‘Profound’ changes coming to how people get around in the capital region

'Profound' changes coming to how people get around in the capital region
WatchWATCH: Victoria city council moved ahead this afternoon with the next phase of its master bike plan. And with that, comes a profound change to the way people will move around in the capital region. Kori Sidaway has more.

More bike lanes are set to come to Victoria.

City council moved ahead today on its master bike plan, approving a 3.3-kilometre long bike lane along Vancouver Street connecting from Dallas Road all the way up to Bay Street.

“So if I was smart, I wouldn’t be on Vancouver Street in the first place,” said Lisa Helps in Thursday’s committee of a whole meeting.

Vancouver Street is poised to be a main north and southbound artery, not so much for cars anymore, but for cyclists.

The city wants to push drivers to Quadra and Cook Street, leaving Vancouver Street for the two-wheelers.

But the plan even has the mayor scratching her head.

“I must confess, I don’t get it,” said Helps.

Particularly at the intersection of Vancouver and Pandora.

City staff gave two options: to close the intersection to north and southbound traffic altogether, or a second option which would divert drivers off Pandora, on to a side road around Vancouver Street, to get back on track.

And those big change for drivers, has some councillors worried.

“We are definitely going to get some negative feedback from automobile drivers,” said Geoff Young in the committee of a whole meeting on Thursday.

“When they’re diverted, as they feel unnecessary, from a turning movement they seem reasonable to them. I must admit I have some concern that we’re following down the path that’s not the right one.”

But cyclists are confident drivers and the flow of traffic, will adjust.

“Ultimately I think the city and folks are going to adapt pretty quickly as they already have, to what’s already been installed,” said Edward Pullman, with the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.

And even though this is a plan for bicycles. cars haven’t been fully forgotten.

The proposal includes 33 new parking spots, but the city is still hoping to restrict the number of cars that travel Vancouver street to 500?1000 cars per day by the time the full bike plan is finished by 2022.


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