Thanks to a $10,000 provincial grant, walkers, joggers, cyclists and equestrians who frequent a busy portion of the Galloping Goose Trail in Metchosin can now safely cross Happy Valley Road. Safety improvements involved installation of solar-powered pedestrian and cyclist-activated crossing signs along with vivid pedestrian crosswalk markings.
“Island Health is pleased to be part of the province-wide Vision Zero in Road Safety Grant Program. The Happy Valley Road Safety Project is a great example of how our program is helping to improve safety for vulnerable roadway users,” said Neil Arason, Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion Lead at Island Health.
“We know from the science that vividly alerting drivers to an upcoming crosswalk increases the likelihood that they will slow down, visually scan for people crossing and ultimately stop when the situation calls for it. At the same time, we are so pleased to work with community partners, like Island Health and the District of Metchosin, which took the lead in making this road safety project a reality,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin.
As one of three areas that the Galloping Goose crosses in Metchosin, the Happy Valley Road crossing is located at a major artery that connects drivers to and from rapidly growing adjacent areas, including Langford.
“I have walked the trail with my dog and travelled on it on my bike and on horseback and that spot in particular has been a scary and dangerous place to cross,” said Councillor Sharie Epp, District of Metchosin. “We are so thrilled to have received the grant, and people are loving the new crosswalk. It makes a huge difference. Just having the crosswalk there makes drivers more cautious and encourages them to go a bit slower.”
The British Columbia Vision Zero in Road Safety Grant Program is a road safety initiative that provides funding to local governments, Indigenous governments and non-governmental organizations for projects that improve the safety of roads in their communities. The premise of the program is that road deaths and injuries are unacceptable and preventable. Funding is provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and delivered through regional health authorities.
Visit the Vision Zero Challenge web page for more details on this worldwide program: https://visionzerochallenge.org/vision-zero?locale=en
For more information about the grant applicants, visit: https://injuryresearch.bc.ca/vision-zero-grant-program-successful-applicants/
A backgrounder with B.C. health authorities and organizations receiving funding is available online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Vision_Zero_Backgrounder.pdf