Safety concerns are driving residents on Burnett Road to ask View Royal council for traffic calming measures and sidewalks for the increasingly busy road.
Walking along the road, homeowner Barney Pratt points out the lack of sidewalks, few walkable boulevards and, in many places, deep ditches off the road’s edge. He and his wife have used these ditches before to get out of the way of cars, he said.
“There’s nowhere to get off the road when there’s two cars coming by here. There’s nowhere to go.”
Pratt has lived on the road since 2006 and has seen traffic increase in that time. The worst, he says, is when construction projects, such as the current Craigflower Bridge replacement, reroute traffic from other areas.
Pratt has now rallied his neighbours and will present a petition signed by every resident on the street to council at its Tuesday, March 18 meeting.
The road connects Island Highway with Helmcken Road via Pheasant Lane and allows motorists to bypass the often clogged up intersection of Island Highway and Helmcken.
By doing so, however, drivers motor through a residential neighbourhood not designed to mix heavy traffic with pedestrians.
“So they whip through here to get … over to the traffic circle and out to the (Trans-Canada) highway,” Pratt said. “I keep telling these guys, it’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen here, it’s when, and the severity of it. Somebody’s going to get killed.”
Coun. Ron Mattson, the chair of View Royal’s public works and transportation committee, plans to bring up short-term improvements to the road at Monday’s committee of the whole budget meeting.
“We’ve asked staff to come up with some options and costs for some sort of quick-term safety fixes,” he said.
“We certainly do acknowledge that there are some safety issues. We want staff to come up with something we can do immediately.”
Mattson said a full sidewalk project might be a longer-term goal, but he would like to see something done in the meantime, such as the installation of a curb and/or speed humps.
“The community coming to petition council, I think that’s a good thing,” he said. “For any areas of the community who think there are safety issues, please let us know. It makes it easier for council to say ‘yes’ when people are advising us and encouraging us to do something.”
When the new View Royal fire hall and the Capital Regional District’s E&N Rail Trail are complete, Burnett Road will be even more central for various types of traffic, Pratt said.
The hall is being built directly across Island Highway from the mouth of Burnett, while the rail trail will directly cross the road.