A signalized pedestrian crossing will be placed on Henry Road this fall, at a cost of approximately $60,000.
Staff at the Municipality of North Cowichan recommended the crossing to council after the board at Mt. Brenton Golf Course, which is located on Henry Road, requested it for safety reasons.
In a report to council, David Conway, North Cowichan’s engineering director, said the board of directors at the golf course has repeatedly expressed concerns over pedestrian safety in that there have been many “near misses” on the roadway between pedestrians and traffic and that an incident, or even a fatality, is likely imminent.
Conway said that, currently, patrons from the golf course and users of the Cowichan Valley Trail cross Henry Road in multiple locations near the clubhouse where there are no marked crosswalks.
He said the engineering department has reviewed the concerns and concluded that significant volumes of pedestrians crossing Henry Road in various locations near the clubhouse where there are no marked crosswalks have been witnessed between January and July of this year.
Conway said the current posted speed on Henry Road in that location is 50 km/h, but traffic data from this year indicates that the traffic generally moves through the area at faster speeds.
“The average daily traffic counts in both directions are approximately 5,500 vehicles per day, which includes 250 large-axle trucks, and the majority of these trucks are loaded logging trucks accessing the nearby Island Timberlands and Western Forest Products facilities,” he said.
“It is the opinion of the engineering department that the data supports the concerns from the board from Mt. Brenton Golf Course and that a new crosswalk, complete with actuated high-visibility flashing beacons, will provide a significantly safer crossing.”
Conway said it will include a painted crosswalk, flashing beacons, protection barriers and a channelized concrete median for lane narrowing and traffic calming.
“A crosswalk in this location will result in a more organized frontage at the clubhouse since improvements will occur in this area for pedestrians with the cooperation of the club,” he said.
“The golf course club members and Cowichan Valley Trail users will welcome the improvements, but there could be some disgruntled motorists due to the potential inconvenience, although overall safety will be enhanced.”
Construction is slated to begin in the fall.