New signal installed on commuter artery

Safer road crossing with light at Vernon Avenue and Ravine

Call it premature or forward-thinking. The new traffic light at the corner of Vernon Avenue and Ravine Way may fall into both categories.

But Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard says the new light, part of an infrastructure upgrade requirement that stemmed from an expected need to manage traffic in and out of Uptown, will hopefully tackle an entirely different problematic issue.

“The optimist in me says hopefully this will reduce the jaywalking and jay-scootering (across Vernon),” Leonard says. “I cringe though. No matter how much money we spend on roads, sidewalks, traffic lights, some still choose to play daredevil.”

Saanich police Sgt. Scott Treble says he sees a lot of jaywalkers running across the four-lane northbound road, which becomes the Pat Bay Highway, to and from Saanich Plaza. While the Galloping Goose Regional Trail provides pedestrians with a path underneath the road, he says that hasn’t been enough to thwart jaywalking.

“There’s a long stretch of Vernon there that starts at the lights at Saanich Road and carries on past the municipal hall without any crosswalks,” he said.  “Pedestrian safety is really important and we encourage people to cross our roads in the safest location they can.”

The traffic light and crosswalk have been installed, but the light isn’t expected to be operational until mid-February.

Ryan Spillett, operations manager for the Ministry of Transportation in the south Island service area, says the real reason the light is being installed is to safely control movements in and out of Uptown in the future, once there’s an exit onto Ravine from Uptown.

“When (Uptown’s) development application was reviewed there was a traffic impact study done. Due to the (anticipated) increase in traffic at that intersection, the recommendation was to install a traffic light,” he said. “We want it to be constructed in advance of the (construction of the) undeveloped phase, not to create a traffic issue first and respond late.”

The entire cost of the project was covered by Uptown.

In recent weeks Saanich also installed a new traffic signal at Ravine and Carey Road.

Leonard says even if the Ravine/Vernon light reduces jaywalking, he still wants to see improvements to pedestrian access between Uptown and Saanich Plaza.

“If we want to be truly visionary into the future, I think an underground connection (between the two shopping centres) would be more appropriate in the long-term,” Leonard said.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

City of Victoria responds to blind community’s B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case

The Canadian Federation of the Blind says bike lanes can be dangerous

Window smashed, car robbed in daylight

Four incidents make OB Police Department media report

Victoria no longer interested in hosting a downtown casino

Mayor puts forward letter that retracts interest in hosting a casino

Claremont brings timeless message to stage with It’s a Wonderful Life

Claremont secondary stages the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life this week.… Continue reading

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Union says arrows and gasoline tossed at striking Comox Valley assisted living workers

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith says arrows and gasoline were thrown at the picketers early in the week

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Most Read