A commentary by a resident of Fairfield.
Re: “Losing Richardson means more safety,” letter, Oct. 12.
How nice that he finds Richardson Street safer for kids, families and seniors. How nice for others who revel in this Edenic setting.
Not so nice for too many others.
For decades, Richardson has had its status as a regional vehicular route recognized as its designation as a collector street, in the City’s Official Community Plan.
It has carried not only private vehicles, but buses, delivery trucks, waste removal trucks, emergency vehicles and others.
We are told by the city that 3,500 to 4,000 vehicle trips a day would be eliminated from Richardson. These do not vanish into thin air.
Neither do they all find their way to the other named collector streets. Instead, narrow neighbourhood streets become targets for impatient, detoured drivers.
Not so nice, eh?
Not so nice also that some of that traffic burden now flows down Foul Bay Road. It was never designed for that.
The city’s traffic engineer stated that Fairfield is capable of handling the increased traffic loads. He never considered that narrower, less-capable cross streets would be needed to shuttle that traffic over.
Not so nice that it now takes twice as long to exit Fairfield Plaza.
Not so nice that westbound Fairfield traffic stopped at the Moss Street light now backs up over the hump.
Not so nice that additional traffic rolls past two elementary schools.
Not so nice that Fairfield has to deal with the increased travel times and distances, increased congestion and increased idling times that traffic displacement also produces, along with the increased vehicular emissions.
Not so nice that the Times Colonist 10K will lose its historic run down Richardson due to its umpteen (tripping hazard) speed bumps.
Richardson had always enjoyed its documented reputation as Victoria’s safest street for cyclists. A drastic makeover with all its negative knock-on effects was never needed.
Richardson always handled competent cyclists safely and graciously, and was always designed with a job to do, not as a haven for meandering seniors, kids, families and unskilled cyclists.
At an April council meeting, Corey Burger suggested that drivers use Richardson only as a “cut through.” Not so.
It has historically been an integrated part of Victoria’s transportation grid, connecting South Oak Bay to Victoria, and we can only hope that a new common-sense council will recognize this and return our street to sanity.