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

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

Oak Bay artist co-op highlights autobiographical Snapshots showcase

Snapshots runs from June 4 to 22 at Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave.

Reignited embers damage Saanich house in Sunday morning fire

Fire started at around 8:30 a.m. in bucket filled with ashes placed on balcony

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Most Read