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Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Victoria bike lanes would connect to Cadboro Bay Road
A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria. (John Luton Photo)

Put the protected bike lanes on Fort Street, please, says Oak Bay council.

On Monday night, council voted during a committee of the whole meeting to support protected bike lanes on Fort Street over the other two options currently being considered, Oak Bay Avenue and a Fort-Leighton hybrid. It’s part of the City of Victoria’s public engagement to flush the bike network into eastern Victoria and to connect with Oak Bay corridors.

Fort Street, when it crosses Foul Bay Road at the Victoria-Oak Bay border, turns into Cadboro Bay Road which has painted bike lanes that continue for a few hundred metres. Oak Bay does not yet have separated, or protected bike lanes, as defined in the modern definition of designing roads for all ages and abilities.

READ ALSO: Residents seek bike lane to connect Victoria with Oak Bay

READ ALSO: Wheels in motion for Victoria bike network extension

The motion to prioritize Fort Street and not use Leighton is specifically because Leighton does not terminate on any active transportation infrastructure, said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. Leighton has calming measures but is between the two commercial corridors and runs into Foul Bay Road without any connection to a bike network.

The vote follows the Oak Bay engineering recommendation to use the Fort Street route.

The current options for a protected bike lane extension in Victoria at Fort, Leighton or Oak Bay Avenue. (City of Victoria image)

“From a safety perspective, and from the perspective of prioritizing completion of plans that are already partially implemented, staff wishes to encourage the City of Victoria to complete the Fort Street works, so as to create an effective and complete active transportation route along the Fort Street/Cadboro Bay Road corridor,” wrote Dan Horan, director of engineering and public works.

There was also some confusion as to whether it would be a chance to revisit Victoria’s redesign of Richardson Street.

Monday’s item to participate as a council comes as a follow up to the Dec. 14 presentation by City of Victoria staff regarding Richardson. At that meeting council asked Victoria staff if they could be included in future consultation phases for the bike network.

READ MORE: Victoria unveils next phase of bike lane network

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps responded by sending a formal invitation on Jan. 11 to Oak Bay council to share their feedback on the current bike network consultation process of Oak Bay Avenue, Leighton Road or Fort Street.

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition’s position is to install protected bike lanes on Oak Bay Avenue and Fort Street, starting with Fort.

Oak Bay council motioned to have its staff work with the City of Victoria regarding any future redesign of Oak Bay Avenue in consultation with Oak Bay’s coming village planning process.

“We want to make sure we’re consistent in our approach for Oak Bay Avenue,” Murdoch said.