Colwood is optimistic about a grant that would pave the way for a bridge across Island Highway for pedestrians and cyclists.
“We haven’t heard back yet on our application for a federal Infrastructure Canada grant,” said Mayor Rob Martin. “We’re expecting it to come through in August, and we’re really excited about the concept of continuing on the journey to create an active transportation model for our community that really encourages more people to be walking and biking.”
The crossing is pivotal because it’s the only interruption on the Capital Regional District’s Galloping Goose Trail, which is highly valued and well used, Martin noted.
Colwood has actively pursued funding for the bridge since 2012, without success. Currently, cyclists and pedestrians must take a detour that involves five turns and a traffic light, instead of a single, safe crossing.
The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition has expressed its strong support for the bridge as well.
“Most crossings are pretty obvious but this one isn’t,” Corey Burger, the coalition’s policy and infrastructure chair told the Gazette last fall. “It feels like it dumps you onto the road and it’s not clear how you can continue. There are some signs, but if you’re a new cyclist I can imagine how confusing it might be. There’s no yellow brick road to lead you across.”
The pandemic underlined the increase in the number of people who returned to cycling or made the move to electric bikes, Martin said. He believes the proposed link would not only positively impact the safety, comfort, and convenience of cyclists, it would encourage more people to cycle for commuting and recreation.
Colwood is installing counters for pedestrians and cyclists to provide information on how many people use the Goose, to further support the city’s efforts, Martin added.
The drive toward active transportation includes new sidewalks, concepts for a multi-use trail along the waterfront, and many road improvement projects.
For more information, visit colwood.ca and search for active transportation.