LETTER: Crosswalks in dire need of some thought

Weekly letters to the editor from within the Sooke community.

Sooke has done a good job of enhancing its appearance, traffic flow and usability with sidewalks, more crosswalks and general “beautification” in the past couple of years – well done. And I applaud the Christmas team in its cheerful, but not Langford gaudy, Christmas display, again both thumbs up!

On the flip side, I am disappointed in the lighting and safety considerations of the crosswalks.

Specifically, my concern is the main crossing by the bus stop between the two malls in the 6600 block of Sooke Road, which is obscured by foliage and has lighting directly overhead.

This should be directed obliquely from the approaching side to illuminate the pedestrians for approaching vehicles. Lighting the tops of people’s head and shoulders is hardly effective.

What is worse is the crossing between Townsend Road and CIBC – absolutely no lighting and in the blinding spot of oncoming headlights this is a huge liability to drivers, pedestrians and taxpayers.

Planners should think of all conditions, not just the sunny days.

I think the best lit crossing is down by Cooper’s Cove, where the Galloping Goose crosses.

The state of roadway markings, cat-eyes, centre and shoulder lines is likewise deplorable and a huge lacking in our roads on both sides of Sooke.

And the school zone child drop-off/pick up system at John Muir school is atrocious.

I can see these all as places where a bad accident will have to happen before some executive will say that age old and lame statement: “Let’s make sure this never happens again.”

Let’s instead try to ensure it doesn’t happen first by making our main thoroughfare safer to start with. Playing “chicken” with the community’s safety should not be OK.

If you are going to put up a crosswalk as a safety zone for pedestrians, make it safe, please.

Al Wickheim

Sooke