Lansdowne traffic change draws a rough response

Traffic restrictions drew the ire of local drivers last week.

Traffic restrictions along the west-bound stretch of Lansdowne Road between Foul Bay Road and Richmond Road drew the ire of local drivers last week.

Two restrictions were implemented for west-bound traffic (heading toward Hillside Avenue).

The first stipulates that left turns south on Richmond were not allowed during high-traffic times, while the second rules that all traffic in the right-hand lane must turn right on Richmond.

It made sense that the temporary signs and cones would draw confusion and frustration from drivers, said Harley Machielse, Saanich director of engineering.

“The information will help feed into an ultimate design to link the cycling paths on Lansdowne. We haven’t finalized the design and the intersection at Lansdowne and Richmond is a key element that dictates what we can do. But people don’t see the construction, which is part of the frustration.”

Saanich will soon be connecting the new raised and separated bike lane along Lansdowne west to Shelbourne Street.

The trial model was actually one of the more restrictive options possible, giving Saanich a best possible amount of feedback ahead of the upcoming spike in commuting.

“Camosun’s Lansdowne campus is a fairly high generator of cycling traffic, as well as Hillside mall, and Lansdowne middle school,” Machielse said.

Though the District of Saanich is completing the project, which falls in the splinter neighbourhood known as Jubilee-Camosun, many of the complaints have come from Oak Bay residents who travel through the sliver into Victoria. Saanich and Oak Bay did work closely on the previous phase from Foul Bay to Richmond, as it bordered on the latter municipality.