The Vancouver Street Bike Lanes are proposed to run from Bay Street to Park Boulevard. (File contributed/ City of Victoria)

Next phases of Victoria bike lanes coming up for discussion

Vancouver Street, Harbour Road and a Hillside-Quadra connector next in line

Victoria City staff are putting forward recommendations to approve the next phases of Victoria’s All Access and Abilities (AAA) bike network.

After months of consultation and study, the next phases on Vancouver Street, Harbour Road and the Hillside-Quadra Corridor are ready for discussion by council.

“When complete, the routes will establish significant links in the existing network, add approximately 5.5 km of AAA routes and establish connections to the Galloping Goose Trail,” the report reads. It continues with details for the three different segments:

Vancouver Street Bike Lanes

The Vancouver leg is proposed to run from Bay Street down to Park Boulevard, where it will connect with an existing bike lane on Camas Circle and connect with a future bike lane on Dallas Road.

The 3.3 km-long stretch would include 2 km of shared road facilities, where cyclists will ride in a painted lane, and 1.3 km of one-way protected bike lanes. The protected bike lanes will run from Balmoral Road to Meares Street.

ALSO READ: Wharf Street bike lane, pedestrian scramble set to open Thursday

Installation of these lanes will also introduce six new traffic diversions, two new pedestrian plazas, up to 12 new trees and up to 33 parking spots. This is calculated by noting the 69 new parking stalls over the total route, and subtracting the loss of 36 in the section with the protected bike lanes.

Designs show that through-traffic of vehicles, with the exception of emergency vehicles, would be stopped at McClure Street after the installation of curbs and trees.

Early renditions show changes at McClure Street as part of the construction of the Vancouver Street bike lanes. (File contributed/City of Victoria)E

Large changes will also need to be made at Pandora Avenue and Vancouver Street. Staff have looked at closing off the intersection to north and southbound traffic altogether, or only to northbound traffic. Staff are recommending the second option, which would divert vehicle traffic to other roads.

Harbour Road Bike Lanes

Bike lanes on Harbour Road would run from the Johnson Street Bridge up to the Galloping Goose. It is a short, 490m corridor which will include a two-way protected bike lane and one new mid-block crosswalk.

Hillside-Quadra Connector

The Hillside-Quadra connector will extend north from Bay Street, where the Vancouver bike lane takes a sharp bend, and extend up to Tolmie Avenue.

The route will be a shared facility with paint markings, speed reductions and other infrastructural upgrades put in place to slow down traffic.

In early renditions of the plan, a route up Graham and Fifth streets had part of the bike path go up a cul-de-sac and through an area currently used as a footpath between playgrounds at Quadra Elementary School.

READ MORE: Upcoming bike lane to run through Quadra Elementary School playground

Residents and stakeholders strongly opposed this idea, citing safety concerns for children.

While staff report that the Graham-Fifth streets option is still viable, additional studies into safety would increase costs and extend timelines.

Instead, they recommended an alternative alignment moving one block over, going up Graham and Jackson streets instead. This would require road crossing upgrades at Hillside Avenue, and the installation of a new crosswalk at Finlayson Street. Construction on this would likely begin in late 2019.

City staff also recommend pursuing a partnership with the Greater Victoria School District (SD61) to install a covered bike shelter at Quadra Elementary School.

All of these discussions will come to a committee of the whole meeting on Thursday, Aug. 8.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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