No left turn at the Royal Bank is one of the traffic changes on the table. (Andrea Rondeau/Gazette)

No left turn from Darnell by the Royal Bank? It’s coming, Lake Cowichan council decides

Lake Cowichan council is working with the RCMP on traffic ideas around town

Are you ready to stop trying to turn left off Darnell Road by the Royal Bank?

Lake Cowichan council likes that idea and will put it into action soon.

Sgt. Stu Foster of the Lake Cowichan RCMP has offered several suggestions about traffic in town for town councillors to discuss, and that’s one of them.

“There will be some concern about not being able to turn left at the Royal Bank, but people will get used to it. The roundabout is right next to it,” said Mayor Ross Forrest.

He’s already talked with Town CAO Joe Fernandez and taken a look at a few sites around town.

Councillors were wondering about the chance of getting backing for a pedestrian controlled intersection at Lake Cowichan Sports Arena but Foster said he thought a simpler pedestrian controlled flasher could do an effective job.

On the subject of Sunfest traffic, the sergeant said, “I look foreard to having an assessment completed to determine either the purchase or cost sharing agreement between the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the CVRD on lamps to be installed on the existing hydro poles on either side of North Shore Road at Youbou Road. This will have a large impact on year round safety at the intersection. I believe it is something we should work towards having in place before the spring, where we will see a large increase in traffic. The visibility in the area is simply not good. There is little ambient light and it is pitch dark at night.”

It’s time to get at this, Foster said.

“This area is seeing a great deal of additional traffic from both residential developments and that of Laketown Ranch. A number of larger developments have been put in, including Creekside, Woodland Shores, The Cabin Collection, and others, all of which increase traffic.

“Additionally, seasonal traffic is substantially increasing access to the wilderness and camping areas around Lake Cowichan. Not to mention that up to 24 event dates a year that are or will be hosted by Laketown Ranch, with a maximum capacity of 18,000 persons. As we look to the future, growth must be expected.”

However, some information collecting will have to wait until next year, he said.

“We are coming to the end of the busy season, thus it will necessitate the studies and or data collection on speed and traffic numbers to wait until next year. I believe these studies will show the need for a reduction in the speed zone to 50 km/hr (from 80 presently), installation of a crosswalk and a pedestrian controlled intersection. Or in the very least, a pedestrian flashing system (which may be a viable alternative to a light system and just as effective).”

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