A recent speed limit review by the Central Saanich Police in the core of Brentwood Bay revealed that years of band-aid fixes on speed limits has led to a confusing climax in the present day.
“Over the years we’ve been a bit pragmatic in how we’ve dealt with concerns from residents in terms of speed on roads in the area of Brentwood,” said Central Saanich Police Constable Paul Brailey during a recent committee meeting as he explained why there are zones in Brentwood ranging from 30 to 50 kilometers per hour.
“For many years we didn’t have a dedicated traffic department, we didn’t have a standardized approach and now we’ve found ourselves in this position,” he said.
Brailey added that he felt the force had done themselves a disservice by not making the speed in the core areas more consistent.
Speeds in the core area between Wallace Drive, West Saanich Road, Verdier Avenue and Stelly’s X Road are inconsistent he said, and the police are looking to standardize the speeds to make it easier for residents, visitors and enforcement alike.
“Some major roads actually have speed limits that are less than the side roads,” he said.
The review included five proposed options to streamline the speed limits in Brentwood. Brailey said the police favoured the option which would see all core roads in Brentwood to 40 km/h, including residential side roads.
Although it would have yielded more consistent speeds throughout the area, some speed limits in residential areas would have been raised from 30 to 40 km/h.
As a result, after much deliberation from council Councillor Zeb King moved the motion that all entrances to the core area be marked with signs saying the speed limit is 40 km/h unless otherwise posted, which would leave existing 30 speeds where they are.
“I’m cautious about even making this motion. This is one issue that has vocal members of the community on both sides,” said King, adding that signage at the entrance of the core area would be a more financially reasonable move (only minimum signage would have to be changed or moved) and a more appropriate gradual transition for drivers.
The motion was passed with Councillors Carl Jensen and John Garrison in opposition.