The City of Victoria is expected to partially open the third leg of its 32-kilometre cycling network late next week.
According to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, a section of the Wharf Street bike lane from the Johnson Street Bridge to Fort Street will open on Friday, August 2.
The lane will be the first protected bike lane running north-south as part of the city’s All Ages and Abilities bicycling network and will serve as a connector between the already constructed Pandora and Fort Street bike lanes. It will also provide a protected entryway into downtown Victoria for cyclists coming across the Johnson Street Bridge.
Later in August, the mayor says the remainder of the Wharf Street bike lane will open from Fort Street to Humboldt Street.
Mayor Helps expects Humboldt’s bike lane will open sometime in September.
The city says the Humboldt corridor will include eight improved pedestrian crossings, a two-way protected bike lane, as well as a new scramble crosswalk where Humboldt Street intersects with Government and Douglas streets. According to city staff, the scramble crosswalk will likely be open before the Humboldt bike lane opens.
Once complete, Humboldt Street is expected to serve as a cycling corridor connecting to Vancouver Street which is set to have construction of its own bike network beginning this fall.
Vancouver Street is the final street in what the city is calling Phase 1 of its planned cycling network. At the end of 2019, the city hopes to have completed 7.3 kilometres of cycling network making up less than a quarter of the entire network. Once finished, the city says the network will connect to every neighbourhood in the city.
The initial goal was to have the entire project finished by 2022 but in a February report from staff, Fraser Work the city’s Director of Engineering, says it’s likely the project will be complete in late 2023 or 2024.
The city has received more than $2.5 million in funding contributions towards Phase 1 from the Province of BC, The Trans Canada Trail Foundation, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. It has also recieved various accolades.
As of right now the city expects the total cost of the entire cycling network, including public realm improvements for pedestrians, to cost more than $30-million dollars.