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Speed reduction just one part of solution, rural Saanich group says

Traffic calming measures also necessary to changing driver behaviour
Community group Livable Roads for Rural Saanich wants to see speed limits reduced through this area that is home to numerous farms and large properties – and a distinct lack of sidewalks. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Lowering speed limits on the narrow roads connecting rural areas of Saanich may not be enough to increase safety, says a community group lobbying for greater action.

The group Livable Roads for Rural Saanich plans to present a 330-signature petition to council’s committee of the whole July 11 calling for a lowering of speed limits to 30 km/h and additional traffic-calming measures on key cut-through roads in the area.

Such connectors as Old West, Oldfield, Willis Point and West Saanich roads, as well as Munn and Prospect Lake roads, often attract drivers traversing between the West Shore and Saanich Peninsula.

“Local families, pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians want safer space on narrow roads that have become shortcuts for vehicular traffic – including large trucks and often impatient commuters,” the group wrote in a recent media release.

The combination of high traffic speeds and a lack of space for pedestrians, horses, and cyclists on many roads through the area makes it difficult to use active transportation to access schools, mailboxes, parks or even to just go for a walk, the release stated. For equestrians, public roads provide the only route to access Elk-Beaver Lake and Bear Hill parks.

Council was scheduled to hear a staff report July 4 on a new speed limit establishment policy. Several roads highlighted by the rural Saanich group, as well as others such as Sayward Road, are targeted for speed studies.

The committee meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Monday (July 11).

RELATED STORY: Residents’ road safety group pushes Saanich for improvements on Sayward Road


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