George Blogg, president of the Portage Inlet Sanctuary Colquitz Estuary Society, says residents are getting frustrated because meetings to address safety concerns aren’t going as planned. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

George Blogg, president of the Portage Inlet Sanctuary Colquitz Estuary Society, says residents are getting frustrated because meetings to address safety concerns aren’t going as planned. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich residents call on province to address McKenzie Interchange safety concerns

Ministry says some desired safety improvements will be addressed by Saanich

Residents of Portage Inlet are calling on the province to step in to address safety concerns related to the McKenzie interchange project after talks with the Ministry of Transportation (MoTI) have not gone as planned.

Since the interchange project was announced, the Portage Inlet Sanctuary Colquitz Estuary Society (PISCES) – a group representing residents near the interchange – has been involved in discussions with MoTI and the District of Saanich, said PISCES president George Blogg.

READ ALSO: Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

After more than three years of consultations and various road safety reports, Blogg said residents believed the ministry would address their concerns – specifically the safety of the Esson and Admirals roads intersection.

However, the most recent meeting between PISCES, MoTI staff and Saanich representatives at the construction site on Aug. 13 was “very disappointing,” Blogg said. The ministry said while some improvements will be completed along Admirals Road, the desired upgrades for the Esson Road intersection are not within the scope of the project.

In a written statement, MoTI said safety is “top priority” and that work is underway on Admirals Road “to further ensure the corridor is safe for people travelling by all modes of transportation.”

READ ALSO: Residents concerned about safety near McKenzie Interchange call on MLA

The ministry said the improvements that are within the scope of the project include the completion of continuous sidewalks, connecting bike lanes to existing infrastructure, improving sightlines at Esson Road and adding pavement markings along Admirals Road to guide road-users.

Blogg is frustrated about the lack of traffic calming measures at the Esson Road intersection because he feels the interchange project has made the area “significantly less safe.”

“With the aggravation and stress that this neighbourhood has gone through, you’d think they’d want to do something,” Blogg said. “You couldn’t find a more unsafe piece of road if you tried – it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

In a push for the desired changes, PISCES sent letters to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Premier John Horgan on Aug. 17 asking them to step in. They had not received a reply as of Aug. 31.

READ ALSO: Ministry responds to safety concerns for Admirals Road

When asked about plans to address residents’ other concerns, MoTI said that the new traffic patterns in the area will be monitored to assess what improvements are needed and ensure changes are effective.

The ministry also pointed out Saanich has committed to addressing concerns at the Esson Road intersection.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said it’s “unfortunate” the desired safety improvements can’t be made within the scope of the McKenzie interchange project but confirmed that improvements are planned for the area in 2021.

READ ALSO: Ministry responds to safety concerns for Admirals Road


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

ConstructionDistrict of SaanichTransportation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This rendering shows plans for the new “flyover”overpass connecting northbound traffic on Highway 17 heading west on Keating Cross Road. Plans currently seeking public input propose two options for the median along Keating Cross Road. Option 1 will prevent left turns onto Tamany Drive and Buena Vista Road. Option 2 (seen here)will allow for left turns onto Tamany Drive and Bujena Vista Road. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Public asked for comment on proposed overpass for Pat Bay in Central Saanich

New flyover overpass proposed for Highway 17 and Keating Cross Road

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

A pedestrian pushing two children in a stroller was struck by a driver while crossing a Highway 1 off-ramp at Burnside Road West on Feb. 24. (Google Streetview)
UPDATED: Pedestrian with two children in stroller struck in Saanich crosswalk after driver failed to yield

No serious injuries reported, driver issued $167 ticket under Motor Vehicle Act, police say

David Wighton is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the winner of the Coaches Award. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Life-changing lessons shared after 55-year coaching career

David Wighton is the 2021 recipient of the Local Hero Coaches Award

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Justin Morissette is still recovering from the injuries sustained in the altercation. He is not yet able to walk without assistance. (Justin Morissette, Twitter)
B.C. man suing city and police over violent altercation with anti-LGBTQ preacher

Justin Morissette argues police knew the threat the preacher posed, and failed to keep the peace

Mowi Canada West salmon farm in B.C. waters. Conservative MPs have backed an industry call for further discussions on the timeline for closing Discovery Island farms. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada)
Conservative MPs back B.C. salmon farmers’ call for transparent discussions

Farm owners requested consultations, more time to leave Discovery Islands

Jack Barnes, who was Cowichan Valley Capitals property from May 2020 until last week, scores a goal for the Penticton Vees during the 2019-20 BCHL season. (Brennan Phillips/Black Press)
COVID-crunched BCHL facing trade deadline dilemma with its 20-year-olds

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

Most Read