Letters: Wrong priorities for roads

Sooke's proposed roundabout will be unsafe says letter writer

Your report (Feb 18, 2015) on the presentation made by Bill Jones and Carol Mallett to Sooke Council highlights one of the main reasons that the installation of a roundabout on Sooke Road at the Evergreen Mall entrance is such a bad idea – it will make pedestrian travel on the north side of Sooke road much more dangerous, particularly for those who can’t nimbly jump out of the way of moving vehicles, such as people on scooters, in wheelchairs or pushing strollers.

The main reason for putting in a roundabout is to ensure a nice, steady traffic flow from all directions. Currently, vehicles leaving Evergreen Mall must stop and wait for a break in traffic and for pedestrian traffic on the north side of the road to clear before proceeding. With the roundabout, cars are expected to continue straight into the traffic flow within the roundabout, without stopping. Pity on the poor pedestrian who steps out onto the road expecting the cars to stop for them, as they always have before.

Similarly, vehicles turning left into the mall have to stop, wait for a break in the traffic, and for pedestrian traffic to clear before proceeding. With the new roundabout, eastbound cars going into the mall will go into and stay in the circle until they turn left into the mall.  These vehicles in the circle have the right-of-way and so it’s traffic on Sooke Road that has to slow down to let them proceed.  The last thing a car in the circle wants to do is to stop halfway through to let a pedestrian cross. A slow moving pedestrian, such as one with a mobility aid is placed in extreme danger.

But , I think, this issue represents a much bigger concern – what kind of community are we trying to be? Carol Mallett said it as well as it could be said, “If you make the town good for people with disabilities, you make a town good for everyone.” The accessibility issues in the downtown area have been known for at least seven years. The proposed solutions have always had strong community support. Yet council after council has done diddly-squat to start solving these problems, preferring instead to spend millions of dollars on connector roads and on a roundabout that will make the problems worse, not better. All of these other projects are intended to reduce the commuter time for a relatively small number of car drivers. There is not now, nor has there ever been, a demonstrated show of support for these expensive road projects, yet they continue to get funded ahead of  smaller, cheaper projects that will make life easier, safer and more pleasant for pedestrians and people with mobility aids.

Hopefully it’s not too late for council to realize that a new roundabout that will only expedite traffic movement into and out of a mall is not a high priority at this time, and that more attention must be paid to making Sooke a much safer, more pleasant place to be for those who choose to walk or have to get about in in something other than the ubiquitous automobile.

Rick Gates

Sooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read