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Unrepaired safety barrier on Charlton and Burnside West worries Saanich residents

The barrier on the Prospect Lake loop hasn’t been repaired for at least two years, says resident
A Saanich resident has expressed concern about a damaged long curve barrier at Charlton and Burnside West on the Prospect Lake loop that he said is long overdue for repair and maintenance. (Photo courtesy of George Fitch)

Saanich resident George Fitch is concerned about an unrepaired long curve barrier at Charlton and Burnside West on the Prospect Lake loop.

Fitch said this important safety barrier has been sitting in disrepair for at least two years on the popular route used by cars, trucks, cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians.

“There are no sidewalks or adequate shoulders for safe use. If you happen to drive, walk, run or cycle beyond where the barrier is supposed to be, you can end up in the head wall of the culverted ditch, a significant drop.”

Former Saanich councillor Dean Murdock is a current member of Better Mobility Saanich, a community group advocating for safer roads in Saanich for its diverse users.

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“It’s an inadequate barrier as is and that section is extremely narrow – if two vehicles are approaching each other, they don’t have anywhere else to go,” said Murdock.

What Murdock hopes to see along the dangerous areas of the road are wider shoulders, more visual markers, improved safety barriers, and higher prioritization of rural roads when budgeting and planning.

“I don’t think it requires significant investment in infrastructure but there are certainly areas where Saanich has not prioritized adequate safety measures,” said Murdock. “This is really hazardous and there’s no clear demarcation for drivers, cyclists, and even people who may be walking through this corridor – if we leave it the way it is it will result in someone getting seriously hurt, or worse.”

Megan Catalano, communications manager for Saanich, explained that the roadside barrier on Burnside Road West at Charlton Road is on the inside face of a curve, opposite from the typical direction of a run-off-the-road accident.

“The road cross-fall through that section of road exceeds what is typically installed on rural roads, and occasionally during wet or icy conditions, there have been cases of vehicles sliding off the road into the barrier due to the steep cross-fall.”

Catalano said there is an acceptable clear space from the edge of the road to the nearest hazard, making this particular barrier unwarranted for reinstallation, and the remaining sections will be removed within the next few weeks.

“Burnside Road West is undergoing a repaving project, and the cross-fall issue will be addressed as part of that project.”

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