Home » New Poll: Should Sooke Rd become a four-way divided highway?    

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New Poll: Should Sooke Rd become a four-way divided highway? — 8 Comments

  1. There’s no doubt that everyone in Sooke supports safety improvements to our only road, and they’re long overdue. But is expanding this existing road into a 4-lane, limited access, divided hwy really the only solution? Is this what is best for the future of our community? John Horgan seems to think so and I guess he knows best and doesn’t need to consult with our elected representatives before it is a done deal. We had a publc consultation recently and the province’s published results indicated it didn’t have the majority of public support. The question begs to be asked: what’s the point of public consultation if you knew all along what you intended to do? Many of us have thought for years that an alternate route was what we really needed. Will it be cheap or easy? No. Is it the long term solution? Many of us think so. Is it the best solution for a community that recently declared a climate emergency? Try to convince us of that.

    • Eric, what makes you think John Horgan is in favour of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to turn Rt 14 from Sooke to Langford into a 4 lane divided highway?

      • Fair question. We’ve been listening to what MoTI staff have been saying directly to several local property owners. Their words not ours. When asked what is the rationale for building a 1.3 km stretch of 4-lane, limited access, divided hwy to replace a 1.5 km stretch of 2-lane in the middle of nowhere we’ve been told “safety” and also that this is just Phase 1. Phase 2 is Langford thru Metchosin and Ph 3 is Glinz to Sooke. “Won’t happen all at once; just small pieces at a time as funding and political will permit”. We’ve also been told that: “the more money invested in improving this road the less likely any other alternative will ever be considered”. We’ve made repeated requests for MoTI to go public with their long term plans. They just say “safety” and then go silent. There are other options but none are even being considered. Make no mistake about it, the Premier is pushing this project and nobody is willing to go public about it until the project is a done deal. This phase is moving surprisingly fast so it is completed by fall 2022. Maybe it’s just coincidence that’s in time for the next scheduled election. The last poll (MoTI Aug 2018) and this poll clearly indicate the community is divided. Sounds like a situation where more public disclosure, transparency, and consultation is required. That’s what our group has been requesting from the beginning. Won’t even talk to our local elected council. Horgan’s response last week: “sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet”.

  2. There is no evidence that Sooke will continue to grow. The UN shouted population explosion until about 15 years ago and then whisper became “population implosion”. House sales in Vancouver have precipitously dropped. The recent bare hills and stone wall building are not selling lots. The sold rates of new housing locally will also drop when the carpenters and their families who flooded into the area, find they no longer have jobs and go back to Alberta or Nova Scotia from whence they quickly came. Sooke may be highly desirable place to live but people need employment. It isn’t difficult to determine where most of the accidents are happening and fix those spots. Otherwise we will be leaving a large debt to our children to pay with higher taxes. Surely the wisest policy is to wait a year, watch the trends and highway patrol more effectively.

  3. The idea of widening the highway fully from Langford to Sooke, also becoming known as the ‘four-laning’ project, is incredibly unlikely to happen if we’re talking about a project to make it 4 lanes all the way from Sooke. I’ve mentioned this before, but here it is again:

    I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade here, but in the opinion of this project manager, 4-laning all of Route 14 from Sooke to the current 4-lane section is unrealistic from several perspectives.

    First, it may simply be impossible from a practical engineering standpoint. Note the word practical there. Yes – with an unlimited budget, unlimited use of eminent domain, unlimited patience as we all live with single lane alternating traffic for potentially years along with complete closures for the blasting that would need to be done in several sections – it could be done. Enough time and enough money can lead to solving most engineering issues…but we don’t have an unlimited supply of either.

    Second, in addition to the road work, hydro poles along most of the route would have to be relocated – potentially setting us up for serial construction outages. This is the least worrisome of these three examples of why it won’t get done, but it’s something to consider.

    Third, and the quickest way to get to “No we’re not doing that” is the hundreds of millions of dollars that the Province would have to decide to spend to do it for a town and surrounding areas of (let’s project forward and assume current growth trends to be generous) 20,000. Hundreds of millions is not remotely an exaggeration, and the rest of the Province would lose their collective minds over a proposal to spend that much.

  4. For all of you who said yes,just remember your vote when the Premiers parking lot arrives when they start this project. It will be a 2 year thing I am told and the ride home will be a verry slow one. Just think of how long it took for the Sooke river road intersection to hold up traffic. The better choice would have been a second road. But I guess that won’t happen with the 40%ers voting against it.

  5. Received an interesting irate phone call from a lady in SunRiver. Pretty much along the lines of: “I work in town, I need to get to work faster, I need to get home faster, there’s too much traffic, public transit doesn’t work for me, there’s no jobs in Sooke, me, me, me, etc” Pretty much the entitled view of the world but she’s certainly entitled to her views. When asked what I was expecting when I bought my property years ago and knew I was near a hwy, I pointed out that the community has always thought that an alternate route was being contemplated (thru SunRiver), I’d looked at the most recent detailed MoTI studies that analysed and proposed alternate routes in future, and that the idea that we’d eventually put a 4-laner with commercial traffic, hazardous goods, and thousands of cars through our residential neighbourhoods, in front of our elementary schools, through ALR, and through the downtown core seemed rather ill-considered. Most other enlightened communities are putting their major arteries around the town rather than through it and there were viable plans for this. In turn I asked that given she knew what the road was like and how long it required for the commute to her job in town, what did she expect when she bought a house in a rural community? Apparently however the door doesn’t swing both ways.
    So let’s take a quick look at the math on this project that improves this lady’s quality of life so much at the expense of the rest of the community. When you crunch the numbers, substitute this 1.5 km 2-lane section with a speed limit of 60 KPH (ha!) for a 1.3 section at 80 KPH, ignore acceleration, deceleration, merging, etc. Travel time saved? 32 Seconds. Less time you’d spend at one traffic light, one pedestrian controlled intersection, or behind one bus stopped on the road without a pullout. Now consider how much time you will spend in the next 2 years while this first phase of the project is under construction. Consider it in 32 second increments.
    Many of us think the current proposal isn’t a good concept for our community looking towards the future. However if you’re only concerned about yourself and the precious few seconds it will save in your commute to work then I suppose that’s an argument you are entitled to make.
    By the way, in the interests of full disclosure, MoTI moved the line around my property; they’re actually targeting my neighbours – not me.

  6. No double lanes. Road closes , it is closed regardless of the lanes.
    Build a second road in and leave the present for out , so if an accident happens or the road is blocked , there is an alternate route. Not a rocket science. Has been discussed for 40 years.