Central Saanich council has denied a resident’s request for a permanent, lighted speed sign in the southbound lane of Saanich X Road between Island View and East Saanich roads, a project with an $8,000 price tag.
Council had received the request late last year and worked with both the Central Saanich Police to monitor the area, and the District’s director of engineering, David McAllister, to establish what the costs and feasibility of a lighted speed sign would be.
McAllister reported to council at the Monday, March 2 meeting that after working with the police to monitor traffic incidents and enforce speed limits on the section of road, the frequency with which neighbours were requesting police attendance was more in line with police presence and traffic incidents in areas with ten times the amount of traffic.
Additionally, McAllister stated that vehicle speed is naturally limited in the Saanich X Road area, as all southbound traffic travels uphill and a left-turn lane and a stop sign slow speeds at Island View Road and East Saanich Road, respectively.
Mayor Ryan Windsor did note that the road is a municipal truck route, echoing the letter writer’s concerns that it is the trucks that are speeding.
McAllister went on to report that while the District has had success with lighted speed signs in other areas — specifically pointing out the sign on the long, straight stretch of Mount Newton X Road leading up to the highway and its 64 per cent reduction in traffic tickets — a sign on Saanich X Road would not be expected to achieve similar results, as the site itself already limits speed.
Councillor Carl Jensen asked whether moving an existing sign to the location could be a more cost-effective option, but McAllister stated that moving a sign would still incur approximately $3,000.
Coun. Niall Paltiel emphasized that “enforcement has been done in reaction to the letter writer,” and also noted that since the resident had also asked for a longer term solution to the overpass at Keating X Road, council needed to be “fiscally responsible,” and take actions to build a larger capital reserve for such projects.