I moved to an apartment on the corner of Greenlea and Viewmont in 2007. At that time you could cross the street to Royal Oak at just about anytime you wanted to. Times have changed dramatically, and now you are well advised to be very careful crossing that street. It is regularly used as a race track. No one obeys simple driving laws. There is no police presence whatsoever, so drivers know they will not be caught and speed like mad.
Residents bitterly complained to Saanich. There are two regular types of pedestrians that cross that street: seniors from the building across the street who may have hearing issues, and youth on their way to or returning from Royal Oak middle school who have earbuds in and can’t hear a racing motor.
Mothers took pictures of this crosswalk, others wrote letters, all expressing their keen interest in doing something to make it safer. It was asked on several occasions to have a flashing yellow light, similar to what is seen on West Saanich Road. After all, the crosswalk is not used all the time, just when people have to get across.
Saanich wrote back and said: No, they would not do anything to that crosswalk and that it was determined to be safe (for who we’re not sure). Strange response. Why would busy mothers be so concerned that they wrote letters? Why would others take the time to do the same if it was perfectly safe?
After awhile, Saanich built a very elaborate four-way stop; they built new sidewalks, installed new signage and completed the project with new seeded grass. It was a big job, lasting several weeks. Signage was put up saying there were new stop signs. Of course, the taxpayers paid for all of this, and all of the needless changes.
It didn’t work. People blew through all the stop signs (they knew they would never be stopped by police who are never there). Now, it is more unsafe than it ever was. Few drivers stop. If they are turning, they do it without any stop whatsoever. People familiar with the crosswalk are aware that they must be very careful (I cross that street on a scooter with an in-uniform service dog, and they don’t stop for me). I’m thinking of getting a portable stop sign to carry like the school crossing guards use.
Recently, a young family was visiting their senior mother. They have a son who is about 10 years old. The mother took their dog (a small white dog) on a walk and the dog was killed. The little boy will probably never get over the loss of his buddy. The mother was taken by ambulance and probably will never be the same. It could have been the child that was killed, and unless something is done, someone will be.