Sidney resident Jon Blair would like to see more speed enforcement on Resthaven Drive. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney resident Jon Blair would like to see more speed enforcement on Resthaven Drive. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

A senior would like to see improved traffic enforcement on Resthaven Drive to make Sidney a more pedestrian-friendly community.

Signs posted around Sidney that claim it is a pedestrian-friendly community are “laughable,” said Jon Blair, who lives on Henry Avenue just off Resthaven Drive. “At the present time, we are a very automotive-centred kind of town,” he said.

Blair made these comments after an incident in early December that left him shaken. He said a car almost struck a van on Resthaven Drive near Brethour Avenue. “Had the van been hit, it would have slid across the road and hit me.”

Blair recounted that incident in a letter before Sidney council, writing that the “terrific shriek of brakes and horns” stemming from the would-be collision shook him badly. “(I) needed my nitroglycerin spray to calm my heart down,” he said. “Had there been a collision, I would have been killed by the van.”

Blair said would like to see at least two measures to help improve safety near the SHOAL Centre for Seniors, starting with increased patrols by the RCMP. “Everybody who lives on Resthaven that I know of has complained about people speeding on the street,” he said. “All you have to do is stand out by the SHOAL Centre for a few moments. There is a speed (reader) in front of it and you will notice right away well over half the cars going by there are travelling much more than the speed limit.”

RELATED: Sidney crash involving seniors underscores pedestrian safety issues

He would also like to see the prohibition of parking anywhere near pedestrian crosswalks because parked cars obscure the visibility of pedestrians as well as users of motorized mobility aids.

Blair would also like to extend the duration of walk signals at intersections among other measures and he is concerned about the presence of scaffolding at a construction site at the intersection of Beacon Avenue and Forth Street. The scaffolding currently permits one-way sidewalk traffic only. “The parking lane has not been cordoned off to permit walking,” he said in his letter, adding pedestrians “are required to walk on the road to the right of parked vehicles in the traffic lane.”

Blair also wrote that this “unreasonable” request exposes the municipality to future liabilities, adding later that Sidney residents with mobility issues find it difficult to navigate such affected sidewalks, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff have acknowledged in letter to Blair that scaffolding on the sidewalks is not “ideal” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These projects have been in development for some time, and this scaffolding is in place to keep pedestrians safe,” it reads. “We ask that pedestrians yield to oncoming pedestrian traffic when they are walking in this area, or pedestrians can cross the street for a block to avoid these locations. Pedestrians are never encouraged to walk into live traffic.”

The staff letter also points to the municipality’s participation in the planning phase of a Saanich-led speed reduction pilot project that would see speeds decrease on all roads without a yellow centerline to 40 km/h. “This pilot project would impact many residential streets in Sidney,” it reads, adding the provincial Ministry of Transportation will soon receive the application for the project. If approved, it would be implemented in the late fall for 2021 for trial period of two to three years.

The staff letter also points that the RCMP has stepped up enforcement on Resthaven Drive, with staff having recently contacted the RCMP about a complaint similar to Blair’s.

Kerry Readshaw, spokesperson for Beacon Community Services which operates the SHOAL Centre, said the organization is encouraging drivers to follow the posted speed limit, adding the centre has taken steps to improve visibility. “We are aware that there are people with walkers and limited mobility in the area and it is always a good idea for people to slow down and take their time,” she said.

Blair’s concerns draw attention to contemporary and future urban design. As Canadian society ages, urban designers have called for measures that respond and recognize changing demographics, an issue of some importance to the Saanich Peninsula generally and Sidney specifically, as one of the oldest communities in the region.

In a 2018 report titled Zero to 100: Planning for an Aging Population, prepared for the Capital Regional District, Sidney-based urban planner Kristin Agnello spells out a number of recommendations to improve sidewalks and pathways, including sufficient pedestrians crossings that are safe for people for different levels and types of disability, with non-slip markings, visual and audio cues, and adequate crossing times.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Sidney

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

SD62 has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. (Black Press Media file photo)
SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Feb. 22-24

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)

Most Read