We have now reached the seven-year plateau of living in the big city of Victoria. While we feel, more than ever, comfortably ensconced in our life here, to the point of erasing memories of a former abode, we are still reminded daily of the subtle changes building up in our lives. Talking with a bus driver friend, Lyle, this morning, I was reminded, once again, what those alterations have become, starting with our use of the city’s many roadways. One, traffic has definitely increased between 9 and 5 on all major routes in, through and out of town. Two, the by-ways like Obed and Fernwood have now become busy thoroughfares as drivers look for alternate routes. Three, ┬ástats show that there has been a 30% increase in cyclists using a network of bike lanes that share the same busy road space. Four, there are at least four major weekly civic events that require a significant rerouting of traffic. Five, there is no new parking available in the inner city over the last five years. Six, there is a slew of road repairs going on this summer that makes a trip of any length longer. Out of all this comes increased stress for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians as they try to get where they’re going. Within a radius of a kilometer from our condo, four locals have been killed trying to cross the road, legally or otherwise. Since we are creatures that can adjust to emerging circumstances, we have adopted the following good practices: drive within the 40 km speed limit; do shoulder and rear-view checks especially at intersections; give cyclists a wide berth when there is no bike lane; don’t switch lanes just to get around a slower vehicle; know your route; and allow for extra time to make it to your destination. On the whole, we drive about 45 km. a week over 6 trips. We still need the car for those trips that require getting somewhere on time like medical appointments, church and special events. The rest is taken care of by a nice leisurely stroll along the many shaded streets of quiet and tidyneighborhoods.