New stop signs are on the wrong side of the road, say residents

The suburban Saanich intersection of Palmer and Cumberland roads is getting its first pair of stop signs, but residents who live next to the intersection say they’re being installed on the wrong sides.

A Saanich crew was there Tuesday removing “non-essential pavement” from the corners of the intersection. The wide, uninterrupted intersection will have stop signs installed on both sides of Cumberland. But that will have little effect, as Cumberland is a dead end access to Playfair Park while Palmer is abused as a speedway, according to Glen Plummer, who lives on one corner of the intersection with his family.

Plummer spoke on behalf of a group of homeowners who say they’ve wanted stop signs and an upgrade to the intersection for years, and are disappointed Saanich isn’t listening to their concerns. Although Palmer is also a dead end running east, the residents believe it is being used as a shortcut to get through from Quadra.

“People come whipping around the corner off Palmer [from Quadra], on to Cumberland, and then onto Union which is a cross street that cuts through from Quadra to Maplewood,” Plummer said. “This is a close-knit neighbourhood and we appreciate [the intersection upgrade], but hey, we think the stop sign should be on Palmer not Cumberland.”

There are several kids in the neighbourhood, including Plummer’s, who’ve been there for eight years.

“We’ve been astounded by the increase in traffic, and there’s been a demand for traffic calming, there’s been petitions,” Plummer said.

That’s why Plummer and his neighbours were surprised when Saanich recently delivered a memo to houses immediately adjacent to the intersection explaining the coming work, but not to all the nearby homes, he said.

Troy McKay, Saanich manager of transportation and development, confirmed the stop signs are being installed to define the right-of-way at the intersection which was previously uncontrolled.

McKay added the stop signs are consistent with the adjacent intersection of Union Road at Cumberland Road.

“It is prudent to note that traffic conditions at this intersection do not warrant an all-way stop,” McKay said.

All Plummer and his neighbours wanted, he said, was a chance to express their concerns.

“When we called engineering after the first letter, they were taken aback,” Plummer said. “Then we got a letter that went to more homes, but one that [we felt] is condescending.”

As of Wednesday, complaints to the mayor’s office have also been unreturned, Plummer said.

“Basically, since the path through Playfair was upgraded there has been an increase in bikes and also a lot of pedestrians that come down Cumberland, far more than the balance of bikes/pedestrians that make up the traffic on Palmer,” Plummer said. “It just won’t do anything to have stop signs on Cumberland.”

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