The City of Victoria recently opened protected two-way bike lanes on Harbour Road, linking the Galloping Goose Trail with the Johnson Street bridge. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Growth of Victoria’s bike lane network continues from downtown heart

City staff work toward a full buildout of 32-kilometre network by 2022

Whether one uses protected cycling lanes or not – or even supports their presence – progress continues unabated on Victoria’s city wide network of dedicated bike pathways.

Lately, finishing touches have been installed on the newest section along Harbour Road, a roughly 500-metre stretch that connects the city’s downtown cycling networks, via the Johnson Street bridge deck, to the Galloping Goose trailhead near the Bay Street bridge.

“This is a great link to help solidify the connection to the rest of the regional trails network,” says Sarah Webb, the city’s manager of transportation planning and development.

The Harbour Road completion means cyclists can now ride on a dedicated pathway from Humboldt Street in Victoria all the way to Sooke and Sidney, with only a residential segment of Lochside Drive in Saanich and a brief crossing of Island Highway in Colwood interrupting that flow.

RELATED STORY: New bike lanes on Victoria street leave some drivers confused

Victoria has embraced the idea of building out its triple-A – for all ages and abilities – cycling infrastructure. Council has directed staff to complete the 32-kilometre network by the end of 2022, Webb says, and there are various new routes in the works.

Construction is underway on the northern section of a designated north-south route along relatively flat Vancouver Street, with a jog over Bay Street to Graham Street towards Hillside Avenue. While it’s part of the triple-A network, casual cyclists will be challenged with a long and gradual hill upward to Summit Avenue. It continues with an up-and-down stretch along Jackson Street to Finlayson Street, then a pleasant downhill glide to the city’s border at Tolmie Avenue.

From there, the designated path climbs along quiet Wicklow Street in Saanich, winding up the protected bike lanes on Cook Street.

That corridor will add roughly 4.8 kilometres to the city’s network, more than doubling its current size. Residents and interested cyclists can get updates on this and other bike lanes construction projects by emailing engage@victoria.ca and asking to be added to the mailing list.

RELATED STORY: Victoria is a ‘no brainer’ for e-scooter program, say company executives

The city is surveying the public on the next phases of the network planning, which involves routes into the Jubilee neighbourhood, and corridor connections through the Oaklands, Fernwood and Fort Street central neighbourhoods. Residents and others are encouraged to take one of the surveys at engage.victoria.ca.

“We’re really excited about the progress that is being made,” Webb says. “With each of these projects, it’s a chance to investigate various barriers that may exist for residents. We’re not just creating great places to cycle, but also great places for walking … This is the kind of thing that does encourage more people to ride, but also encourages people to sit on these quieter streets and enjoy the spaces that have been created.”

Webb admits there are – and have been – many challenges with instituting such broad cycling infrastructure, from respecting the needs of other road users to working with merchants to ensure unfettered access.

“We have to think about emergency vehicles, garbage trucks and other commercial vehicles,” she says, not to mention pedestrians, people with mobility issues and, yes, all the other private motor vehicles on the road. “The biggest challenge is finding that right balance. Plus we’re still continuing to invest in roads, that’s not going away anytime soon.”

Mayor Lisa Helps describes the bigger picture in a video outlining Victoria’s active transportation network:

“The vision is grander than bikes and it’s well-being infrastructure. We can build cities that create well being, we can build cities that give people options, and we can build cities that are much more liveable than 20th century cities,” Helps said.

For more information about Victoria bike lane progress and the opportunities to provide input on future projects, visit bit.ly/3j0mX3z.

don.descoteau@blackpress.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bruce McLean, 91, has published his first novel, The Manana Treehouse, which is inspired by his wife’s experience with Alzheimer’s. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
91-year-old Saanich man publishes first novel based on wife’s Alzheimer’s experience

Former journalist Bruce McLean ‘on cloud nine’ after making fiction debut

View Royal Coun. John Rogers stands next to an unearthed home heating oil tank. As a way to prevent environmental disasters, he is lobbying for a provincial registration system and mandatory inspection for all above-ground tanks, as well as a requirement to remove any underground tanks not used for a prescribed period of time. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Efforts to regulate Greater Victoria home heating oil tanks continues

View Royal councillor part of movement to identify old tanks, prevent catastrophic leaks

Residents enjoy the annual Halloween Trick or Treat on Oak Bay Avenue. (Robert Harwood Photo)
Oak Bay to host series of Winter Markets

No Halloween, Christmas events in Oak Bay Village

A new roundabout has been completed at the intersection of Peatt Road, Brock Avenue and Larkhall Road in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
New roundabout along Peatt Road completed in Langford

Allows for better turning movements for Langford’s fire trucks, improved safety

The British Columbia flag flies at dusk in front of the B.C. legislature on election day 2020. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
NDP claims six out of seven Greater Victoria ridings after preliminary results

Mail-in ballots yet to be counted in provincial election

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read