Maple Bay-bound traffic makes Tzouhalem muni’s busiest street

Tzouhalem Road near the 7-Eleven is the busiest street in North Cowichan.

Tzouhalem Road near the 7-Eleven is the busiest street in North Cowichan.

The municipality’s public works committee had a chance to look at the 2014 traffic count recently and while not too much stood out as unusual, the volume of vehicles headed to and from the Maple Bay area was noticed.

“There’s a lot of traffic out there and it’s not about the commercial interests out that way because there are none. It’s all residential,” said public works committee chair Coun. Al Siebring on Wednesday.

He noted some longer-term plans are in the works to eventually develop a new subdivision on the clearcut lands once earmarked for the failed Cliffs Over Maple Bay development and once that happens, even more vehicles will be on the roads in that area.

“I think that might be where our focus needs to be for our long term planning as far as traffic goes,” he said.

The roundabout linking Tzouhalem and Maple Bay Roads is the third busiest spot in North Cowichan while Maple Bay Road at Mackenzie ranked 20th and Kingsview Road at Maple Bay was 29th.

Closer to the core, Beverly Street at Duncan Street and Beverly east of Heather rank fourth and fifth respectively. Sherman Road at Lane ranks sixth.

Tracking lines were placed on the roadways at specific locations throughout the municipality and as a result, multiple sections of the same road can appear on the top-30 list.

Three streets in Chemainus made the list: Chemainus Road north of River Road ranks eighth, Henry Road at Juniper is 11th, and Chemainus Road at Dogwood is 28th.

“Given how many roads there are in Chemainus and in the overall municipality, I think it’s not an unreasonable ratio,” Siebring said. “I don’t see any huge trend there that says it’s because of big population growth in Chemainus or anything.”

Rounding out the top 10 are Cowichan Lake Road at Skinner at No. 2, Drinkwater Road east of Norcross at No. 7, Cowichan Lake Road at Marsh at No. 9 and Gibbins Road at Kinch at No. 10.