Risky Lochside trail intersection to be improved

Stop signs to be installed at busy trail crossing behind Saanich municipal hall

Saanich is taking another step to ensure cyclists and trail users on the Lochside Regional Trail aren’t at risk of being hit by cars.

Behind Saanich municipal hall, the Lochside trail crosses Darwin Avenue at a spot that, for years, has been treated as simply a crosswalk.

But a recommendation through the administrative traffic committee to treat the trail like a high-traffic thoroughfare and install stop signs for vehicles is moving ahead.

“I’ve tried for a number of years to formalize the right-of-way there; I always thought it should be the trail,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff, who chairs the committee.

Saanich police say there have been two reported incidents in the last year where a cyclist was hit by a vehicle at that crossing. Brownoff says that’s two too many.

The Darwin Avenue exit is used by Saanich police and fire vehicles as a convenient access to the east side of the municipality.

“On the trail part, just like we do on roads, we’ll have to let the travelling public know this is an emergency route, so cyclists will know that if they hear sirens, they’ll have to yield to that,” she said.

In addition to installing new signage, Saanich aims to improve visibility at the corner by trimming back some of the shrubs, painting stop lines on the road, and painting the curb to notify vehicles where they cannot park.

editor@saanichnews.com

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