Three Saanich councillors recently brought a report to council that recommends increased investment in road safety. I applaud the initiative by Couns. Mersereau, Taylor and de Vries, and encourage council to support the recommendation to fast-track badly needed improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.
During my years on Saanich council, the most common concern I heard from residents was the need for safer walking and biking environments. I have no doubt that upping Saanich’s investment in these vital improvements will be a great relief to those folks. Using Saanich’s Active Transportation Plan as a road map ensures this investment will see improvements take place in locations where they’re most needed.
Evidence shows the benefits of investing in active transportation include lower vehicle emissions, less traffic congestion, and even more dynamic neighbourhoods as people spend more time out and about, rather than in their cars. We also know from experiences all over the world that commuters choose to walk or bike if they feel safe and comfortable. Active transportation is the most affordable and accessible mode of travel, and leads to better health and quality of life for those who venture out on foot, bike or scooter.
Let’s invest in safer routes to school for our kids, hazard-free walking surfaces for our parents and grandparents, lower collision risk for drivers and, most importantly, fewer fatalities and serious injuries on the streets where we live, work, learn and play.
I hope you will join me in encouraging council to invest in road safety that makes life better and safer for everyone in our community – no matter how they choose to commute.
Former Saanich Councillor