Improvements aim to address safety concerns on Watkiss Way in View Royal

View Royal plans changes to brighten the way for walkers

Coun. Ron Mattson

With Burnett Road improvements now in the View Royal budget, the town’s traffic advisory committee is shifting its focus to another troubled trail.

The committee is recommending the town spend $55,000 to improve safety for pedestrians on the north end of Watkiss Way and on a stretch of the Galloping Goose running alongside the road.

Committee volunteer member Ron Armstrong said a visit to the area at night was all he needed to be convinced of the need for improvements.

“I was taken aback by the lack of lighting. It felt very unsafe,” he said. “It’s like this area’s been orphaned from other considerations.”

Many stretches of the Galloping Goose near Watkiss are dark and sheltered at night.

“The Goose is just too dark at night for people to feel safe,” said committee chair, Coun. Ron Mattson. “If you look at this, if you were to try to walk down here at night when it’s pouring rain and dark, you’re not going to feel all that comfortable.”

Money is already earmarked in this years budget for a new raised crosswalk at Marler Drive, to provide a place to cross the street to access the Goose.

Additional improvements being recommended include increasing lighting along the trail, taking out bushes which hide the Goose from the road, installing a raised curb to separate the shoulder from the driving lane along long stretches of the road and adding a crosswalk by Francis View Drive.

The $55,000 budget includes everything except repainting road lines to make room for the curbs. Mattson said the package is a relatively low-cost option compared with creating sidewalks and installing speed humps, but can have significant impact to the area.

Area residents have told Mattson they feel as though they live in the forgotten neighbourhood of View Royal. Improvements to roads and infrastructure on the other side of the Trans-Canada Highway are common, while Watkiss Way has remained relatively unchanged, despite new developments and subsequent increased traffic.

East of Burnside Road West, additional raised curbs are planned to separate the shoulder from the road for pedestrians, though with a reduced priority. A crosswalk across Burnside Road West near Kami Crescent is also under consideration.

While Watkiss is not currently a high-traffic area for pedestrians, Armstrong said that’s not the point.

“Stroll pedestrians is what we’re talking about, recreational pedestrians. But they have a right to go strolling. We’re living in an age of combating obesity and everything else, so one of the best ways is to go for a walk.”

The recommendation will go to the town’s finance committee next to determine whether it fits into the budget. From there the budget needs to be approved by council.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Viral video shows Sooke resident calling out illegal crab fishers

The video shows a man and woman with 12 undersized crabs in Sooke

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Alistair MacGregor weigh in on fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at CFB Esquimalt

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

UVic getting two new buildings for student housing

University will get a new 600-seat dining hall, kitchen and small grocery area

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

VIDEO: ‘Teddy’s Trial’ adjourned until Dec. 4 to give Joe time to get new lawyer

Lawyer leaving for personal reasons led to postponement of pre-trial conference in Duncan

VIDEO: ‘Teddy’s Trial’ adjourned until Dec. 4 to give Joe time to get new lawyer

Lawyer leaving for personal reasons led to postponement of pre-trial conference in Duncan

Tinder sex assault suspect charged; additional alleged victims sought

Vincent Noseworthy of Alberta is accused of aggravated sexual assault, unlawful confinement and more

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

Most Read