The District of Saanich will participate in a provincial road safety pilot project in hopes of lowering residential road speeds. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich joins pilot project to lower speeds on residential streets

The province invited Saanich to participate in a road safety pilot project

Saanich’s residential streets – those without a centre line – could see a speed reduction.

At their March 9 meeting, council accepted the province’s invitation to participate in the second phase of the pilot study to lower the speed on residential streets. According to Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, the district will send out letters to invite surrounding municipalities to participate in the project in hopes of creating a regional approach.

Haynes said the District will look to uniformly reduce speeds across the municipality instead of creating piecemeal roadways, creating confusion among drivers.

ALSO READ: Province invites Saanich to take part in road safety pilot project

Creating a united front is important for the Capital Region so it can lead the province in a progressive approach to creating a modernized interpretation of the Motor Vehicle Act, Haynes added.

Haynes is optimistic the pilot project will work in parallel with the work they have already set in motion for bike lanes and sidewalks. Many residential streets do not have sidewalks, making roadway speed a significant issue for the municipality, Haynes said

ALSO READ: Saanich mayor tasks province with lowering speeds to avoid patchwork of municipal bylaws

Road safety is one of the top concerns among residents and the issue isn’t exclusive to the District. The provincial government currently sets a speed limit of 50 km/h in cities unless otherwise posted, but many municipalities want it reduced to 40 km/h on residential roads, Haynes explained.

The reduction of residential roadway speeds in Saanich has been a battle for Haynes since November 2019 when he wrote to B.C. Premier John Horgan calling for a province-wide change to residential speed limits through the provincial Motor Vehicles Act. Haynes was asked to redirect his request to B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena.

In February, Trevena responded suggesting Saanich take part in the pilot.

–With files from Devon Bidal

ALSO READ: More than half of Saanich’s 10 worst intersections include McKenzie Avenue

sarah.schuchard@saanichnews.com


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