Why is the Project Needed?
An upgrade to the intersection is required for several reasons:
ICBC collision data from 2006 to 2010 shows that 302 collisions were reported at the McKenzie intersection, with rear-end collisions making up about three-quarters of these. The intersection has a collision rate of approximately 0.87 collisions for each million vehicles entering the intersection – almost three times the provincial average of 0.30. Because many of these collisions occur during peak periods, the high percentage of rear-end collisions are likely caused by stop-start congestion. Pedestrians and cyclists are also at risk.
During peak morning and evening commute times, the intersection is over capacity and traffic is very congested. Eastbound traffic is usually backed up five or more kilometres beyond the Colwood Interchange in the morning, while westbound traffic is often backed up to the Uptown Mall in the afternoon. Traffic on McKenzie Avenue backs up to Carey Road and beyond. Traffic volumes in the Capital Regional District are to grow significantly, so improvements are needed now to ensure that congestion does not continue to worsen.
The unpredictable travel times affect commercial drivers, commuters, and transit users. As well, these unreliable travel times affect transit service levels and operating costs.