Saanich won’t be taking any additional steps to improve a crosswalk on Cadboro Bay Road.
“Upgrades to this crossing and bus stop were completed in 2018 and we do not have further plans for changes at this time,” said Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich.
She made these comments after Nestor Fedoruk, a long-time resident in the area, called for the addition of flashing lights to the crosswalk across Cadboro Bay Road leading into Gyro Park.
Fedoruk said an overhead flashing light would improve traffic safety in a neighbourhood that is changing.
Traffic of all kind has increased in recent years, just as the area has attracted new residents, including children attending nearby Frank Hobbs Elementary School. At the same time, parts of the area lack pedestrian sidewalks.
“It seems like [the municipality] has accommodated and made improvements for Saanich in general, but Cadboro Bay residents cannot walk across safely,” Fedoruk said. “Light would give them a chance to get across safely,” he added.
The issue of pedestrian safety has gained prominence in recent years following several incidents. They include among others the case of Leila Bui, who remains in a non-responsive state after a vehicle struck her in the morning hours of Dec. 20, 2017, when she was crossing Ash Road on the way to school at a crosswalk.
That and other cases have prompted calls for improvements to sidewalks, signage and speed restrictions from individuals as well as neighbourhood groups. Others have also taken measures into their own hand by creating impromptu speed limit signs and other markers. A Saanich resident, Gerry Tearoe, even received a visit from Saanich Police when he stopped traffic along Ash Road, prompting unfounded complaints from motorists that he was jumping into traffic.
Fedoruk, for his part, has also shown no small measure of diligence and perseverance by reaching out to a long list of municipal officials and keeping record of traffic incidents at the crosswalk.
When he met with the Saanich News, he also conducted a small unrepresentative sample of area residents to see whether they would support a flashing light at the intersection. Unfortunately for his cause, all answered in the negative, citing cost concerns among others.
Fedoruk, however, sounded undeterred.