‘Worst thing I’ve ever seen’: Victoria making traffic changes to controversial intersection

‘Worst thing I’ve ever seen’: Victoria making traffic changes to controversial intersection
The intersection of Haultain Street and Fernwood Road is shown.

For Sherryl Orcherton, the intersection of Fernwood Road and Haultain Street is hell on wheels.

“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” says the animated Fernwood resident who lives at the corner where the intersection is located.

She’s one of several people in the neighbourhood who have voiced concern over the two-way stop which gives those travelling on Fernwood Road the right of way.

“It’s hard for people to grasp because they’re seeing a bike lane and they think it’s a through lane. They think the bikes overtake the cars,” she said Thursday.

One major issue has to do with cyclists along Haultain Street not stopping. Signage at the intersection is clear, but Michael Purves thinks the stop signs are on the wrong corners.

“You should design roads for the way people are, not for the way you think they should be,” he said. “When you stop, it’s hard to get going again, so you see them just coasting through the intersection and with cars coming down not having to stop, that’s when you get the accidents.”

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Last October, a cyclist was struck by a vehicle during the morning commute, but escaped with only minor injuries.

Mary McAvoy was there for that crash. “Somebody is going to be killed,” she told CHEK News at the time.

READ MORE: ‘Somebody is going to be killed’: Fernwood residents demand change after cyclist struck at intersection

She’s since reached out to the City of Victoria about her concerns, and thanks in part to those efforts the intersection has been the subject of study for months.

Ross Kenny is the assistant director of transportation for the City of Victoria and says the data did not support an intersection that was problematic, but voices of nearby residents has brought about change.

“We’re changing the stop signs from a two-way stop on Haultain back to a four-way stop that existed pre-2022,” he said. Work is already underway by city staff.

“We want to support people who are walking, cycling or driving,” said Kenny.

Under the new changes, drivers will still not be able to cross Fernwood Road via Haultain Street. A concrete barrier allows cyclists to cross the intersection but vehicle traffic must turn onto Fernwood Road, resulting in frustrated drivers doing quick turnarounds in driveways.

“I wish they’d go back to a four-way stop with a red flashing light,” says Orcherton. “But they’re not going to do that because they put all this money into the concrete and lovely shrubbery.”

The intersection of Haultain Street and Fernwood Road is pictured on May 30, 2024. (CHEK News)

(CHEK News)

(CHEK News)

Jordan CunninghamJordan Cunningham

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