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Saanich staff respond to risk concerns about Cordova Bay intersection

Staff considering short-term solutions, but higher-priority projects the focus
A busy intersection at Sayward and Alderley roads in the Cordova Bay neighbourhood has sparked safety concerns from residents. Saanich staff are looking at short-term solutions to increase safety at the intersection. (Photo courtesy of Vina Moldoveanu)

Residents in Cordova Bay recently expressed their concerns about an intersection at Sayward and Alderley roads, a busy route used by commercial vehicles coming from or toward Pat Bay Highway.

Concerns about heavy truck traffic include the potential risk to pedestrians, cyclists and especially students crossing to catch their school bus. A four-way stop has been suggested by representatives of Better Mobility Saanich, as well as reducing the speed from 50 to 40 kilometres per hour.

While noting that Sayward Road is an important commercial connector road for the Cordova Bay area, Saanich is considering whether short-term solutions can be implemented in this area, said communications manager, Megan Catalano.

In the long term, Sayward Road will be improved through the district’s Active Transportation Plan, with sidewalks and cycling facilities, but in the short term, higher priority projects are taking the lead, she said.

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“Within Cordova Bay, we will prioritize the immediate areas around Cordova Bay Elementary School for walking and cycling improvements,” Catalano said. In a recent traffic report by staff, the average speed documented by commercial drivers was 51 kilometres per hour in the Sayward and Alderley area.

“It’s important to note the Sayward and Alderley intersection does not meet any of the requirements of our Stop Sign Policy to be considered further for an all-way stop,” Catalano said. She noted that when such changes are implemented arbitrarily, they can actually increase the number of crashes since drivers often fail to stop.

She added that staff are hearing the concerns of residents in the area and are always working toward making roads in the district safer.

In the immediate future staff are working with adjacent homeowners to improve traffic visibility from Alderley toward Sayward. Staff also requested Saanich police install a temporary speed display device to help to educate drivers on their speed when exiting the highway.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the average speed in a Cordova Bay school zone. The average speed was in reference to Alderley and Sayward roads. A recent traffic count showed average speeds of 51 km/h in that area. We apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused.

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