Google Maps (and Apple) calculate that drivers save two to three minutes taking Alouette Drive instead of Jacklin Road or the Veterans Memorial Parkway, both designed to handle the traffic. MapQuest still recommends the larger roads. (Google Maps screenshot)

Alouette Drive residents in Langford fed up with commercial traffic, speeding

Traffic worse in Westhills neighbourhood since Google Maps began showing route as fastest

  • Jun. 8, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Westhills residents in Langford are beyond irritated that what was designed as a quiet residential street has become a thoroughfare for commuters from Sooke and Happy Valley trying to skirt heavy traffic on Sooke Road.

Even Google map suggests taking Alouette Drive, a 30 km/h road with no centre line, instead of Veterans Memorial Parkway, Jacklin Road or the West Shore Parkway, all of which are designed as major traffic routes. Things are even worse since West Shore Parkway partially closed, but locals say this is not a temporary problem, it’s a fixable design problem.

“We’re not asking for the street to be paved in gold. We’re asking for something very reasonable,” Pierre-Luc Levesque said. He lives on Alouette Drive with his wife and two kids, age five and seven. He doesn’t let them play in the front yard or ride their bikes at home. Even gardening is dangerous, Levesque added.

“When I or other residents are tending our garden beds, it’s insane. So many times I almost got hit. I’m wearing a high-vis vest and I feel the bumper on my bum,” he said.

Doorbell cameras have recorded semi trucks driving through at night, and wide trucks knocking over items on driveways as they try to pass in opposite directions on the narrow street.

Ian Preston replaced his driftwood garden with an orange traffic cone because it kept getting driven over. He collected a hub cap that rolled off a car and hit his front door, after the car swerved onto the hard curb in front of the utility box. That curb catches many drivers unaware, he said.

Repeated inquiries to the City of Langford have yielded brush offs, he and other neighbours said. They’ve been asking for stop signs, speed bumps – something – for a decade.

But on Tuesday (June 8) the city’s transportation and public works committee will hear a staff recommendation for two solutions: white picket delineators in the middle of the road before and after intersections, and a new three-way stop at Alouette and Sikorsky Road.

One new stop sign isn’t enough, and the rubber-mounted delineators are a joke, Lara Forbes said. “Trucks will just drive over them, the road is too narrow.”

She wants stop signs and crosswalks at every intersection. She went so far as to get a quote for stop signs: $10,000 for 10 of them, plus labour. She suggests using traffic ticket revenue to pay for it – one week of enforcement would be more than enough, she said.

READ MORE: Speeding, dangerous driving a concern for some Westhills residents

Forbes has lived in the subdivision since 2009, and says development all around has increased pressure on traffic. Planned development including a school at Constellation Avenue and West Shore Parkway will add even more cars, since the only way to get onto West Shore Parkway is down on traffic-laden Sooke Road. Again, Alouette will be the alternative, she predicted.

She cautioned that with all the evidence she and others have submitted over the years, Langford could be held liable if an accident happened.

“Are we just sitting around waiting until someone’s kid gets killed?”

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Goldstream News Gazette


Neighbours have complained for years about commuter traffic that routes through unlined residential street Alouette Drive. City of Langford staff are recommending two solutions to city council to alleviate the problem. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)