Traffic heading south on Highway 17 and looking to turn left onto Beacon Avenue wait for the light to turn Tuesday morning. A report finds the intersection is experiencing “failing levels of service” for certain movements during the morning peak hours as well as the afternoon peak hours. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Traffic heading south on Highway 17 and looking to turn left onto Beacon Avenue wait for the light to turn Tuesday morning. A report finds the intersection is experiencing “failing levels of service” for certain movements during the morning peak hours as well as the afternoon peak hours. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Major Sidney intersection already deficient predicted to get worse

New report also finds area’s pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in need of improvement

A new report predicts a major intersection on the Saanich Peninsula already experiencing “failing levels of service” during the certain times of the day will struggle to accommodate future traffic.

The report from WATT Consulting Group finds failing levels of service (LOS) at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic, drawing on data from 2020, accounting for decreased traffic thanks to COVID-19.

During the morning peak period, northbound, southbound and eastbound left-turning traffic as well as southbound through traffic experience failing levels of service, a qualitative measure used to describe the relative quality of motor vehicle traffic service with six ratings from LOS A (free flowing traffic) to LOS F (traffic flow reduced to start-stop at minimal speeds).

“During the p.m. peak hour, all four of the left-turn movements at the (intersection) operates at failing LOS,” it reads.

Looking ahead to 2040, the report predicts that the intersection will continue to have “multiple movements” at failing levels of service, including movements that currently operate above failing. The situation will be worse during the p.m. peak hour when the “majority of movements” fail.

Overall, the report predicts the intersection will be among “multiple” intersections in the report’s study area where peak hour operations would break down, a point picked up in the Sidney staff report describing the study.

“When analyzing future development, it is anticipated that many intersections in the area will be deficient by 2040,” said Jenn Clary, director of engineering.

RELATED: Sidney turns down housing project over size, massing after neighbourhood concerns

WATT studied the intersection as part of the Beacon West Traffic Study, coordinated by Sidney, the Victoria Airport Authority and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The study included the area immediately west of Highway 17 and north of Beacon Avenue, including the intersection of Mills Road and West Saanich Road.

As Clary noted in her analysis, the areas under study have potential for large commercial and industrial development, as well as some residential growth, with Beacon Avenue connecting the eastern and western half of Sidney.

RELATED: Industrial land flying off the shelf at Victoria International Airport

The report also found the area’s pedestrian and cycling infrastructure require improvement to encourage multi-modal transportation, with the study recommending new sidewalks and bike lanes, said Clary, adding that both Sidney and North Saanich have already made plans for some of the proposed infrastructure. “(However), others are newly identified through this study,” she said.

The consultant’s report does not attach any dollars figure and Clary’s report notes intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue lies outside municipal jurisdiction.

“Since Highway 17 is within the jurisdiction of MoTI, (town) staff have limited influence over implementing these recommendations,” she said.

Council received the report Monday.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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