Saanich municipal staff are looking forward to bringing colourful road murals to the District – but it may take time.
Saanich resident and researcher Teale Phelps Bondaroff recently announced his newest project: bringing road art to residential streets. Through the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, Phelps Bondaroff hopes to use road art to not only add beauty to neighbourhoods but to slow drivers.
Road murals have been proven to be a cost-effective way to reduce drivers’ speeds, he explained. The colours draw the driver’s attention to the surface of the road and remind them that other road users are nearby.
As Saanich doesn’t currently have road mural regulations, Phelps Bondaroff reached out to the District to get the process started.
“Road murals are a great way to bring life to public spaces and create a sense of community,” said a Saanich spokesperson.
This is why I love the idea of road murals: they capture the attention of road users + tell them 'Slow Down⚠️ There Are People Around.'
— Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff (@TealePB) January 6, 2020
As part of the District’s Active Transportation Plan (ATP), staff are working to create regulations and guidelines to allow road art to be created in Saanich. However, the project has been deemed “medium-term priority.”
While work has begun on the ATP short-term priorities, discussions about road murals are in the early stages. A draft of the road murals regulations has been created but an official timeline has not been outlined so an end date for the regulation creation process isn’t clear, the District spokesperson explained.
Phelps Bondaroff is continuing to work with Saanich Engineering on the project. He is hopeful that the regulations will be completed by the spring so that school kids could participate in the creation of murals in school zones.
Staff are looking forward to reviewing the desired location and approximate design of Saanich’s first road mural.
“Once we are further along in the regulation process, we will share our progress and any changes with the public,” the spokesperson said.
Anyone interested in spearheading a road mural project can email Phelps Bondaroff at firstname.lastname@example.org for tips, help accessing durable, environmentally friendly paint and to connect with local artists. For more information on road murals, visit his website at teale.ca.