A new facility in the Saanichton neighbourhood of Central Saanich promises to improve active transportation on the Saanich Peninsula.
Municipal officials and members of the Saanichton Village Association will help cut the ribbon Saturday (June 4) as Saanichton Bike N’ Ride located off Lisnoe Ave near the Fresh Cup Roastery Café and opposite the Prairie Inn Neighbourhood officially opens. Ceremonies run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the ribbon cutting at 11 a.m.
Saanichton Village Association initated the project in contributing $28,220 as one of the multiple partners in project. Central Saanich is contributing infrastructure such as the foundation, landscaping and other services, connecting the facility to water and electricity for a total contribution of $43,000.
The Brentwood Bay Rotary Club, Central Saanich Lions Club, several private donors and countless individuals also contributed to the project, including Western Coast Insurance Services, which contributed $5,000 following a public donation in early May, to support various features of the structure.
Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said amenities for cyclists are critical to supporting an active community.
“I’m looking forward to celebrating with the community and the Saanichton Village Association.”
Jim Townley, association president, said the event is a big celebration of new cycling opportunities in Central Saanich and he encourages would-be attendees to arrive by bicycle as the opening coincides with Go By Bike Week.
“The Saanichton Village Association is very proud of this project and enjoyed the collaborative effort made by local government and many businesses and groups to make it happen,” he said.
The facility consists of sheltering roof that includes bike stands, where riders can securely lock their bikes. The station will also include a tire pump, repair station and an ebike charging point. Solar-powered lights will provide security and safety. The facility also includes an artistic element as the association had commissioned local artist Sarah Jim of the WSANEC nation to add public art to the facility.
Jim’s bull kelp design represents community, highlights the important role of kelp forests in underwater ecosystems, and brings the coastal environment of the area into the village.
Saturday’s event itself will include refreshments, speeches, giveaways, an e-bike demonstration station and a bike skills station. Local Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock riders will also be holding a bike-a-thon with Central Saanich Fire Chief Kenn Mount and Central Saanich Police Service Cpl. Pat Bryant logging training hours and raising money for childhood cancer research and support services.
The facility stands on a historical spot, namely the former location of the railway station for the Victoria and Sidney railway.
Rail passengers reaching this spot could either continue on to Sidney or stay at the Prairie Inn.
As such, the facility can be seen as helping to guide the community in a new direction in terms of transportation, away from fossil fuels and toward more active and ultimately carbon-free forms of transportation.
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