Editorial: Secondary roads need upgrades

Unused roads could be used to get in and out of Sooke

Residents in the Sooke area are continually being forced to wait in long line ups when there is an accident along Sooke Road. It is one of the most notorious stretches of road on Vancouver Island, and perhaps in all of B.C. It is tiresome, frustrating and inconvenient, no question.

We want to shake our fist and hurl nasty comments when we experience what appears to be an unnecessary closure along our road into and out of Sooke. But who is to blame for the road closures? First, it isn’t Sooke Fire Rescue, even though they are often first on the scene and are obviously there. The road is declared closed when the RCMP or the Ministry of Transport deem it is important enough to stop traffic.

Our fire chief said the police are usually on the scene first and they are obligated to contact MOT and then a decision is made. Fire Chief Sorensen said motor vehicle accidents are classified as crime scenes and the fire department has no say on traffic issues.

So when you are stalled in traffic and wonder why you are being made to wait, that’s the answer. The fire chief also said that if there is a fatality, then a traffic analyst, part of the highway patrol, has to attend to the scene and he/she is stationed up-Island in Parksville. (Is there no one in Victoria?) In the end, it is about the safety of the investigators, emergency personnel and the victims.

The important thing to remember is that accidents in most cases are caused by drivers.

What needs to be done though is to initiate and carry out plans for alternative routes in and out of Sooke, not just for road closures in the case of vehicle accidents, but also for the bigger picture. Many people know about backroads and old logging roads. Perhaps these need to be upgraded over time to allow for emergency travel out of the Sooke area.  How else could you get away from the water if there was an earthquake or tsunami? Our regional and local emergency plans needs to include such evacuation plans. It’s time to get that act together and be prepared. A large overall plan for the entire south Island also needs to be looked at. Let’s get this together before it is needed, not after.

Just Posted

Shoebox Project reaches out to women in crisis

Boxes are distributed to transition homes

Pearkes book sale will have 15,000 titles

Some seek volume of books while others hunt early editions in annual Saanich sale

Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative

Mayor Rob Martin says different modes of transportation need to be considered

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Road rescue near Sayward points to volunteer need

Fire department recruits can be tough for small, remote communities

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read