Sheila Flood has been a resident in the Saanich neighbourhood of Gordon Head for 20 years and takes advantage of her location living next to PKOLS park every chance she gets.
She loves to walk and bike in the neighbourhood and around the mountain.
But not the strip of Cedar Hill Road that stretches from the start of Shelbourne Street to the end of Ash Road and goes through PKOLS. The road has no shoulder lane for cyclists or path along the road for pedestrians, even though it is a strip many residents use.
Flood hasn’t ridden her bike in a couple of years, but recalls biking the road as “quite scary.”
“Because there is no shoulder and you’d be completely exposed to all the traffic. If you’re biking, you can get through there a little faster, but still you’re going way slower than the cars,” said Flood.
At one point, Flood had an electric bike to be able to keep up with the traffic on the road, but “even with an electric bike it’s extremely slower.”
Due to there being no shoulder lane, if cars need to pass they have to get out from behind the person walking and often cross the yellow line.
“That can lead to people taking risks because if they get impatient and there’s traffic coming towards them, you don’t know if they’re going to pull out. It’s just a question of how far into the other line they have to go to pass you.”
That strip of Cedar Hill is also notorious for getting quite dark, only having minimal street lamps that turn on at night.
“Even in the daytime, going through this stretch of woods, it’s dark,” said Flood. “You notice the temperature go down and it’s quite a bit darker just because of the tree cover.”
Although for walkers there are several trails on PKOLS that they can use, there are no lights on those paths.
“Most of the drivers go 50km/h through here,” said Flood, even though the speed limit is 40km/h. “People often ignore it.”
While she believes having a shoulder lane is needed and would be the ultimate improvement for the road, she is thankful for the work Saanich has already done to make the road safer.
“There have been a lot of improvements here,” she said. “The crosswalk is really good, there are other crosswalks going across the street, that’s good, and there is park beautification that goes on all the time.”