Vehicle traffic at the Trans-Canada Highway and South Davis Road intersection. (Chronicle file photo)

Vehicle traffic at the Trans-Canada Highway and South Davis Road intersection. (Chronicle file photo)

Changes coming to highway intersection in Ladysmith to try to make it safer

Motorists approaching the highway from South Davis Road will only be able to turn right

The B.C. transportation ministry is trying to make a Trans-Canada Highway intersection in Ladysmith safer by blocking left turns.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Tuesday, Oct. 19, that it will be making improvements to the intersection at the highway at South Davis Road.

Left turns onto the highway will be restricted and motorists on South Davis Road wanting to go north on the Trans-Canada will have to use the highway intersection at North Davis Road via local roads, according to the ministry.

Drivers on Baker Road wanting to go south on the highway can access the signal at North Davis Road and use local roads to access the highway. The ministry said traffic disruptions for construction at South Davis Road and Baker Road are expected to be minor and short.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced improvements to the intersection at South Davis Road and the Trans-Canada Highway in Ladysmith. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure graphic)

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced improvements to the intersection at South Davis Road and the Trans-Canada Highway in Ladysmith. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure graphic)

“Although this is not the outcome we have been advocating for, we are thankful to the minister and his team for the continued engagement and investment over the last number of years,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone. “We will continue to advocate for more convenient access to the Trans-Canada Highway while ensuring that safety is always priority No. 1.”

To accommodate the potential for increased traffic volumes at the North Davis intersection, the ministry said it has plans for further enhancements in the spring. It plans on “optimizing” traffic signal timing at the North Davis Road highway intersection and relocating the marked pedestrian crosswalk from the north side of the intersection to the south side.

The ministry says its work is based on recommendations from a 2019 Ladysmith corridor review study.

“I look forward to working with our staff and the ministry to improve access to the Trans-Canada Highway with connections that make sense including appropriate acceleration lanes, turn-in access, access roads and active transportation considerations,” Stone said. “This is a short-term safety measure as we continue to push for longer-term solutions that adequately support our growing community.”

A group of south Ladysmith residents lobbied the provincial government to make the intersection safer. Brian Smith has led the lobbying and said he is concerned the improvement plans have not changed since they were created in 2019, based on a traffic study conducted by Binnie Consulting on behalf of the MOTI. He said the diagram shows open space, which could be used for further improvements.

“The right-in, right-out design will force all traffic on South Davis, including all the new development traffic that will occur, it will force it to travel two and a half kilometres along South Davis Road through what is currently a playground zone,” he said.

South Davis Road-Trans-Canada Highway is Ladysmith’s most dangerous intersection, according to ICBC statistics. There were 19 crashes there in 2020; no other Ladysmith intersection had double-digit crashes last year.

READ ALSO: South Davis Community group petitions government for changes to the South Davis Road intersection


 

@_hay_tyler
editor@ladysmithchronicle.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ladysmithTraffic