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Saanich councillor experiences stress-free cycle due to Shelbourne improvements

Three-phase Shelbourne Street improvements project began in 2021 and will carry on until 2023
Saanich has been improving infrastructure on Shelbourne Street from North Dairy Road to Torquay Drive. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mersereau/Twitter)

The Shelbourne Street improvements project is enhancing the Saanich roadway’s appeal for local cyclists.

One avid cyclist and Saanich councillor said the construction there made for the least stressful ride she’s ever experienced on the typically busy route while on her way to one of her favourite restaurants in Gordon Head.

Coun. Rebecca Mersereau said that the road is generally unpleasant to cycle on since motorists drive fast and the road is vehicle-dominated, meaning there is not a lot of cycling infrastructure to allow cyclists to feel confident.

Though she’d typically avoid Shelbourne by taking a circuitous route, Mersereau wanted to check up on the work that’s being done.

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“What I experienced as a cyclist was because of the speed reduction to 30 kilometres, it can help cyclists including myself, feel more confident when taking the entire lane since that speed is not much faster than what cyclists travel at,” said Mersereau.

Saanich has been building improved infrastructure on Shelbourne Street from North Dairy Road to Torquay Drive as part of the improvements project.

“This work is part of a three-phase plan that began this year and will carry through until 2023,” said Mersereau.

The project includes installation of new cycling facilities, pedestrian safety improvements, transit infrastructure improvements, renewed asphalt road surface, and more.

“This project is one component of our Active Transportation Plan – which guides our annual investments in pedestrian improvements and cycling facilities,” she said.

Mersereau added that Saanich has significantly increased its investments in implementing the Active Transportation plan with an additional $2 million.

Mersereau said that it’s important to enable families who want to live a lifestyle that is less car-dependent by addressing long-overdue infrastructure needs that create enough safety to make this choice.

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