The May 9 Sooke News Mirror reported that Mayor Milne said, “in 2012 they will be moving forward with… the proposed roundabout.” This, even though supposed recent road improvements have been dubious at best.
For instance, why make the short road by Mom’s Cafe and the community hall one way? Or why reverse traffic flow in the lane by the Mirror and Royal Bank so that one must exit either by crossing three lanes of fast moving traffic or circling through the parking lot to get back on the main road?
Yet, in terms of inconvenience and wasting ever-more-costly fuel. These are minor irritants compared to the disruption caused by the dividers at the bottom of Townsend Road. Instead of using the former turn lane to go to CASA or the Salvation Army from the west, one must now turn somewhere in the middle of Sooke to head in the right direction, while those leaving to head east must first find a spot to turn around somewhere down the road.
And a similar pattern has been installed by dividers at the road to Mariner’s Village, but in reverse; one can only exit in an easterly direction) i.e. away from Sooke and toward Victoria) whereas to access the complex from that direction, one must first head into Sooke to make the appropriate turn. Is this in anticipation of the construction of the roundabout, as one must assume the pattern was approved by the district? But why did our traffic planner(s) approve or dictate such an aberration instead of widening the road with a turn lane, as at the new hotel?
Therefore, one must wonder whether there will be any real benefit from a traffic circle; or is it merely a whim following the latest fad to grip Greater Victoria’s planners? Reliable sources have told me it will be “just like the circle at the airport,” yet the traffic pattern in Sooke is totally different. Will it be able to handle the numerous logging trucks passing through? Will the lines of sight be such that merging will be both safe and speedy?
I’m sure there are more questions to be raised about this traffic circle, but I’m no traffic engineer. Sadly, I don’t think those in charge of our roads are either.