Saanich Fred Haynes and Jeff Shaw, Prospect Lake District Community Association director at large, stand near Prospect Lake Road which is set to undergo a slew of road safety upgrades. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)

Saanich Fred Haynes and Jeff Shaw, Prospect Lake District Community Association director at large, stand near Prospect Lake Road which is set to undergo a slew of road safety upgrades. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)

Safety audit of Saanich’s Prospect Lake Road greenlights traffic calming, speed-reduction measures

Mayor: ‘We heard the concerns from the community’

A slew of new road safety upgrades are on the way for Saanich’s Prospect Lake Road following a number of serious collisions in the area and increased community concern.

On July 16, the District of Saanich announced improvements planned for the rural road, based on recommendations that came out of a road safety audit conducted in March. The District budgeted $50,000 for the project, a collaboration with ICBC and McElhanney Ltd., a third-party contractor.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said such extensive reviews aren’t done for all areas, but Prospect Lake Road was chosen because it’s “an accident-prone corridor.”

READ ALSO: Saanich calls for safety audit after motorcyclist killed on Prospect Lake Road

ICBC crash data shows that nearly 90 collisions on the road were reported between 2014 and 2018. There were also three crashes in an eight-day span in the fall of 2019, including a Sept. 30 incident that resulted in the death of 51-year-old motorcyclist Jon Kocsis. Saanich requested the road safety audit through ICBC shortly after.

“We heard the concerns from the community relating to safety on their roads and proactively did a careful review of the area to see if improvements could be made,” Haynes said.

The review used ICBC claims data from 2014 to 2019, data from the Saanich Police Department, speed summary reports, historical traffic information, the 2007 Rural Saanich Local Area Plan, Prospect Lake Elementary’s 2017-18 Active and Safe Routes to School Consultation Summary and community feedback.

READ ALSO: Saanich makes ALC appeal for Prospect Lake Elementary parking, portables

The results of the audit were laid out in a July 10 report, along with a series of recommended short-, medium- and long-term improvements to be made to improve the safety of Prospect Lake Road in the next five years and beyond. The success of the audit, Haynes said, is due in part to the “valuable feedback” from residents.

Short-term improvements – changes to be made in the next year – include improving existing signage and street markings, installing new signage where needed, reducing the speed limit from Estelline Road to Goward Road to 30 km/h and adding a center-line rumble strip near Munn Road.

The report also suggests reducing traffic to one direction near Calvert Pond by narrowing the road to increase safety and calm traffic. Haynes called this an “innovative” approach to traffic calming that is used extensively in Europe but has never been done in Saanich. Drivers will be asked to yield for oncoming traffic in the area, a move Haynes said will make the road safer, reduce speeds and increase travel time on Prospect Lake Road. He hopes that last point will direct more traffic back toward the highway.

READ ALSO: Saanich gives green light for new intersection concept

Medium and long-term changes include improving sightlines, adding more effective reflective markings, extending the center-line rumble strip, improving the intersections of Prospect Lake and Munn roads and Prospect Lake and West Burnside roads, installing a shoulder or widening the road and adding further traffic calming measures.

Jeff Shaw, director at large with the Prospect Lake District Community Association, said locals have been calling for safety improvements for years and will be “pleased with the outcome” of the audit. He expects the speed reduction to be implemented by the end of the summer and other short-term improvements to come over the next year.

Other road safety improvements already underway in the area include the reconfiguration of the intersection of Prospect Lake, West Saanich and Sparton roads.

“While we all still need to do our part to use rural roads safely, implementing these recommendations will provide a marked improvement for this busy area,” Haynes said.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of SaanichICBCRoad conditions

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

Police stopped, then let go this man and his large collection of cans during a stop Monday morning on Resthaven Drive. Police had received a report of a possible theft, but let him go after he had returned the property, which he believed was his to take after being left out in public. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Report of theft, balancing act on Sidney street draws curious onlookers

Incident happened just before 8:30 a.m. opposite of Vancouver Island Regional Library branch

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read