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

West Shore parents want $10-a-day daycare pilot at other centres

Some parents want pilot funding going towards families in financial need

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh proposes new approach to tackling opioid crisis

Singh says the government should look at harm reduction rather than punishment

UPDATED: Malahat reopened in both directions following car fire

Drive BC says the road will be closed until approximately 3pm

Police still investigating possible child abduction in Langford

Suspect was a stranger and not a family member

20 per cent down payment means many still cannot afford to own their own home

Study finds Langford one of only four markets without a gap between required and actual income in owning a home

First ticket sold for Victoria’s second comic con

Guest list is top-secret for the March 22-24 Capital City Comic Con coming 2019

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Most Read