Pat Bay Highway Safety

    Proposals to improve safety at accident-prone Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road were applauded at a standing-room-only meeting on Feb. 29, 2012, at Cordova Bay Community Place.

    Intersection1Lobbied for several years by the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs (CBA), a working group was formed last year by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and included representatives from the CBA, Saanich Council, businesses, BC Transit and Saanich South MLA Lana Popham. The group recommended a northbound acceleration lane on the highway from Sayward Road and a deceleration lane on the east side of the highway turning east on Sayward Road plus moving the bus stop on the highway to the south side of Sayward. As well, a “congestion ahead” flashing light will be installed before the intersection to warn northbound traffic. The acceleration/deceleration lanes should be completed within a year or two; the “congestion ahead” sign installed this spring or summer, ministry officials indicated.
    “That’s a start,” commented Popham who moderated the meeting after a ministry open house. Working group representatives on a panel said improvements are needed because of the number of rear-end accidents. Additional ideas suggested by residents at the meeting by residents will be considered by the working group.
    The collaborative process by first obtaining public input, then forming a representative working group with the results brought to the second public meeting, was also applauded. “This is a process that works,” said Popham. Each meeting was attended by well over 100 residents.
    (By Roger Stonebanks, CBA member.)
    Click here for Lana’s report and photos.

    Let the community consultation begin

    LanaP+othersSaanich council sent a unanimous message on July 12, 2010, to the Ministry of Transportation – it’s time – now – to communicate and consult with the community about safety-first changes to the dangerous intersection of Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road in Cordova Bay.
    “Council has in the past relayed to the Ministry that a community consultation should be commenced,” said Couns. Judy Brownoff and Leif Wergeland (who is a Cordova Bay resident) in a report that was supported by council.
    LanaP+audience“This has not happened. In fact, the community association feels quite strongly that an advisory committee should be established with the ministry, Saanich and the community to start these discussions.”
    LanaPCouncil agreed that community consultation should commence and supported the establishment of an advisory committee to start discussions on short-term solutions to problems at the intersection and will so inform the ministry.

    Safety first – and please communicate
    at Pat Bay and Sayward

    The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure must engage in meaningful community consultation before plans are drawn up for changes to the Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road – as well as at ‘open houses’ after plans are prepared for public reaction.

    This message was delivered to the ministry before a standing-room-only audience of 115 residents by speakers at a public safety forum on June 15/2010 organized by Saanich South MLA Lana Popham at Cordova Bay Community Place.

    The Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs (CBA) has been campaigning for more than a year for ‘safety first’ fixes at the intersection which is one of the most dangerous in terms of crashes on Vancouver Island.

    Recently, the ministry disclosed that it is planning some changes at the intersection and will present them at ‘open houses’ for public comment. But speakers including Wayne Christmas, chairperson of the CBA traffic committee, said the ministry should consider public opinion before making plans by organizing a public input forum – as well as afterwards. He also said changes should improve safety and not increase cut-through traffic within Cordova Bay.

    Safety improvements for less than half a million dollars

    A current traffic safety report states that short-and-medium-term measures to improve safety at the notoriously dangerous intersection of Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road would cost – only $381,000. And the report said the changes should be considered for implementation.

    The report by Opus Hamilton of Vancouver into collision-prone locations in BC was done last February for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the ministry released to the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs (CBA) the portion dealing with Sayward Road.

    To read the extract from the full report, please click here. There is a good introduction and mention of all intersections on Patricia Bay Highway. However, to read specifically about the Sayward intersection, go to Appendix A, Collision Prone Location 1, Highway 17 and Sayward Road on page 27.

    Patricia Bay Highway – upgrades later rather than sooner

    Transportation and Infrastructure Minister, Kevin Falcon, told the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs (CBA) on March 13/09 that public input will precede any major proposed changes to the Patricia Bay Highway. But his comments indicated that major changes throughout the highway are likely some time off.

    Interchanges recommended for Pat Bay Highway

    An updated report for the Patricia Bay Highway recommends “preferred interchange locations” at Sayward Road, Mount Newton Cross Road, McTavish Road, Beacon Avenue, Wain Road and Lands End Road.

    The report, by Urban Systems Ltd to the Ministry of Transportation and entitled “Highway 17 Corridor Planning Strategy”, builds on a 2001 report called “Vision For Highway 17.”

    It was developed as a result of meetings over the last few years by the ministry as well as a steering committee comprised of Saanich Peninsula municipalities and BC Transit, BC Ferries and the Victoria International Airport Authority.

    The report lists Claremont Avenue and Haliburton Road as “options for interchange locations.” One “concept” has a Haliburton Road overpass with Claremont Avenue “right-in, right-out” and the second concept reverses this with a Claremont Avenue overpass and Haliburton Road “right-in, right-out.” More work was needed to advance either concept, the report said, as well as further examination with area communities and other agencies.

    The report recommends closing all accesses, roads and driveways, except for designated interchanges. In Cordova Bay the report (Page 25) identifies for closure – Piedmont Drive, Cordova Bay Road, Hamsterley Road, Sayward Road (west side), Wells Road and Old East Road. The weigh scale would need to be relocated. Traffic movement at the rowing club, however, would be permitted by a right-in, right-out movement.

    The report is 55 pages long with eight pages of appendices To read the full report, please open this link, and click on: 2007-03-15-Final_Report_Hwy17_Corridor_Strategy.pdf. – or by Google: “highway 17 corridor planning strategy.”

Letters to the Editor
You are always welcome to write to the CBA board of directors if you have a question or comment relevant to Cordova Bay. One of the directors will be pleased to respond. Please contact us by e-mail: cba.president@cbasn.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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