The Saanich & Oak Bay Community Safety Network says its concerns about “a dangerous intersection” still haven’t been properly addressed by the municipality of Oak Bay.
In a letter to Oak Bay mayor and council, the network said its formal request for confirmation of intentions regarding “long overdue safety improvements” to the Y-shaped intersection of Cadboro Bay Road and Beach Drive have not been addressed, and asked for a reply by Friday.
Put simply, the network says the intersection forces traffic heading northbound on two different roads – Beach Drive and Cadboro Bay Road – to merge at unsafe angles and with limited visibility onto Cadboro Bay Road.
Not to mention the small but vital Hibbens Close at the end of the intersection, which is the only access to the south end of Cadboro Bay beach.
With confusing road markings, an incorrect stop bar and restricted visibility, the intersection does need improvements, according to a 2014 report released by ICBC and the District of Oak Bay.
But ICBC’s crash map reports 11 collisions there between 2013 and 2017 – placing it 16th in a list of the most crash-heavy junctions in Oak Bay.
In recent years, the District has upgraded intersections like Lansdowne and Foul Bay Road, as well as Cadboro Bay Road/Thompson Avenue and Estevan/Musgrave, says District of Oak Bay director of engineering services Daniel J. Horan.
Horan said after the study with ICBC, the District agreed that “some changes to the configuration of [Cadboro Bay Road, Cadboro Road and Beach Drive] – in terms of signage and road markings – would be a worthwhile improvement.”
After Saanich confirmed it would be making interim pedestrian safety improvements to the intersection on its side, Oak Bay completed a land survey and began work on a preliminary upgrade design.
The safety network is pushing for a traffic circle, a pedestrian-activated crosswalk and a sidewalk.
Klaibert sent another letter to Oak Bay in February, asking to have the “Oak Bay safety project accelerated so it gets completed in the first quarter of 2019.”
But the District of Oak Bay says it has to wait for budget review and approval before it can move forward.
“For us, the plan for what projects are going to be done or not done depends on budget process,” said Horan. “At this stage of our project approval process, we assess a transportation project’s priority against the full list of the District’s transportation requirements.”
The District of Oak Bay’s 2019 budget will be completed this spring.