Thursday, March 1, 2012

Change is coming for Pat Bay & Sayward!

Question & Answer at the Sayward/Pat Bay Forum
Dear Saanich South,

RE: safety improvements for the Pat Bay/Sayward Road intersection.

I’m writing to report-out on the community meeting held last evening.

The event had great energy and a super turn-out! Over 125 residents attended, filling the room to capacity. There was also excellent participation from the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs, BC Transit staff, Saanich Council and Engineering, and five representatives from the Ministry of Transportation (MOT).

MOT staff included Kirsten Pedersen who is both the Vancouver Island District Manager and the Executive Director of Strategic Priorities, as well as Dave Edgar, a Senior Transportation Planning Engineer.

Norma and Helen; look at those beautiful smiles!
I’m excited to report that the MOT is ready to move forward with the proposed safety improvements. For them, the last step needed was to see that there is strong community support to go in this direction.

And indeed there was! I tested the room on each of the proposed changes and there was an overwhelming positive response.

These changes were built out of the initial community meeting that I organized in 2010 and were developed through a working group of with community representatives, business owners, MOT, BC Transit, Saanich Councillors and myself.

It was a real treat for me to spearhead this process. I especially want to thank the many residents of Cordova Bay who volunteered their time and contributed many good ideas.

And what will happen now?

The smart and hard-working Community
Rep from Cordova Bay, Graham Shorthill
Mark Traverso, a MOT Operations Manager, spoke about the next steps. MOT will do a final review of the community input provided last night to improve the plan but given the obvious support in the room he said they would move forward and that the next step is to build and install the “congestion ahead” flashing lights. That should happen this Spring or Summer at the latest. The acceleration and deceleration lanes are also coming although these first require additional design, property acquisition and a tendering process to choose the contractor. Mark said this should all be done in the next 12-24 months.

I will keep on top of this file and I look forward to working with you on additional improvements to our local transportation system.

If you have any additional thoughts on this intersection please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Warm regards,

Lana Popham

PS. You can see pictures of the meeting and conceptual images of the proposed changes here.

The proposed safety improvements are:

  • An acceleration lane, northbound from Sayward Road. People leaving Cordova Bay will finally be able to merge safety onto the highway.
  • A deceleration lane for northbound highway traffic heading into Cordova Bay. People will finally be able to safely leave the highway without slowing down the highway traffic.
  • “Congestion ahead” flashing lights south of the intersection to warn drivers when the road is congested.
  • Relocation of the bus stop for the northbound bus to the south side of the intersection. This will help Cordova Bay traffic heading northbound merge more safely.