Coun. Judy Brownoff called on the provincial government to consult with Saanich over plans for a southbound, bus-only lane running through the municipality along Highway 1. (Black Press File)

Coun. Judy Brownoff called on the provincial government to consult with Saanich over plans for a southbound, bus-only lane running through the municipality along Highway 1. (Black Press File)

Saanich raises concerns over cyclist safety for bus-lane design

Coun. Judy Brownoff said Douglas Street is not a highway, even if it is defined as one

Saanich wants the provincial government to pay specific attention to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists when it comes to designing a bus-only lane on Highway 1.

The appeal appears in a letter that Saanich council will write to provincial authorities after they (along with federal and regional authorities) announced the Southbound Bus Lanes Project in March 2019.

The project — which will receive $4.9 million from the provincial government and $11 million from Ottawa — will add a bus-only southbound lane between the Burnside bridges and Tolmie Avenue to match a northbound lane completed in December 2019.

RELATED: Bus-lane project for Greater Victoria continues with federal funding

While the project falls under provincial authority, Saanich and its residents will have to deal with its effects (including increased traffic and noise during and after construction), a point the public heard Monday several times as council signed off on the letter which describes the Douglas Corridor as an “urban roadway and not a highway.”

“As one of the speakers [during public input] said, this is entering Saanich,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff. “There is a lot of action in this area…Saanich has very strong goals around this corridor, especially around Uptown. I would say that this [area] has probably more activity there than, say, Blanshard Street right now.”

It is against this background that the province should pay special attention to the needs of the area and its residents, which have also raised concerns about traffic noise, a point staff plan to take up with their provincial counterparts.

“It’s not a highway, even though it is defined as a highway,” said Brownoff. “There are too many pedestrians, cyclists, shoppers, everybody around that corridor. Once we do [the Uptown Douglas Corridor Plan], it will be even more congested.”

Within this context, Saanich’s letter calls on the province to include “dedicated pedestrian and cycling facilities that meet modern and progressive design standards” and give priority to the “principles and priorities of Road Safety BC, the BC Active Transportation Strategy, and the Clean BC Plan” to this and future projects under the auspice of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

With this language, Saanich sends a clear message that it also expects provincial consultation on the South Island Transportation Plan, an ambitious, long-term plan to address regional transportation challenges. The public heard from Saanich that provincial staff have been incorporating municipal feedback, but not always.

Saanich’s appeal to the province has revived questions about whether the municipality would ever purchase that stretch of Highway 1 — an issue Brownoff addressed, but also dismissed.

“I know that Saanich has looked at something like this in this past,” she said. But it would also be very expensive, she added. “It is not part of this motion.”

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

West Shore RCMP K9 Halla. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sound of RCMP dog enough to stop suspects in Oak Bay

West Shore RCMP K9 unit called in, didn’t get to chase

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre has embarked on a fundraising campaign, seeking to raise $1 million for establishment of an independent urban Indigenous school. Pictured here, Tsawalk Learning Centre students at an Orange Shirt Day event in September. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre looks to raise $1 million for urban Indigenous school

Centre says independent school would be first of its kind in B.C.

Most Read