When the Town of Sidney presented a communication plan around its new roundabout project at the intersection of Fifth Street and Ocean Avenue, one might have been forgiven if they thought the plan was to tell people about the project.
The plan is, however, to communicate the traffic interruptions around the site.
The project itself is already approved and is going ahead.
Judging by the lack of outcry over it, knowledge of the roundabout project itself appears widespread and residents are ready for another traffic circle to take shape.
Information about the roundabout has been readily available. The Town’s website has had links to the plans, how it’s being paid for, diagrams, reasoning and a timeline for a long while now.
The municipality has done a good job in communicating this project and seems to be taking steps to ensure drivers, residents and users of the Anacortes Ferry terminal know how to avoid the work area.
The town’s communication of the project does put into perspective the plans of its neighbouring communities to better tell its citizens about initiatives and proposals — especially those that are much more controversial.
You could say that Sidney’s traffic pattern communication plan is somewhat basic, compared with the streams of public meetings, open houses and consultative sessions over housing density in North Saanich and even a cellular tower in Central Saanich. Because of the controversy there, adequate (perhaps even more than that) public consultation is derided as not good enough.
Sidney can be thankful that a roundabout hasn’t drawn as much criticism and will be completed sooner than later.