George Blogg, president of the Portage Inlet Sanctuary Colquitz Estuary Society, says residents are getting frustrated because meetings to address safety concerns aren’t going as planned. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

George Blogg, president of the Portage Inlet Sanctuary Colquitz Estuary Society, says residents are getting frustrated because meetings to address safety concerns aren’t going as planned. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich residents call on province to address McKenzie Interchange safety concerns

Ministry says some desired safety improvements will be addressed by Saanich

Residents of Portage Inlet are calling on the province to step in to address safety concerns related to the McKenzie interchange project after talks with the Ministry of Transportation (MoTI) have not gone as planned.

Since the interchange project was announced, the Portage Inlet Sanctuary Colquitz Estuary Society (PISCES) – a group representing residents near the interchange – has been involved in discussions with MoTI and the District of Saanich, said PISCES president George Blogg.

READ ALSO: Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

After more than three years of consultations and various road safety reports, Blogg said residents believed the ministry would address their concerns – specifically the safety of the Esson and Admirals roads intersection.

However, the most recent meeting between PISCES, MoTI staff and Saanich representatives at the construction site on Aug. 13 was “very disappointing,” Blogg said. The ministry said while some improvements will be completed along Admirals Road, the desired upgrades for the Esson Road intersection are not within the scope of the project.

In a written statement, MoTI said safety is “top priority” and that work is underway on Admirals Road “to further ensure the corridor is safe for people travelling by all modes of transportation.”

READ ALSO: Residents concerned about safety near McKenzie Interchange call on MLA

The ministry said the improvements that are within the scope of the project include the completion of continuous sidewalks, connecting bike lanes to existing infrastructure, improving sightlines at Esson Road and adding pavement markings along Admirals Road to guide road-users.

Blogg is frustrated about the lack of traffic calming measures at the Esson Road intersection because he feels the interchange project has made the area “significantly less safe.”

“With the aggravation and stress that this neighbourhood has gone through, you’d think they’d want to do something,” Blogg said. “You couldn’t find a more unsafe piece of road if you tried – it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

In a push for the desired changes, PISCES sent letters to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Premier John Horgan on Aug. 17 asking them to step in. They had not received a reply as of Aug. 31.

READ ALSO: Ministry responds to safety concerns for Admirals Road

When asked about plans to address residents’ other concerns, MoTI said that the new traffic patterns in the area will be monitored to assess what improvements are needed and ensure changes are effective.

The ministry also pointed out Saanich has committed to addressing concerns at the Esson Road intersection.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said it’s “unfortunate” the desired safety improvements can’t be made within the scope of the McKenzie interchange project but confirmed that improvements are planned for the area in 2021.

READ ALSO: Ministry responds to safety concerns for Admirals Road


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

ConstructionDistrict of SaanichTransportation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Most Read