During the municipal council meeting on Monday, March 13th, Saanich council discussed the benefits of reducing speed limits in nine major corridors within the municipality to increase public safety.
Councillor Colin Plant brought up during the discussion that in regards to reducing speed limits on these major corridors within Saanich, for every 10 letters of support from the public, there is only one in opposition.
The proposed changes will reduce speeds to 40 km/h on Gorge Road and Tillicum Road. The same change is proposed for the corridor of Harriet Road which transitions to Boleskine Road and Saanich Road, with a 30 km/h speed limit before and after the intersection of Saanich Road and Douglas Street by Uptown Shopping Centre — one of Saanich’s most notorious and collision prone intersections.
Cedar Hill Cross Road is also proposed to be reduced to 40 km/h along with Larchwood Drive, Emily Carr Drive and a nearby stretch of West Saanich Road.
One of the longest stretches of roads along the District of Saanich’s eastern border also has been proposed to have its speed limit slashed to 40 km/h. This stretch includes, Sayward Road, Fowler Road, Cordova Bay Road, part of Lochside Drive, Claremont Avenue, part of Cedar Hill Road on PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park) border, Ash Road Grandview Road, Ferndale Road, part of Gordon Head Road, Arbutus Road and Telegraph Bay Road.
Prospect Lake Road also has proposed speed limit cuts. If this bylaw passes, the speed limit will be just 30 km/h on the northern portion of the road and will continue onto Sparton Road. The southern portion of Prospect Lake Road will be 40 km/h.
Old West Saanich Road, Oldfield Road and Hartland Avenue in the northwest portion of Saanich are all to be reduced to 40 km/h and lastly, Willis Point Road and West Saanich Road are to be 60 km/h.
“The general public is largely in favour of this, so I’m happy to lend my support and I would only say to staff, ‘bring us more please,’” said Councillor Plant.
These speed limit changes have been in the works for some time and now that the motion has been researched and discussed, it can enter its next stages of implementation by District of Saanich staff.
“The streets in many parts of not just our municipality but the whole region and goodness knows even further have become unfortunately dangerous places,” said Councillor Susan Brice, who seconded the proposed bylaw.
“Speed is a factor — we know the statistics on survival rates and the reductions of speed which is why we’ve embraced this.”
“Once it starts being implemented, there will be a great relief in the public; not that we’ve achieved all that we want to achieve but that they’ve been heard and we’re doing what we can to try and make our streets safer.”
The official Saanich report says that the implementation of the new speed limit signs would ideally begin by spring of this year.