Residents in Central Saanich are concerned about a traffic flow diversion bringing more vehicles to their residential street.
Construction on the long-awaited Keating Cross overpass starts this week and aims to give northbound commuters a safer turn from the Pat Bay Highway into Central Saanich.
This construction is bringing changes to traffic flow in the area.
Keating Cross Road’s southbound ramp will close on Saturday, and traffic will be detoured down through Central Saanich Road to Tanner Road.
Residents in the area told CHEK News they are concerned about increased traffic, as the street is lined with homes, city bus stops, and children walking to and from school.
“We have people who speed down this road, who speed faster than 60 kilometres an hour. There are a lot of children playing here, kids put up lemonade stands here, people walk their dogs here, we’re crossing the street with our dogs,” Mollie Twidale said.
“We are very concerned there is going to be an accident.”
Doug Gillespie said buses and school buses are constantly battling with other vehicles on the road when they make stops.
“This is not the safest street,” he added.
According to Central Saanich’s mayor, a number of these issues have been previously brought up.
“Some of these were pre-existing and may be exacerbated by the temporary changes to traffic flow patterns as the construction continues over the next few years or so,” Mayor Ryan Windsor said.
He added that he does understand the concerns.
While not committing to changes, Windsor told CHEK News the district’s budget for this year and five-year plan includes money for transportation improvements, including crosswalks, but the discussions are very preliminary.
While the construction is ongoing, the District of Central Saanich is asking all drivers to pay attention to all road signs, slow down and respect the people living in the neighbourhood.
Twidale said people already speed down Tanner Road, and more needs to be done to ensure safety for both drivers and pedestrians.
“We’d like the police to be involved. If they have a presence, maybe people will slow down,” she explained.
Windsor said if speed continues to be an issue, temporary orders could be implemented to reduce speed limits, and police patrols could be allocated to monitor the area.
He added the district would be working closely with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to monitor and potentially alleviate some concerns.
Residents with safety concerns or possible solutions are encouraged to contact the district’s engineering department.
Construction for the overpass is expected to finish in 2025.