South Shore and Stone upgrade should be traffic priority

Does ANYONE care about our school children?

South Shore and Stone upgrade should be traffic priority

Does ANYONE care about our school children?

Sgt. Stu Foster and Lake Cowichan council are discussing traffic ideas, but no mention of a school crosswalk at South Shore and Stone? I’ve discussed this in length with Stu and he even asked the town about it on my behalf.

But some mysterious “engineering problem” prevents it. “The road is too wide.” Highway regulations require traffic control features (medians and balloons) to narrow the traffic lanes thus shortening the distance of the crosswalk.

So why can’t they do that? It was done at all the other intersections in 2012 and ever since then I have been asking why this one was left out? In 2016 they said there was “no money” and passed the buck to provincial highways ministry who passed it right back to them. Two years and three accidents later they still don’t care? I have also asked repeatedly for the relocation of the 30kmh school zone sign (which is currently hiding behind a hydro pole) but obviously even a simple task like that is just too much to ask for.

It’s a school zone and students cross there daily. Some, from the apartments, cross early on winter mornings when it is still dark. Often, whole classes cross there to the nature trail or on their way to the arena. On food bank day, sidewalks are full and people cross back and forth to parked vehicles, some are disabled and need walkers or scooters. And from April to October the speed-reader board shows the majority of passing vehicles are 20 or 30 kph over the speed limit!

Vision is limited in all three directions so speeding motorists suddenly surprise you when you’re halfway across and you have to run. Because there is no crosswalk, motorists feel they are not legally obligated to stop and many do not even slow down. Once a logging truck slowed down for an older gent with a cane, but didn’t come to a full stop. Instead the driver honked as if to say, “Get outta my way!” narrowly missing him.

It seems town hall just doesn’t want to believe that traffic has dramatically increased on South Shore due to the growing popularity of the Pacific Marine Route. But in August, when a serious accident blocked the Malahat, traffic from Victoria was diverted through the west coast and all day a steady stream of vehicles were speeding downhill into town!

Mayor, Ross Forrest once told me at a public meeting, “Just because everyone else has traffic control doesn’t mean YOU need It.” which begs the question “If everyone else needed it then why don’t I?” But this isn’t about ME anyway! This is a public safety issue, not a “urinating contest.” Furthermore, I presented more than a hundred signatures asking for this upgrade, which included most of the school staff, but town hall and the school board ignored it. So, with the election coming up and incumbents in the spotlight, they now have the perfect opportunity to show just how much they really care about our school children’s safety.

David Work

Lake Cowichan

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