Safety for pedestrians in the Lodge Road transportation corridor in Lake Country took a drastic turn for the better this week with the completion of significant traffic upgrades designed to increase pedestrian safety.
The $1.5-million capital project includes a new roundabout at Lodge Road and Bottom Wood Lake Road, bike lanes, sidewalks and a pedestrian bridge at Vernon Creek.
The official unveiling came nearly three years after the tragic death of George Elliot student Josie Evans in the same area.
“The community has suffered some tragic pedestrian fatalities in recent years which have served to galvanize our community in supporting efforts to improve the safety of transportation routes—particularly for vulnerable users,” said Greg Buchholz, District of Lake Country operations manager. “We are very happy today to cut the ribbon on a project that improves safety for pedestrians, cyclists, transit and vehicle traffic and which connects residential neighborhoods to schools and parks.”
Following Evans’ death the Lake Country Rotary Club began selling arm bands and making them available at George Elliot school in an attempt to improve visibility of pedestrians.
Rotary club director Monika Jatel said the new traffic corridor is a huge step forward in public safety.
“This is a very good thing, improvements to safety are so necessary in a community,” said Jatel. “Many of us remember the tragic death of Josie. The Rotary club took an initiative to focus on pedestrian safety and purchased arm bands to make pedestrians more visible. The club continues to work with the district to make arm bands available to students and residents.”
Funding for the Lodge Road transportation corridor came from several levels of government including ICBC and the federal government’s gas tax fund. It’s part of Lake Country’s long-term road improvement plans to provide an enhanced network and safer transportation corridors for all users.
“We’re starting to make a difference,” said Lake Country Mayor James Baker. “It’s going to be a slow process. Will it be perfect? No. But we are here working as hard as we can. This is one of the first steps, with more to come, in building a vibrant and active community.