Saanich is moving forward with safety upgrades to Prospect Lake Road by narrowing a section of the street and reducing it to one lane of traffic.
A string of crashes on the road in late 2019, including one that claimed the life of a 51-year-old motorcyclist, prompted the District of Saanich to undertake a safety audit with the Insurance Corp. of B.C. The results of the review were released in July, and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said the municipality would move forward with all recommendations.
The district has already installed new signs warning of curves on the 7.2-kilometre winding road and a centre-line rumble strip in a problem intersection near Munn Road, Haynes said.
A pilot project reducing the two-lane road to one lane near Calvert Park showed lower road speeds, and now the district is making the change permanent on a 70-metre stretch of the road.
“People who are driving it regularly — and I’m one of them — are very comfortable with it,” Haynes said.
Southbound drivers will yield to northbound traffic and should treat the section as they would a one-lane bridge.
Construction is expected to start this month and Prospect Lake Road will be closed on)Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for work.
Residents of the area have been calling for safety improvements on the winding road. About 3,100 vehicles travel the road daily, and that number has been increasing by about two per cent each year, according to the safety review.
The review also estimated 15 to 50 per cent of traffic on the road is non-local, with higher numbers using the cut-through during the evening rush hour.
Kaeley Wiseman, chairwoman of Prospect Lake District Community Association, said residents of rural Saanich are supportive of changes designed to slow speeds and divert cut-through traffic.
“We are very happy with how Saanich has responded,” she said.
The district plans to install new speed limit signs reducing the limit to 30 km/h from 50 km/h in the main residential area, between Estelline Road and Goward Road in the next few weeks.