A letter from a resident prompted Central Saanich council on Monday to direct municipal staff to explore options for upgrading the intersection of Mt. Newton Cross Road and East Saanich Road.

A letter from a resident prompted Central Saanich council on Monday to direct municipal staff to explore options for upgrading the intersection of Mt. Newton Cross Road and East Saanich Road.

Central Saanich to explore upgrades to Saanichton intersection

Letter from resident prompts council to consider traffic light for Mt. Newton Cross Road, East Saanich Road intersection

Money could be set aside as early as next year for upgrades to a key Saanichton intersection.

Central Saanich council passed a motion Monday directing municipal staff to explore options for upgrading the intersection of Mt. Newton Cross Road and East Saanich Road — such as installing traffic lights — as part of the District’s Active Transportation Plan and Saanichton Village Plan.

Mayor Ryan Windsor said he hopes to see funds set aside in next year’s budget for upgrades, depending on the staff findings.

“Obviously council needs to get information back from staff, but my hope is 2020,” said Windsor, who also brought up in council the nearby Mt. Newton Cross Road and Wallace Drive intersection as another potential upgrade. “My hope is we can budget for this in 2020.”

Council’s motion was in response to a letter from a resident about the intersection — currently controlled via four-way stop signs.

“Every single day on my drive home from work, I watch people nearly get into accidents and going completely out of turn,” the letter read. “Considering I am only there for a minute or two, I can’t imagine the number of close calls throughout the day.”

Windsor said council has heard from residents several times about the intersection over the past few years. “We have seen a lot of frustration,” he said.

Specifics of a potential upgrade weren’t discussed, but the letter suggested traffic lights at the intersection or a roundabout. Coun. Carl Jensen also mentioned the potential for a scramble crosswalk — a crosswalk in which all vehicles stop at once, allowing pedestrians to cross in multiple directions.

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