VICTORIA -- It is often used as a shortcut between Blenkinsop Road and Quadra Street, but residents who live along Union Road say the District of Saanich needs to reduce traffic on what has already proved to be a deadly road.

The group has started a petition calling on Saanich to add “traffic calming measures” on the road where a crash killed a 19-year-old motorcyclist in September.

“We notice high-velocity traffic in both directions, both up the hill and down the hill regularly, day in and day out and that’s our concern,” said petition organizer and Union Road resident Craig Fraser. “Clearly other than putting 'slow down kids at play signs' on our driveways and on our lawns, there’s not a lot the citizenry can do to effect change.” 

The residents are asking the District of Saanich to “permanently address and suppress high-speed vehicle traffic on Union Road between Quadra Street and Blenkinsop Road.” 

Residents say that during the past number of years they have witnessed animals being struck and killed by cars and a number of vehicle collisions on the residential road. They also point to the fatal crash between a car and a motorcycle at the intersection of Cumberland and Union roads that killed motorcyclist Danny Schupbach in September.

“We felt we had approached [Saanich] several times from several different angles asking for help and we’ve been denied any kind of speed control every single time,” said Fraser. “We thought, well we’ll try a petition, and we’ve ended up getting a couple of hundred signatures."

Fraser says residents in the area understand that Union Road collects traffic from both Quadra Street and Blenkinsop Road, but it is the volume of high-speed traffic that worries people who live along the residential thoroughfare.

“You start applying physics to going 10 kilometres over the speed limit and those stopping distances make the difference between hitting a child or not,” said Fraser. “That’s what’s driving us to to really make some sort of change.”

More than 400 people have already signed the online petition since it launched on July 16. Petition organizers hope that if they meet or exceed the goal of 500 signatures, the municipality of Saanich will offer a solution that will see traffic slowed through the neighbourhood.