporate the McKenzie Interchange into the highway system outside Victoria.
Talk of a viaduct through Duncan with traffic heading in opposite directions on two levels is ludicrous and won’t happen.
That leaves a bypass, like it or not, as the only option. It’s naive to think people are going to abandon their gas-guzzling cars and suddenly just ride bikes or take the limited public transit that’s available or rail that might never be available.
The populations of Langford and Colwood are growing out of control. Those people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s are on the road all the time to escape their condos, but not necessarily stopping in Duncan so they don’t need to be travelling through there.
A twin for the Inland Island Highway that’s made such a difference to traffic flow on the north Island needs to be developed one way or the other.