LETTER: Group backs premier’s plan for better road

Re: Premier asks for expansion of road study (News, Nov. 22)

This route is the only major access point and connecting artery for the western communities of Sooke, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River and Port Renfrew along the Island’s southwest coast. It is heavily used by tourists, motorcyclists, commuters, public transit, logging and other industrial vehicles, as development continues to increase in this important social and economic region of south Vancouver Island.

We have been receiving ever-increasing concerns from within our communities on the issues of road safety, vehicle speedand increased volumes, which have hampered both the public road safety and the smooth movement of traffic along this important artery.

Based on statistics provided by the Shirley Fire Volunteer Fire Department, the number of vehicle accidents along this stretch of West Coast Road alone have ranged roughly between nine to 16 per year; and this past year has been particularly high with 16 incidents so far.

Half the callouts between 2013 to 2016 were related to motor vehicle incidents and 43 per cent of MVI callouts occurred in the Muir Creek area.

The statistics from Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department also indicate a similar accident rate and high number of MVIs in the Muir Creek Area.

Specific concerns include the following:

• Lack of safe pullouts along this artery for public transit and other slow-moving vehicles.

• Slow-moving vehicles causing long vehicle line-ups behind them.

• Reduced speed signage around dangerous corners.

• Unsafe shoulders and crumbling pavement along key areas of the route, creating hazards for cyclists and pedestrians.

• Industrial traffic and motorcycles travelling at unsafe speeds and creating excessive noise for residents at unacceptable times of the day.

• Inadequate resources for proper traffic enforcement by the RCMP, and increased MVIs that also halt traffic, sometimes for hours.

OPSRRA has collaborated with different community groups and agencies to address these problems of safety and noise..

OPSRRA commends the provincial government for recognizing the need to take action by conducting a full review of Highway 14 and we will continue our collaborative work with the Transportation Ministry and other agencies to ensure our roads become safe now and into the future.

Bill Dushenko,

President,

Otter Point, Shirley and Jordan River Resident and Ratepayers Association

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