The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has confirmed that it will place protected left-turn signals at three dangerous intersections on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Cowichan Valley.
In a statement, the ministry said it is moving forward with design work for the installation of north and south-bound protected left-turn signals at Kilmalu Road, Hutchinson Road and Fisher Road’s intersections with the TCH which have seen many accidents over the years, with several resulting in fatalities.
“The ministry will have an update on timelines for these improvements following the completion of the designs later this year,” MoTI said.
A petition to implement dedicated protected left-turn signals at the intersections earlier this month garnered more than 2,900 signatures in less than week.
The petition, which was started by Cobble Hill resident Chris Lumley, came after a fatal accident on July 26 at the Hutchinson Road intersection.
Lumley said he was pleased that MoTI has decided to move forward with installing protected left-turn signals at the intersections.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“I did some research and found that the government usually doesn’t pay much attention to petitions on Change.org, so I was incredibly surprised when the ministry informed me that the signals will be installed. We made a lot of noise to bring attention to this issue and it turned out better than I would have thought.”
Lumley said there have been at least eight accidents at the three intersections in the last year alone, and there have been two fatalities in the last year and a half.
Mike Wilson, the Cowichan Valley Regional District director for Cobble Hill, along with Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau, had also been advocating for the installation of the left-turn signals at the intersections for some time, and Wilson thanked Lumley and the community for their work in helping to finally make it a reality.
“Thanks to all our community for their support on this and to Chris for his petition initiative which acted as a real catalyst,” he said on Facebook.
Lumley, 26, said this was the first initiative he had taken on to support his community and his success with the petition may lead him into local politics.
“A lot of people are telling me I should run to be the CVRD’s director for Cobble Hill at some point,” he said.
“I seem to have a knack for this kind of work.”