Work has begun on the connector road between Church and Otter Point Roads.

Work has begun on the connector road between Church and Otter Point Roads.

New connector road draws comments

Bypass route through downtown Sooke on district agenda

Not everyone who came to the January 13 Committee of the Whole meeting to hear about the new connector road was happy with the design.

The connector is a $2,581,311 project to link Church and Otter Point Road in stage one of a multi-staged road network which will eventually provide a through road from Phillips Road to West Coast Road. The connector road and the trails have been identified in the 2009 Transportation Master Plan and the Parks & Trails Master Plan. A multi-use trail is already in place along Church Road. This first stage is expected to be complete by September 2014.

“We are trying to shift vehicular traffic off Sooke Road and take some pressure off the downtown core, that’s the idea,” said Mayor Wendal Milne.

One of the issues was the number of intersections along this section of the connector.

Peter Ferguson, of McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., stated there would be a multi-use trail on the south side and a sidewalk on the north side of the connector road. A round-about would eventually be located at the intersection of Otter Point and Grant Roads.

Other concerns included safety issues such as; sight lines on the hill on Townsend Road, sun in the eyes of drivers during the winter months, lack of push-buttons at crosswalks and cyclists on the road rather than on the multi-use trail.

A couple of residents came forward and asked that no through road be punched in from Anna Marie Road and it be left as is with its cul-de-sac.

Councillor Rick Kasper wanted to see less crosswalks, the multi-use trail on the north side of the road and local bidders to reduce the carbon footprint.

Other issues already mentioned were brought up by council and in the end Mayor Milne said, “and that’s where our democratic opinions differ.”

Ferguson answered most of the questions that were posed by council and the residents. He said pedestrians would get the “highest priority” in deliberations. Crosswalk warning signs would be in place as well as  lighting and a boulevard between the pedestrians and the traffic. As the project is still in the design phase, amendments could still be made.

The report was accepted and a further report will be presented to council on options on cost and what to do on Townsend Road.

Council gave instructions for the consultants to get on with the design and the cost estimates.

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