Letter submitted by Cadboro Bay Resident to Saanich Council and the Cadboro Bay Residents Association:
March 22, 2023
Mayor and Council:
I was listening to news coverage this morning about conflicts between bikes and sight-challenged people because of floating bus stops in Victoria. Apparently Victoria was taken to court on this issue, has presumably incurred substantial legal bills, and been found at fault by the BC Human Rights Tribunal against sight-challenged people. While this was not discussed in the news, cursory thought indicates that people with mobility issues (e.g. wheelchairs, those with baby strollers, etc.) may also be prejudiced against by this design.
Saanich is planning to build the exact same thing on the steep Sinclair Road between UVic and the beach at Cadboro Bay. This will lead to conflict between bikers and sight-challenged people. This could be especially disastrous as bikes going downhill in that area can achieve great (over the speed limit of 50kph) velocity.
IF Saanich proceeds in implementing the plan as currently presented at Sinclair Conceptual Drawing.pdf, https://www.saanich.ca/assets/Local~Government/Documents/Engineering/Sinclair%20Conceptual%20Drawing.pdf the Municipality, its staff and Directors (Council) could be liable for:
– safety incidents up to and including severe injury and fatalities,
– property damage
– infringement of basic human rights of sight-challenged people (and possibly those with mobility issues)
– legal defence costs.
NONE of these have to actually happen – – Saanich can LEARN from Victoria’s experience instead if experiencing it ourself.
I strongly recommend Saanich revise these plans and eliminate the “floating” bus stop design. A simple modification would keep the bus stops in their current position adjacent the sidewalks (where these even exist) while bikes would need to stop and wait for the bus loading/unloading action to finish, just as all road users do today.
I also recommend Saainch audit the performance and issues of the existing roundabout at MacKenzie and Finnerty to learn from problems there. Notably, as vehicles enter the roundabout their attention is on possible vehicles to the left and then on getting into and out of the circle. I have seen (numerous times) where drivers are still adjusting their sight lines and almost hit pedestrians at the crosswalk on the right (e.g. driver enters then leaves at next immediate right outlet). Also, when even a single car stops for a pedestrian, this vehicle can often blocks the roundabout, congesting the whole process. The crosswalks appear to be too close to the roundabout. Please learn from the existing poor design at MacKenzie/Finnerty, fix those issues and make a better overall arrangement at Cadboro Bay/Sinclair.
Kelly Finigan, M.Sc., P.Eng. (civil)
(Cadboro Bay, Saanich resident)