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Sidewalk, intersection upgrades aim to make routes to school safer in Langford

The eight upgrades were unveiled Tuesday at Ruth King Elementary
Former school trustee Dianna Seaton looks at displays at Ruth King Elementary on Tuesday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Eight upgrades aimed at creating safer routes to schools were unveiled Tuesday at Ruth King Elementary in Langford, including sidewalk improvements, an improved intersection and creation of a multi-use path.

The projects are the result of a partnership between the City of Langford and the Sooke School District, and focus on areas where development and frontage work were not likely to happen for some time.

The bulk of the funding is coming from the city’s general-amenity fund, with $3.195 million coming this year and $2.65 million in 2025, while the school district is contributing $250,000.

The school district funds will go toward a paved path and new sidewalk along the Matson Road side of the Ruth King grounds, close to where new prefabricated classrooms will open in September.

Ruth King principal Vicki Ives said there is no sidewalk there right now and the changes are welcome.

In addition to the money from the general-amenity fund, Langford is contributing $766,000 from a B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant for two of the projects — improving the Veterans Memorial Parkway/Goldstream Avenue intersection and adding a multi-use path along Bellamy Road.

The path will be an extension to the Phelps Trail and will connect Thetis Lake Regional Park to the Bellamy area.

Sooke School Board chair Amanda Dowhy said the support from Langford reinforces its commitment to safe and accessible active travel routes for both students and residents.

Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson said ICBC is also part of the effort to add safety improvements at various locations in the municipality, where the population is nearing 60,000.

“There are areas throughout the city where key sidewalk connections are either non-existent or incomplete, which discourages students of all ages and abilities from using alternative modes of transportation to get to and from school,” he said.

ICBC road-safety and community co-ordinator Colleen Woodger said there are 531 motor-vehicle incidents in Langford in a typical year, and the corporation’s initiatives such as adding to the visibility of school zones are made to try to bring that number down.

She said ICBC provided $78,000 in funding focused on school safety in Langford in 2023, including intersection work and improved signage.

Here are the other sidewalk-infill projects:

• From the City Gate community to 749 Treanor Ave., improving access to Lakewood Elementary School.

• From 594 to 540 Atkins Rd., improving access to Savory Elementary School.

• On Hoylake Avenue, improving access to Millstream Elementary School.

• From 3422 Happy Valley Road to Englewood Avenue plus addition of crosswalk on Hazelwood Road, improving access to Happy Valley Elementary School and the Galloping Goose Trail.

• On Glen Lake Road from Allouette Avenue to Sooke Road, improving access to Belmont Secondary School.

The Matson Road, Treanor Avenue and Atkins Road projects are due for completion this year and the rest are expected to be done by 2025.

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