Saanich will get started this week on adding new bike paths and other improvements to a growing cycling network, thanks to a grant from the provincial government.
Last week’s announcement of $450,000 in funding paves the way for the completion of new bike paths along Lansdowne Road between Richmond Road and Shelbourne Street on both sides, said Saanich Coun. Susan Brice.
The $450,000 BikeBC grant will cover half of the $900,000 cost of the work, with Saanich providing the balance.
The new bike lanes will improve access to the area and provide cyclists with a connection to the University of Victoria, Camosun College, Lansdowne middle school, Hillside mall, Royal Jubilee Hospital and the local neighbourhoods.
“Creating a safe, interconnected and accessible cycling network is a priority for Saanich,” said Harley Machielse, director of engineering for Saanich. “This project brings us one step closer to achieving our vision of reducing automobile dependancy and increasing walking, cycling and transit use.”
Cycling improvements include a multi-use trail in front of Camosun College, a cycling track in front of Lansdowne middle school and bike lanes for the remaining sections. Other work involves upgrades to the intersection at Richmond Avenue and Lansdowne Road, which will increase safety and access for pedestrians. As well, a treed boulevard will be added along Lansdowne with enhanced sidewalks, new bus shelters and improved pedestrian waiting areas at high-use bus stops along that corridor.
Saanich is working with Lansdowne middle school to acquire some school property to allow more distance from the road for the new bike path, Brice said.
“This is a comprehensive build that includes new landscaping, trees and improvements for cyclists and pedestrians,” she said. “Staff has this on the front burner.”
The project is being completed in collaboration with Camosun College, Lansdowne middle school and the City of Victoria.
Four lanes of traffic will remain after construction of the new bike lanes is completed in the fall. The work is part of $2 million a year that Saanich invests on cycling improvements.