Wallace Drive conditions dangerous for travellers

Saanich and Central Saanich need to work on local infrastructure

I feel compelled to bring to your attention the increasingly dangerous driving conditions on Wallace Drive between Willis Point Road (Saanich) and Newton Place at Bayside middle school (Central Saanich).

I have been driving and walking this stretch of road for 25 years, and the type and volume of traffic has changed significantly during this period. Where once it catered to primarily local vehicle traffic with the odd bicycle, pedestrian or tourist, there are now numerous cyclists riding two and three abreast, tourists in all sorts of vehicles including RV’s, tour buses, commercial vehicles and many more pedestrians.

Besides dealing with cyclists riding in contravention of the Motor Vehicle Act, and oversized vehicles too wide for the road conditions, more and more vehicle drivers who are inexperienced with the area are being directed by their navigation systems to use this stretch of road, particularly between Willis Point Road and Benvenuto Avenue, to access Butchart Gardens.

Personally, I have avoided four head-on collisions on this stretch of road in the past two months, as drivers have pulled onto my side of the road to pass cyclists. Two of these incidents happened to me in one day and were separated by a matter of minutes.

Fortunately, I have good brakes and tires on my cars that help me to slow down quickly, as there is no room on this road to perform an evasive manoeuvre. True, some vehicle drivers must be more cautious, but you know as well as I do that you cannot teach some people to change their poor driving habits until they have done or caused something disastrous.

I respectfully implore both Saanich and Central Saanich councils to join together in improving this road with a better surface and bicycle/pedestrian lanes, and enforce both cycling and vehicle restrictions, including speed limits, before someone is injured or killed.

Philip M. Wakefield

Brentwood Bay