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Speed issue solutions moving slowly, Langford residents say

Area residents Terry Power, left, Etta Connor, Sandy Munro, Philomene Jondreau, Pauline Power and Stephanie Parsons watch traffic go by on Goldstream Avenue, where a woman was killed in a traffic accident in February. The group want the City of Langford to take steps to slow traffic coming off the highway along the west end of Goldstream Avenue and through their neighbourhood. One option the city is looking at is closing Goldstream Avenue and shifting the off ramp to Leigh Road.  - Arnold Lim/News staff
Area residents Terry Power, left, Etta Connor, Sandy Munro, Philomene Jondreau, Pauline Power and Stephanie Parsons watch traffic go by on Goldstream Avenue, where a woman was killed in a traffic accident in February. The group want the City of Langford to take steps to slow traffic coming off the highway along the west end of Goldstream Avenue and through their neighbourhood. One option the city is looking at is closing Goldstream Avenue and shifting the off ramp to Leigh Road.
— image credit: Arnold Lim/News staff

Residents on the west end of Goldstream Avenue are concerned.

With fast traffic coming off an exit ramp from the Trans Canada Highway onto the western end of Langford’s central roadway, residents worry that if changes are not made, the potential exists for more accidents like the one that claimed the life of Meesha Chan-Grubisic in February.

“The issues are speed, not the road, because of the exit ramp on the Trans Canada,” Etta Connor said.

“We are faced with large (volume of) traffic on this street that has no shoulders, no proper parking area along the road and no sidewalks. The traffic can go 50 (kilometres per hour) even though there is a recommendation to slow down.”

Connor said that in the three years she’s lived in the 1200-block of Goldstream Ave., a resident pulling out of their driveway was T-boned by another vehicle, a cat was run over and a pedestrian on the street has been killed.

She doesn’t want to see any more traffic-related incidents.

“When we drive out of our driveways now, it is victimizing. We live in a lovely area we want to keep it safe. It is (about) safety and security.”

City of Langford director of engineering Michelle Mahovlich said council is aware of the concerns and has been carefully considering the options, but the answers are not as simple as they may seem.

“It is not an easy road to work with in the current configuration,” she said. “The homes come right on the road right of way. Any improvements removes on-street parking – or there is no room to do any improvements.”

Mahovlich said she has considered the options and has been in conversation with the Ministry of Transportation about changes that would see a southbound off-ramp at the Leigh Road Interchange constructed instead and see the Goldstream Avenue access closed.

That would, in turn, trigger a number of other changes, including construction of an acceleration lane on the Trans Canada Highway in the southbound lane for vehicles turning right/south onto the highway from Westshore Parkway.

In addition, Spencer Road would be closed completely at the TCH, making it a full cul-de-sac along with Goldstream Avenue.

The only issue is that it will all take time.

“It is the City’s hope it would take place fairly soon. Unfortunately we can’t give a specific date,” Mahovlich said.

Council is listening to the concerns around safety, she said, and has the issue “at the top of the radar.”

Other options, including building a sidewalk on the north side of Goldstream from Leigh Road to the highway, would cost more than $400,000 and eliminate much of the roadside parking, Mahovlich added.

“The road right of way is not sufficient to allow islands or narrowed portions of road to be installed, so that option is difficult to implement.”

Speed bumps might not work either, she said, because they also slow emergency vehicles, make it more challenging to clear snow from the road and cause more ambient noise. With proximity of homes to the driving lanes being so close in this case, noise generated by vehicles driving over speed bumps and or gearing up or down further complicate the issue.

In the meantime, Langford is asking for patience, she said. With a number of projects in the area underway, including a technology park proposed for Goldstream Avenue property up to the TCH, and a new streetlight at the current four-way stop at the Goldstream and Leigh intersection, Mahovlich said it will all come together in the end.

Area resident Terry Power hopes it’s not too late. “If noise is the concern, I am comfortable (with it). We have indicated we would be putting up with the noise so someone won’t get killed in front of the house,” he said.

alim@vicnews.com

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