Lots of hand-wringing going on about rapid transit and how to move people around the CRD. The $4-million report suggested LRT. It's likely going to be a painful prospect and we will opt for the much cheaper "rapid transit" along the Douglas corridor. We should all just work from home.
Controlling traffic congestion is like controlling an explosion: you can direct the blast but you can't fine tune it. We need to diffuse the situation.
20,000 office workers are housed in the downtown area. Many of them live outside of the downtown core, some in Langford and Sooke. If 20% were from nearby downtown (walking distance), 20% of them drove cars and 60% bussed; then that means 200 buses full of office workers and approximately 2,000 cars coming into the downtown core daily; and then crushing to get home at night.
Do we really need 20,000 people in cubicles downtown opening their email, working on electronic files and chit-chatting around the water cooler? Office workers that directly interface with the public still need to do their work from easily findable offices. The remainder could just as easily work from home or at least work closer to home. With such a volume of people in the Western Communities and Saanich Peninsula, we need to let people work outside of the downtown core.
These are government workers. They work from 8AM - 4PM or something very similar. They are a mass. When they move in group, they create a traffic swell that leads to traffic jams. If their volume were smaller, they may not create a transportation issue when that smaller mass moves through the transportation system.
There are two ways to do this:
Easy: set people up to work from home on two or three days per week. You have to trust your staff won't goof off-- or at least goof off as much as they do while at work (believe me: I have seen huge onslaughts of daytime traffic to non-work pages from government offices). With 100,000 round-trip commutes into the downtown core per week: 25% of the workers doing 2 days a week would drop the commutes by 10,000 per week. Government offices can lead the way on this. After all: Dean Fortin's City Hall is serious about climate change and keeping cars off the road, right? And Gordon Campbell: his government introduced the carbon tax, so at least the Liberals could shape a means to let a few thousand workers work from home for the sake of the planet.
Almost as Easy: set up hub offices. There was an entire grocery store near the Colwood Corners sitting vacant. There is lots of space available. We can make space into a throng of cubicles and allow workers from the Western Communities sign in there. The staff could still be under the watchful eyes of their overseers/supervisors and it would keep lots of cars off the road-- or at least abbreviate their trip.
The next time someone tells you that they want to reduce your carbon footprint or address transit issues, tell them you want to work from home. After all, they want to save the planet, right?
If your employer won't let you work from home, they are destroying the planet. Call them on it.