Walkers, joggers, cyclists and equestrians alike can now utilize a section of the Galloping Goose Trail in Metchosin with ease thanks to safety upgrades at the Happy Valley Road crossing.
A $10,000 provincial grant paid for the installation of solar-powered pedestrian and cyclist-activated crossing signs, as well as vivid pedestrian crosswalk markings, according to Island Health in a news release Monday.
Sharie Epp, a councillor with the District of Metchosin, is happy with the upgrades and says she’s travelled the trail by bike and horse only to find the Happy Valley crossing, in particular, “a scary and dangerous place to cross.”
“We are so thrilled to have received the grant, and people are loving the new crosswalk. It makes a huge difference,” said Epp. “Just having the crosswalk there makes drivers more cautious and encourages them to go a bit slower.”
As one of three areas where the Galloping Goose crosses in Metchosin, the Happy Valley crossing is located along a major artery connecting drivers to and from adjacent municipalities like Langford.
“We know from the science that vividly alerting drivers to an upcoming crosswalk increases the likelihood that they will slow down, visually scan for people crossing and ultimately stop when the situation calls for it,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, in a statement.
“At the same time, we are so pleased to work with community partners, like Island Health and the District of Metchosin, which took the lead in making this road safety project a reality.”
Funding for the upgrades, delivered via the health authority, was provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure through the B.C. Vision Zero in Road Safety Grant Program — an initiative that aims to prevent road deaths and injuries.
“Island Health is pleased to be part of the province-wide…program,” added Neil Arason, Island Health’s injury prevention and safety promotion lead. “The Happy Valley Road Safety Project is a great example of how our program is helping to improve safety for vulnerable roadway users.”