Train bridge closure dissuades pedestrians, cyclists

It could be the unseasonable weather, or just an aberration – but early counts of rush-hour traffic  suggests some pedestrians and cyclists find the partial closure of the Johnson Street Bridge to be a deal breaker.

Cyclists belonging to the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition counted all forms of traffic on the bridge both before and after the city closed one of its two spans. On April 9, the city permanently lifted the train bridge, due to safety concerns, leaving the traffic bridge open for crossing.

“Pedestrian numbers were down quite a bit,” said Susanna Grimes, who organized the count May 3. “They’re really inconvenienced now with the train bridge closure, because everybody’s got to cross to the other side of the bridge.”

Between 4 and 6 p.m., the counters spotted 45 jay walkers, “dashing across the Esquimalt Road,” Grimes said. Three people even took their chances walking across the bridge in the traffic lane, rather than on the remaining sidewalk.

In total, 630 pedestrians crossed during the two hours of observation. That compares to 730 counted before the closure on April 7.

The number of cyclists rose marginally between the two counts, from 670 to 680, but the slight gain is deceptive, added Grimes.

Normally, cycling increases in the warming months, peaking in July and August.

Based on previous season’s traffic counts, cyclists on the bridge should have numbered closer to 760.

The GVCC will conduct another count tomorrow (May 12) to ensure last week’s count wasn’t an anomaly.

“I’m not surprised cycling has been affected,” Grimes said. “Given the reticence that cyclists have to ride on the road bridge, I’m not surprised that now that they’re forced to some are just saying ‘forget it.'”

The city has implemented a number of measures to aid cyclists, including sharrows, signage, and pilons to demarcate safe travel lanes. In about four months time, the city plans to install a traffic light at Esquimalt and Harbour Road.

The light may be on-demand only, triggered by a waiting car or cyclist.

“We talked about whether to put in a cyclist-activated button … weather to have bike lanes through the underpass or more sharrows along the road,” said Grimes. “Those details can make a big difference.”

rholmen@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read