View Royal resident petitions province for sound barriers

View Royal resident petitions province for sound barriers
Sound registered above 80 decibels can cause physical harm.

The traffic is too loud according to some View Royal residents living near the Trans-Canada Highway.

“We love our community but we hate the noise,” Ryan Painter, who is petitioning the province to provide a buffer to the buzz, told CHEK News.

Painter, who served as the board chair of the Greater Victoria School District until Nov. 9, says as the West Shore has grown, more developments mean more vehicles are travelling along Highway 1. And more cars means more clamour for his neighbourhood of Thetis Vale.

“We don’t have any sound barriers that were put in, and I can’t for the life of me understand why,” said Painter.

Painter says the noise can be dangerous.

“We’ve got large trucks that are coming by, police vehicles, street racers, and it really is harming for health,” said Painter.

In general, sound above 80 decibels can be physically harmful. Painter’s sound meter app showed sound typically in the 70-decibel range, with an average of 78 decibels.

Federal research suggests that depending on the sound level and duration, noise disturbing sleep or rest can actually increase the risk of developing stress-related illnesses.

Painter says this sound ticks that box.

“You’re definitely hearing people that people have trouble sleeping at night,” said Painter. “If I’m working at my home office I can’t open my windows because it’s just too noisy.”

Sound barriers aren’t unheard of. Saanich saw them installed with the new McKenzie Interchange.

As a result, newly elected View Royal mayor Sid Tobias supports the petition, especially considering Premier-elect David Eby’s plan for housing.

“I know the new premier has a plan to even maybe increase density that much further. But I think with that comes the infrastructure and supportive infrastructure to be able to work that out so the things we build are livable. I don’t think we want to build communities that are not,” said Tobias.

Highway one is under provincial purview. CHEK News reached out to the Ministry of Transportation, which was unable to provide comment before deadline.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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