WATCH: The City of Victoria approved the first 5.4 km in its biketoria plan at last night’s council meeting, but what happens to those bike lanes when they cross over into neighbouring municipalities? Monica Martinez explains.
Biking down Cook Street and Tolmie Street in Victoria, there is a buffered bike lane. The next intersection crosses over to Saanich, where the bike lane continues on a raised platform.
This is the type of connectivity municipalities and the Capital Region District are striving to build.
“Ultimately it can be really frustrating when you go from one community to the next and the infrastructure stops and that is why we are working really hard to work between communities to make that connectivity happen,” said CRD Transportation Manager Sarah Webb.
Thursday night, Victoria city council approved a new bike network, the first 5.4 kilometres will be built over the next two years.
But what happens when those lanes cross over to a bordering municipality?
Webb said while Victoria has taken the lead, other municipalities are following.
“Each community is working at their own pace within their own strategy. The District of Saanich right now is working on an active transportation plan. Oak Bay, Esquimalt, all those immediate bordering communities have a really great opportunity to make that seamless connection,” Webb said.
The goal as a region is to have 25 per cent of the capital regional district biking in urban areas by 2038.
Avid cyclist and Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen, said his municipality is looking at putting bike lanes in on busier roads like Oak Bay Avenue and Henderson.
“I’d certainly want to see that whatever infrastructure is going to be put on there by Victoria, we would link up,” he said.
There would be public consultation he said, and the challenge would be parking.
But he is excited about taking the next steps to build a region-wide network.
“If you look at pictures of Copenhagen in the 1950s and 1960s, there was very little biking. It’s taken them about 50 years to get to where they are now, and it will take us 30, 40, 50 years to get there too.”
Right now, there’s 500 km of bikeway in Greater Victoria. The goal in the next 20 years is to build another 275 km so that one day Victoria might rival European cities in its biking infrastructure.