Gorge Road bike lane improvements start Monday as eight-year project nears completion

Gorge Road bike lane improvements start Monday as eight-year project nears completion

Bike lane infrastructure improvements start Monday along Gorge Road as part of a cycling plan dating back to 2016.

“It’s pretty amazing to see,” said cycling advocate Corey Burger.

In 2016, Victoria council voted on its All Ages and Abilities Cycling Plan (AAA) to connect at least 95 per cent of the municipality to at least one of its bike routes within 500 metres. More than a dozen streets have had their bike infrastructure improved since, totalling a distance of more than 30 kilometres.

“My route to work, you know, I live in Esquimalt, riding downtown is almost all unprotected bike lanes or trails now. Between the CRD and the city, there’s just this amazing connection happening across the region,” said Burger

Gorge Road, between Government Street and Harriet Road, is next on the list to be improved. New protected bike lanes, crosswalks, and signals will be installed.

Pandora Street East is also left to be completed.

“The change is coming, the change has arrived in some areas,” said Burger.


Tens of millions of dollars have gone into the large infrastructure overhaul, while it has helped the city self-proclaim itself as the country’s cycling capital for the second time, it has garnered criticism from business owners.

“They’re taking away all the parking in front of my store, which is a lot of locals just stop by quickly to have a look at what’s going on in here, that’s going to be taken away and they’re not going to be able to get to me easily,” said Catawampus Fudge and Funk owner Tammy Flynn in an interview in 2017.

Now, seven years since the protected bike lanes were added in front of her Wharf Street business, Flynn still wishes she could go back to when she had parking spaces.

“On a daily basis I have people come in saying that they don’t come downtown, rarely anymore, due to the fact that they can’t find a parking space,” she said Saturday.

Flynn says she’s lost customers because of the changes, citing that much of her clientele are older and don’t cycle due to health issues.

The infrastructure changes have also affected emergency services, according to her. In the past, she’s seen first responders struggle to drive down Wharf Street in an emergency because vehicles have less space to pull over.

“You get an ambulance and fire truck and police that are all stuck behind each other because there’s nowhere for the cars to pull over to let them through,” said Flynn.

Burger says these improvements are meant to change the way people travel.

“People want to ride on these major roads where the destinations like those businesses are,” said Burger.

Construction on Gorge Road begins Monday and is expected to be completed by next spring.

Oli HerreraOli Herrera

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!