New designs have been released for the next phase of the Victoria bike lane network. (File contributed/ City of Victoria)

Victoria cycling community raises concern over new bike lane designs

High traffic along a corridor needs to be considered, Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition says

The cycling community appears to approve new bike lane designs for Victoria, with the exception of one.

On Monday the City of Victoria released designs for its next phase of networks, which will spread across Kings Road, Haultain Street, the northern end of Government Street, Richardson Street and Kimta Road. The routes will be a mix of protected bike lanes, painted bike lanes and shared streets. Final designs are set to finish in 2020 with a completion target of 2021.

“It’s certainly great to see the network continue to work forward, and move forward in a timely fashion,” said Edward Pullman, president of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC). “Really, you’ve got more moving out of the downtown core and more looking at routes going into various communities.”

One corridor in particular, however, is raising concerns. The connector route along Richardson Street will run from Vancouver Street to Foul Bay Road and utilize shared roadways with painted bike lanes on either side of vehicle traffic, essentially asking cars to give cyclists the right of way. The corridor, however, sees a lot of traffic from vehicle commuters.

READ MORE: Victoria unveils next phase of bike lane network

“The City has committed to vehicle number reductions to under 1,000, which was the same criteria for Vancouver Street, but not for Richardson,” Pullman said.

In design plans, the City has proposed reducing the traffic from 4,600 to under 3,000.

“That will be the biggest challenge of what is being discussed. The City needs to be monitoring those traffic vehicles,” Pullman said. “You have 3,000 vehicles on the road and the speed is 50 km/h.”

He added, however, that in order to keep a cycling route direct Richardson Street is the only viable option, since the surrounding Fairfield and Rockland roads are too busy.

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

This leaves two options: remove parking from the street and create protected bike lanes, or keep the two-way street as it is with shared bike lane space and the use of traffic-calming measures. Designs indicate these measures could include median dividers, speed humps and directional closures.

Pullman has faith, however, that by offering alternative transporation options traffic will see a reduction. He points to a 1999 study from the City of Victoria that saw a significant decrease in traffic along the route after the University of Victoria launched its Universal Bus Pass.

“It’s not just about displacing traffic,” he said. “Some of it disappears.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

bike lanesbiketoriaCity of VictoriaCycling

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula steps into post-pandemic phase

Pending partial re-opening of local schools signals new start

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

Three people sent to hospital following serious crash in View Royal

Incident involved a motorcycle and one vehicle on Sunday afternoon

Saanich high school student wins free educational trip through Europe

Beaverbrook Vimy Prize centers on First, Second World War history

Province recognizes three Greater Victoria residents for work to combat racism

The three residents were recognized during the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read