This map, courtesy of the District of Saanich, shows cycling issues as identified by respondents during Moving Saanich Forward, a year-and-a-half long initiative designed to develop Saanich’s first-ever Active Transportation Plan.

Saanich study flags Prospect Lake as an area of concern for cyclists

An ongoing transportation survey flags the general location of a serious cycling accident this week as an area of concern for cycling in Saanich.

“Of note, the area surrounding Prospect Lake received more than 100 markers indicating high traffic volume and speed concerns,” read the report summarizing the first phase of the Moving Saanich Forward transportation study leading towards Saanich’s first-ever Active Transportation Plan.

Moving Saanich Forward saw residents offer public feedback across a wide range of subjects, including specific issues and opportunities impacted cycling.

Using an interactive map, respondents identified issues that fell into the categories of intersection safety, absent bike lanes, lack of bike parking, bike lake termination, poor lighting and the traffic volumes and speed.

While respondents identified the absence of dedicated bike lanes as the top cycling in issue with 31 per cent, traffic volumes and speeds generated eight per cent of responses, with a high frequency of responses along Prospect Lake Road, with a cluster of responses around Prospect Lake Road itself.

It was along Prospect Lake Road near Munn Road where a 42-year-old cyclist from Calgary collided with a service vehicle Tuesday afternoon.

The cyclist, who “is not expected to survive his injuries,” according to Saanich Police, was part of a group of cyclists from Alberta, who were travelling south on Prospect Lake Road when they approached a sharp right turn near the intersection of Munn Road.

The man lost control of his bicycle, slid across the centre line and struck a service vehicle that was travelling north on Prospect Lake Road.

For more on the study now entering its second phase, see here.

Coun. Judy Brownoff, chair of the planning, transportation and economic development advisory committee, said the District has been aware of concerns in the area, as it works through the Active Transportation Planning process, designed to address concerns and future investments.

”Through the current engagement process we have heard concerns raised in a number of areas, including Prospect Lake, but we have to collect all information to develop this long range plan,” she said.

Last week’s accident happened just one day before the unofficial start of Bike to Work week, with the local Victoria chapter organizing the commuter challenge once again. This fun contest between car and cyclist brought together 19 teams that started in locations throughoutGreater Victoria from Brentwood Bay to Westshore Mall.

Almost all of the teams were making their way to the corner of Fort and Blanshard Streets, with the lone exception of oneteam from the Canadian Forces who went in the opposite direction, beginning their challenge in James Bay and commuting to CFB Esquimalt.

In 17 of the 19 matchups, the cyclists beat their motorized counterparts with the exception of one car and one tie, believed tobe a photo-finish.

According to organizers, cyclists starting in Langford, Cordova Bay, View Royal, Saanich, Fernwood, Esquimalt and James Bayall finished faster than their teammates driving vehicles.

“The message from today’s results is clear: no matter where you live in Greater Victoria, commuting by bike is a viable and, in many cases, time saving way to get to work,” stated a release from the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Society.

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