One of the most visible intersections on Vancouver Island, if not the province, will undergo redevelopment.
Saanich planning staff are currently reviewing plans for new complex at the corner of Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road in Saanich.
Images and site plans available on Saanich’s website shows a gas station (Chevron), a drive-thru fast food restaurant (A&W) and an attached convenience store (On-the-Run), as well as retail space for two other businesses. They will replace the location’s current tenant, a gas station run by Fas Gas Plus, an Alberta-based gas station chain, with locations across western Canada, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.
Urban Design Group Architects, a Vancouver-based company, submitted a development permit application for the project in early February 2018. It is not clear yet when Saanich council would consider the proposal.
One thing, however, appears clear. The location offers considerable visibility. As the 2014 Highway 17 Planning Study says, the highway is the “gateway to the Capital Region on Vancouver Island, accommodating the movement of people, goods and services externally from the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay and the Victoria International Airport to the Victoria Region and other areas of the Island.”
According to the report, daily traffic volumes range anywhere from almost 15,000 vehicles per day to over 60,000 vehicles per day from the north to south segments of the corridor. Daily traffic volumes are highest between Sayward Road and Royal Oak Road.
Overall, the report predicts significant traffic volume increases. It predicts peak hour corridor traffic volumes in the northern areas of the corridor (north of Mount Newton Cross Road) will go up between 20 per cent and 30 per cent over the next 25 years.
For the corridor’s southern section (south of Mount Newton Cross Road), the report predicts an increase of up to 50 per cent. “Peak hour directional volumes in the southern areas of the corridor are projected to be as high as 3,600 vehicles during the afternoon peak hours in the southbound direction and slightly more than 3,000 vehicles northbound,” it reads.
In short, plenty of vehicles will drive past the redeveloped location, which the provincial government also plans to improve, according to the report to handle additional traffic flow.
The Saanich News did contact the applicant for additional information, but did not receive a return call by deadline.