Safety upgrades urged for McKenzie and Trans-Canada intersection

Safety improvements are urgently needed to the Admirals Road/ McKenzie Avenue/Trans-Canada Highway, which has, since 2013, had the highest crash count of any intersection on Vancouver Island, Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff says.

“McKenzie is the No. 1 crash intersection on Vancouver Island. So I think that’s significant,” Brownoff said.

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Statistics compiled by ICBC show there were 79 crashes at the intersection in 2013.

Brownoff said the district should follow the same plan it used to secure improvements to the intersection at Sayward Road and the Pat Bay Highway by establishing a working group to start discussions on safety.

This week, Saanich council endorsed her recommendation to ask the province to undertake community consultation and establish a working group, similar to the Sayward Intersection Working Group.

“To me, it looks similar to Sayward. It’s probably the merge coming off of McKenzie merging onto the highway,” Brownoff said.

“There’s so many safety aspects around that merge, and cyclists because you’ve got the [Galloping] Goose crossing. The bus stop is ahead of the light, but it really is sub-standard and there really is no walking area for, say, the kids who needed to catch that bus.”

The McKenzie intersection has long been seen as a major contributor to the Colwood Crawl. Every election, it is cited as a campaign issue. Brownoff said safety improvements can be made in advance of any interchange as long as they are planned properly.

“We can wait a long, long time, as we did with Sayward, for big dollars. So you might as well start with the safety aspects,” she said.

Saanich took the same approach with the Sayward/Pat Bay Highway intersection in 2010. Eventually, the district saw a $3-million investment made to address safety and improve conditions for transit operations, pedestrians and cyclists.

“The Sayward Intersection Working Group was established and included participants from the Ministry of Transportation, Saanich, CRD, B.C. Transit, local businesses, community association, local MLA together with council liaisons Brownoff and [Leif] Wergeland,” Brownoff said in a report to council.

Brownoff suggested the McKenzie working group include participants from the Ministry of Transportation, Saanich, the Capital Regional District, B.C. Transit, the Gorge Waterway Initiative (as the intersection is in the Colquitz watershed), School District 61 and Island Catholic Schools, and community associations.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

Map of intersection at McKenzie Avenue, Admirals Road and the Trans-Canada Highway in Saanich

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