Living and working at Island View Golf Centre on the Pat Bay Highway, accidents seem to be a weekly occurrence. When I looked into the facts of the matter, I discovered there were 125 accidents in 2006 on the Saanich, Central Saanich and Sidney portions of Highway 17 (62 at Sayward, 33 at Beacon, 16 at Mt Newton and 14 at Keating Cross Rd). 125!?! That is 2.4 accidents per week and that doesn’t even include North Saanich!

Of course the Municipalities and Provincial Government would notice this, so what has been done to address this growing concern?

Starting in 1989, there have been 12 studies conducted (one in 2007 isn’t on this chart). How many interchanges have been done out on the Peninsula? 0.

The inaction on Highway 17 is a classic example of beauracrasy in action; a whole lot of talk about the problem, no steps toward solving it. And you can be assured that talk isn’t cheap. Not to mention construction costs aren’t getting less expensive.

The latest report from the Ministry of Transportation recommend the following actions be taken:

Highway 17 Plan

The study highlights 11 spots for an interchange. It’s time to pick one and make it happen.

After reading the Ministry of Transportations Report, I would like to see the Keating Cross Rd Flyover and Island View Interchange happen in Central Saanich.

Keating and Island View Interchange

Here are the options of how to get the financing to make it happen:

1.Approach businesses on Keating Cross Rd for support of the flyover in either lobbying the provincial government or contributing financially: We have some of the best business in the Province in the Keating Industrial Park and their machinery and employees are put in harms way every time they make that left turn, plus the current configuration of the highway causes labors costs to skyrocket every time there employees get stuck in another accident. They would benefit the most from a Keating Flyover and therefore it’s in their best interest that they help make it happen. In return for contributing financially to the project, these businesses would receive advertising on the flyover informing the local residents of their contribution. A win win.

2.Approach the Province for funding: It is my understanding that this has been done and thus far unsuccessful.

3.Expand the tax base of Central Saanich to make projects such as these feasible: By embracing change and allowing density in such areas as the Saanichton Village and the Brentwood Bay Village, you encourage demographic diversity and bring more money into the municipality to make infrastructure improvements.

4.Have Central Saanich Residents finance it themselves (my least favorite option): The report estimates that cost of the project at $31.65 Million Dollars. To finance that it would cost taxpayers approximately $3 165 000 per year. With 16 000 residents in Central Saanich your looking at $197.81 per head per year.

The Sean for Mayor of Central Saanich Campaign is all about action and as Mayor; I would pursue options 1, 2 and 3 with the tenacity to make the flyover at Keating and the Interchange at Island View Road happen.

Feel free to check out the report for yourself at http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/publications/reports_and_studies/patbay/2007-03-15-Final_Report_Hwy17_Corridor_Strategy.pdf