City of Victoria seeks feedback for four new bike lane designs

WatchThe City of Victoria will be adding four more bike lanes next year. It's supposed to further link communities across the capital region and city officials are asking for your feedback. Jasmine Bala reports.

The City of Victoria is asking for input from the public about proposed designs for four new bike lanes that are to be added to the roads next year.

“This is part of our 32 kilometre network right across the municipality,” said Sarah Webb, the city’s Manager of Transportation Planning and Development. “Cars do exist. Many people want to and need to drive. This is about providing space on the roads for people using other forms of transportation.”

The bike lanes will be located on the Kings-Haultain corridor, Government Street North, Richardson Street and Kimta Road. Right now, the lanes are in the design phase.

“These are preliminary design concepts based on the feedback we’ve already heard from the community since October, we are going to continue to take these insights, bring new ideas, tweak the designs, [and] look to make some additional changes,” said Webb.

The Government Street North corridor will see protected bike lanes on either side of the road from Pandora Avenue to Gorge Road. A two-way protected bike lane is being proposed for the Kimta Road corridor from Catherine Street to Tyee Road.

The Kings-Haultain corridor will have a shared-use bikeway running along Government Street to Richmond Road, which is similar to the proposed changes to Richardson Street corridor from Vancouver Street to Foul Bay Road.

“Each design really responds to the goal of making it appealing and safe for people of all ages and abilities to walk and cycle on those streets,” Webb explained.

Some residents coming downtown from Oak Bay, however, are worried about the placement of the bike lanes.

“Richardson is a major downtown route from that end of town so I’m forced up onto Quamichan which is the one street immediately north or I’m forced down onto Fairfield,” said John Farquharson, a resident who also cycles. “So that means a lot of additional blockages, diversions at the nearby streets.”

Since most people still use cars to get around, it’s a concern for cyclists as well.

“For me, I’d love bike lanes,” said cyclist Matthew Huijsmans. “But if the cars aren’t happy, then it’s not going to last.”

While the design is still up in the air, the roads are set in stone. The new bike lanes — whatever the format — will be added in 2020.

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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