Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let's get this done!

The government must stop delaying and get on with the needed work at the intersection of Pat Bay Highway and Sayward Road! 

As we approach the BC Day long weekend – one of the most dangerous weekends of the year for traveling on BC highways – we are still waiting for work to get started to improve safety at this intersection.

Research shows this work is a priority, the funds are allocated - but the plan is stuck on the Minister’s desk. What’s the hold-up?

According to ICBC statistics, the intersection at Pat Bay Highway and Sayward Road is the most dangerous highway crossing on Vancouver Island. The government has been studying and planning to address this serious issue for many years. The most recent report – the 2010 Opus Hamilton study – again identified this intersection as a priority for upgrades. 

Staff at the Ministry of Transportation completed a plan for safety improvements and submitted it to the Minister more than three months ago. The funds for this work have been allocated by the Ministry and there is widespread public support for the proposed changes. Work was supposed to begin in the Spring. And yet nothing is happening. I'm starting to wonder if this is a case of politics getting in the way.

The intersection is along a major transit route for many people, including those traveling to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal or the Victoria International airport. Accidents here cause long delays that significantly disrupt tens of thousands of highway users.

According to ICBC, there have been 338 accidents at Pat Bay and Sayward Road between 2007 and 2011.

The longer it takes to get these safety improvements in place the more accidents are going to happen. I don't want to see any more delays. We know it's a problem and we know what to do to begin fixing it.  What are we waiting for?

For more information and an update on the most recent public meeting I've held on this issue, please click here.

Lana Popham
MLA, Saanich South