Eyeing the District of Saanich’s work to build its bike network along Shelbourne Street, Victoria council has asked staff to implement quick build bike lanes in order to prevent a gap in the network between the two municipalities.
Phases 1 and 2 of Saanich’s plan to build bike lanes along the street are both underway, which means there will be bike lanes between Torquay Drive and North Dairy Road, with a gap between Garnet Road and Pear Street.
North Dairy Road is where the border between the two municipalities lies, meaning the remainder of the street to the south of North Dairy Road is Victoria’s responsibility.
“I do think that there is a rationale to expedite this portion of the cycling network, because Saanich is apparently about to land the plane on their very long upgrades to Shelbourne, north of North Dairy, and we want to have a contiguous system,” said Coun. Jeremy Caradonna in the committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 1.
“As a daily cyclist in the city, we have an embarrassment of riches of east-west cycling facilities in the city but we are still short on north-south.”
The quick-build bike infrastructure on Shelbourne Street between Haultain Street and Hillside Avenue in Victoria is meant to be a temporary measure to put in place to ensure there is no gap in the system. The more permanent infrastructure will come when the needed underground utility and restoration work is completed.
“Our underground work definitely won’t be complete by that time, I think it’s fair to say it’ll take years to do that, so it’s on us to have an interim solution,” said Coun. Dave Thompson, who brought the motion forward with Coun. Matt Dell.
“It’s been in the Official Community Plan and our Bike Network Plan for many years. It’s going to connect downtown with Mount Douglas, there’s going to be a variety of users. It’ll be truly all ages and abilities when it’s finally built out, but we don’t want to see that gap happen once Saanich has built theirs.”
“That gap will be filled with the permanent facilities but in the interim, we need some quick built facilities and then we can do the permanent.”
Putting in bike lanes along this stretch means some parking spaces will be removed, as the trees along the road can’t be removed since they are London Plane Trees planted to honour soldiers in the First World War.