Despite arriving several weeks later than planned, new traffic signs designating lower speeds through Ganges village still managed to catch a few drivers and riders by surprise. The island’s newest 30 km/h zone went into effect Tuesday, Sept. 26, and local police say they plan to keep an eye out for speeders.
Crews on contract with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) erected the new signs at least partly due to a long advocacy process, most recently spearheaded by Salt Spring’s new Local Community Commission (LCC), and were originally set to be in place before the end of August. The slower speeds now begin on Fulford-Ganges Road at Seaview Ave — next to Embe Bakery — and end at the north side of town, approximately 100 metres past the intersection with Rainbow Road.
RCMP have been making their presence known since the new signs went up, although most reports indicate police have been focusing on education rather than immediately penalizing drivers caught by surprise. Salt Spring RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Clive Seabrook said police believe the new lower speed limit will help keep everyone safer, in what he characterized as a “very busy area” in terms of foot and bicycle traffic.
Drivers can expect a continued RCMP presence for some time, he added, particularly in places where drivers — and riders — may not have noticed the change.
“To raise awareness of this reduction in speed, Salt Spring RCMP will be conducting speed enforcement in this area over the next couple of weeks,” said Seabrook, “to monitor how things are going.”
MoTI has said the move to slower speeds through Ganges is just the beginning of work here, all part of a wider public safety and transportation improvement effort on Salt Spring Island.
As the provincial ministry with authority over Fulford-Ganges Road, setting the road’s new slower speed was ultimately MoTI’s decision.