Homefinder: Cook Street improvements win award

Infrastructure upgrades can have an impact on realty demand

Traffic-calming plant boxes are a key feature of the Cook Street Complete Street project

Saanich’s recently completed restoration of Cook Street from Maplewood Road north to Quadra Street has earned the Public Works Association of B.C.’s Project of the Year Award.

The redesign of Cook Street, a Complete Street project, added raised bike lanes, designated parking spots (instead of boulevard parking), crosswalks and slowing features such as centre-lane garden beds.

Among the esthetic improvements is an oddly placed but attractive brick-laid mini-plaza at Cook and Wicklow Street, as well as four rain gardens.

The project was recognized for “successfully integrating safety, environmental and social benefits with a balance of transportation modes,” according to a release.

Saanich director of engineering Harley Machielse said the district is  excited about being chosen for the award

It brings an added awareness to the fact that Cook Street, and the surrounding neighbourhood of Maplewood, is a desirable location with its natural geography, sizeable lots and proximity to downtown.

Cook Street’s separated cycle track (which will eventually connect to more) brings an ease of mind to those who seek safe, alternative transportation routes.

Machielse came to the job last year from Vancouver where he’s seen similar improvements have an impact on the area.

“I’ve heard through realtors that where we put in active transportation corridors has had an impact on real estate pricing,” Machielse said. “Based on my Vancouver experience, bike routes do have an effect, buyers do look for bike routes, they can impact property values.”

Saanich had completed most of the planning and neighbourhood consulting on Cook Street prior to Machielse’s arrival as it needed almost all of its infrastructure replaced.

“It gave [Saanich] a rare opportunity to build a road corridor using new design principles to effectively serve road users while enhancing the neighbourhood,” he said.

One thing that went well for Saanich on the Cook Street project was the consultation of open houses and feedback. It helped shape what the street looked like.

“In fact we’ll probably come back to Cook Street in the winter for some slight changes,” Machielse said.

The district is particularly proud of the new street’s storm water management, with the rain gardens and 45 new trees, as well as the full replacement of underground infrastructure.

The Cook Street Complete Street won the PWABC Project of the Year Award over the other finalist, Grand Forks, with its project City Hall Fire: Devastation to Restoration.

The award was presented in Penticton at the Public Works Association of B.C.’s annual convention and trade show.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read