British Columbia

Safety concerns on Saanich road have residents demanding action

A group of concerned residents is calling on the District of Saanich to make improvements along what it calls a dangerous stretch of road after a young girl was hit and seriously injured last year.

Mayor says politicians won't make changes to Ash Road without guidance from engineers

A group of residents are calling on the District of Saanich to do more to improve safety on Ash Road after a young girl was seriously injured in late 2017. (Google Streetview)

A group of concerned residents is calling on the District of Saanich to make improvements along what it calls a dangerous stretch of road.

Jo-Anne Chambers and other members of Fix Ash Road Now want to see lower speed limits and better enforcement of traffic rules after a young girl was hit and seriously injured by a vehicle last year.

"Ash Road is an extremely dangerous stretch of road and we just feel something needs to be done," Chambers told All Points West host Jason D'Souza.

"There's zero interest from the Saanich municipality to change or do anything."

The road is approximately one-and-a-half kilometres long and runs roughly east-west in the Gordon Head neighbourhood along the coast. The speed limit is presently 50 km/h.

Chambers, who lives on Ash, described its intersection with Torquay Drive — where the girl was hit in 2017 — as a "blind" intersection. "You can't even see the crosswalk until you're on top of it."

Chambers and other members of the group were supposed to meet with Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell about their concerns, but he said on Monday the meeting has been called off.

Lawyer 'taints' previous meeting

Atwell said in a separate interview his meeting with Fix Ash Road Now was cancelled after the group brought a lawyer to a previous appointment with the district's engineering department.

That "taints" discussions, he said, and he believes the issue of Ash Road could turn into a legal matter.

"It ceases, then, to become a frank discussion," Atwell said. "We're somewhat challenged by the approach the group has taken. I think it's somewhat aggressive."

Atwell says police are still investigating the incident in which the girl was hit, and engineers have produced a report about it.

While he agrees there is a tendency for drivers to speed while driving on the road, he says safety decisions are best left to engineers, not politicians.

"I'm really hesitant, and I think my other members of council would be hesitant, to make a judgment on the safety of the road just based on our lay experience," Atwell said.

Listen to the full interview with Richard Atwell:

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West

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