Esquimalt council has unanimously approved a plan to build an active transportation network over the next five to 10 years.
The plan aims to improve infrastructure for people walking or cycling in the township.
“The Active Transportation Network Plan process provided an opportunity for the Township to comprehensively assess where we are at with active transportation and create a blueprint for Esquimalt’s future network,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “Council was pleased to endorse the plan and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition”.
Staff began work on the project in October 2020, and after a process that included consultation with residents and businesses, brought the plan to council on Feb. 7.
The plan comes with five major steps.
The first is to implement a quick-build cycling network. Over five years, the township will install the quick build infrastructure along 5.3 km on four roads, Tillicum Road, Lampson Street, Head Street and Esquimalt Road.
Various kinds of barriers will be used as part of the network, including delineators, concrete planters, rubber curbs, armadillos, precast curbs, and concrete jersey barriers.
The second step is to lower vehicle operating speed by lowering the speed limits.
The third step is to improve intersections and crossings in the short term to safely accommodate people walking and cycling.
The fourth step is to fill in gaps in the sidewalk network and improve overall accessibility for these facilities.
And the final step is to have dedicated active transportation network staff.
In the Victoria region, 36 per cent of commuting trips are made by walking, cycling, or transit, according to the township.
Esquimalt has the lowest daily trips and vehicles per household among all core municipalities with the average annual household transportation cost being $8,730, which is among the lowest among all municipalities in the Capital Region.