Langford resident Ian Phillips is concerned over the safety of a stretch of Goldstream Avenue and would like to see something done about it.
Phillips has lived off of Goldstream Avenue for 34 years, has watched the area grow and is getting tired of seeing traffic accidents on the stretch of road from roughly between the split with Wale Road and St. Anthony’s Professional Centre.
The stretch of road has no centre turn lane, few sidewalks, bike lanes between traffic and parked cars and gravel shoulders. Phillips, who worked in the engineering department for the City of Victoria for 33 years, believes changes need to be made.
“Because of my background I see these things,” Phillips said. “I’ll feel ‘Geez, if I don’t say anything and then there’s a serious accident I’m going to feel terrible.’”
An accident near Kingswood Road on Nov. 27 which involved four vehicles brought the issue to mind again for Phillips. While the accident didn’t cause any serious injuries, and was started by a pickup truck hitting a car which had pulled over so its driver could answer a cell phone call, it reaffirmed Phillips’ view that the street is ripe for incidents.
The truck driver was given a ticket for driving without due care and attention.
Phillips brought his concerns to both the City of Langford and the City of Colwood, as each owns a portion of the road. The two parties engaged in email exchanges with Phillips and spoke to his concerns, unsatisfactorily in Phillips’ opinion.
Langford’s director of engineering Michelle Mahovlich said Phillips’ concerns did prompt the city to take another look at the stretch of road with a traffic engineer. At this point she said the city feels given the amount of traffic, there is no cause for hasty improvements.
“There just aren’t enough people turning there … to warrant a middle turn lane,” Mahovlich said. “We always look at these again when new development comes in to make sure increased traffic hasn’t changed it.”
Langford did agree with Phillips a lack of lighting is a problem in the area and ordered four additional streetlights to be installed, two of which are already up. B.C. Hydro installs streetlights, so when the other two are installed is out of Langford’s hands.
In regards to traffic accidents, Mahovlich believes you can only do so much to prevent bad driving.
“You can’t engineer common sense,” she said.
Accidents statistics are commonly analyzed with ICBC and this stretch of road has not been flagged as troublesome. West Shore RCMP report there were nine collisions in 2012 in the 400 and 500 blocks of Goldstream Avenue. In 2013, so far, there have been seven.
The changes, though appreciated, are not enough said Phillips, who worries it will take a fatality to really garner some attention.
“They don’t understand the potential seriousness of it,” Phillips said. “There is a legitimate safety concern for that stretch of Goldstream.”
Concerns over the road’s shoulder by the Royal Colwood Golf Club brought up some interesting issues over borders. Neither Langford nor Colwood knew exactly where the border between the two municipalities lay. Research determined it to be a grey area, but Langford will continue to maintain the shoulder by the portions of road in Langford.