Completed Shelbourne Street upgrades place focus on cycling, pedestrian safety

Completed Shelbourne Street upgrades place focus on cycling, pedestrian safety
Phase one of Shelbourne Street improvements completed.

The District of Saanich says it’s focusing on cycling and pedestrian safety as it wraps up phase one of its Shelbourne Street Improvements Project (SSIP).

Stretching from Torquay Drive to Garnet Road just south of McKenzie Avenue, phase one of the SSIP included added buffered bike lanes, utility services, traffic signals, sidewalks, lighting, bus stops, and a rain garden.

“The goal of the project is to deliver the short-term improvements to Shelbourne Street as identified in the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan (SVAP),” the district said in a statement.

It says the SVAP, which follows the Official Community Plan, ultimately looks to improve safety for all road users while ensuring vital underground utilities continue to function reliably for years to come.

New street furniture, including bike locking posts and benches, was also part of the upgrades, along with nearly 2,000 metres of water main and 850 metres of sewer main, the district says. The full list of design highlights can be found here.

But construction crews aren’t slowing down.

Before phase three starts in 2024, the district says phase two is expected to begin this month and focus on the southern section of Shelbourne Street from North Dairy Road to Pear Street.

“This phase will see the addition of the new UVic bike connector among many other active transportation and infrastructure upgrades, including protected cycle tracks and underground utilities,” the district said in a Tuesday release.

By fall or winter, new bike lanes on Shelbourne from Garnet Road to Torquay Drive will be made “AAA” by adding pre-cast concrete barriers as part of a “quick build project” that includes five kilometres of buffered bike lanes.

For the completion of phase one, estimated to cost $12 million, Saanich received $4.8 million from the federal Canada Community-Building Fund in British Columbia and $1 million from the B.C. Active Transporation Infrastructure Grant Program.

District of Saanich

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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