The City of Victoria is embarking on #BIKETORIA, an ambitious project to create an All Ages and Abilities (AAA) cycling network. The network will be implemented over four phases which, when completed, will provide over 24 kilometers of enhanced bicycle infrastructure and a minimum grid of 5.4 km of protected bike lanes in the downtown core by the end of 2018.
Fort Street Protected Bike Lane Construction
The City has broken ground on the first protected bike lanes along Pandora Avenue and is now launching into its next bike lane project along Fort Street! View the designs and see what Active Transportation improvements are being planned here.
Pandora Avenue Protected Bike Lane Construction
Victoria is building its first protected bike lanes this fall! In August, City Council approved the contractor, Burnnell Construction, to start building the two-way, physically protected bike lane on the north side of Pandora Avenue.
When the project is complete, it will include a two-way, physically protected bike lane with new traffic signals for bikes on Pandora Avenue with a combination of on-street parking spaces, bollards, paint and planters used to separate the bike lanes from vehicle traffic. The protected bike lanes will complement the painted bike lane on Johnson Street that were installed in early August.
The construction will start in the 500 block of Pandora near Wharf Street and move east towards City Hall and ultimately ending at Cook Street. Noticeable work along Pandora Avenue during the project will include some tree removals and tree replantings, temporary bus stop relocations, and reduced travel lanes along the corridor depending on the work taking place. There will also be significant concrete work including new curbs, sidewalk medians and traffic islands construction.
The project is expected to be completed by spring 2017 and there will be no construction taking place on the frontage of any retail businesses during the holiday season.
Two-way protected bike lane (with signal changes) – Pandora/Douglas looking towards the Johnson Street Bridge
What is a protected bike lane?
A protected bike lane physically separates bikes from cars, offering a cycling experience that is safer and more comfortable than standard bike lanes. Raised medians, planters, on-street parking, or bollards (upright, on-street pylons) can be used to create this space for people on bikes. Protected bike lanes will encourage people of all ages and abilities to cycle in Victoria.
What a two-way protected bike lane will feel like for cyclists on Pandora Avenue:
A two-way protected bike lane on Pandora Avenue will connect the Galloping Goose Trail to downtown – people on bikes entering and exiting the downtown area will continue on a bike lane physically separated from moving traffic. The Galloping Goose Trail is currently planned to connect at the Pandora Avenue and Store Street intersection when the new Johnson Street Bridge is completed.
The Biketoria Network - Phase 1
At the Thursday May 12 Council meeting, City Council approved an All Ages and Abilities (AAA) cycling route which when completed will provide over 24 kilometers of enhanced bicycle infrastructure. The cycling network will be implemented over four phases with each one including further consultation with the businesses and residents along each route to help refine the detailed design of the bicycle facilities.
Within the existing budget of $7.75 million, the implementation strategy is focused on building a minimum grid of 5.4 km of protected bike lanes in the downtown core by the end of 2018.
The minimum grid consists of five corridors, including Pandora Avenue, and will provide safe facilities where there is high demand for active transportation infrastructure. The complete bicycle network is composed of eight corridors to connect the neighbourhoods and urban villages to the minimum grid of an all ages and abilities bicycle facilities in the downtown core.
Upon completion of the minimum grid (Phase 1), Victoria’s new bike lanes will be comparable to the amount of fully protected bicycle lanes in downtown Vancouver (5.6 km excluding Burrard Bridge) and downtown Calgary (5.5 km).
RECOMMENDED BICYCLE NETWORK AND PHASING STRATEGY
The first AAA corridor to be built in Phase 1 will be Pandora Avenue, starting this fall. This corridor will provide a fully protected two-way bicycle facility on the North side from Store Street to Cook Street connecting the communities of Fernwood, North Park, Harris Green, Downtown and Vic West in addition to major employment districts and the Capital Regional District regional trails.
The proposed Phase 1 implementation includes the following corridors:
- Pandora Avenue (Cook Street to Store street)
- Fort Street (Wharf Street to Cook Street)
- Government (Pandora Avenue to Government Street or Wharf Street (Pandora Avenue to Government Street) based on targeted engagement with local stakeholders
- Humboldt / Pakington (Government Street to Cook Street)
- Cook Street (Pandora Avenue to Pakington Street)
The next steps for all future corridors includes advancing conceptual plans to help refine the treatments that will ultimately be constructed along the corridors. Below is a concept of the treatment proposed for the Fort Street two-way protected bike lane on the north side of the street, which coupled with a plan view of the corridor will help inform further design details. Through continued stakeholder engagement for all corridors, the details around elements such as driveway crossings, trees, parking, bus stops, mid-block crosswalks and intersections will be refined to ensure the design accommodates not only cyclists, but people who walk and drive.
Phase 2 proposes the construction of:
- Kings Road (Government Street to Fifth Street)
- Government Street (Pandora Avenue to Bay Street)
- Vancouver Street (Pandora Avenue to Kings Road)
This phase will complete the network hub and provide connections to the neighbourhoods of Burnside Gorge and Hillside / Quadra.
Phase 3 of the implementation plan intends to provide cost-effective neighbourhood bikeways to enhance the network with regional and more neighbourhood connections.
Phase 4 will complete the rest of the proposed network.
The City is looking at how additional routes can be advanced by the end of 2018 through pilot design treatments or with additional resources. Construction timelines to complete the full 24 km network will be dependent on future resourcing and funding strategies. Detailed information on staff resourcing and funding will be presented during the 2017 budget process in October 2016. If the information is available sooner, it will be brought to Council as soon as it can be.
SPECIFIC SEGMENTS REQUIRING ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATION
The knowledge gained during the initial engagement process identified a requirement for further design and analysis along (1) Cook Street village, (2) Oak Bay Avenue (east of Richmond), (3) around North Park village, (4) in James Bay and (5) along the downtown segment of Government Street. These five segments are proposed for implementation during phase four, and will allow more time to work through identified design challenges with impacted stakeholders.
Community or design concerns currently exist, and are focused on parking removal, overall traffic integration and congestion issues and alignment uncertainty. Some neighbourhoods expressed concerns about various routes and their ability to connect users with key destinations. These topics will be discussed during future design and consultation sessions.
The current budget allocation for Biketoria cycling infrastructure is $7.75 million and it’s estimated that the current budget is sufficient to complete the minimum grid by the end of 2018.
Given Victoria’s mild climate, moderate topography, scenic routes and compact density, Victoria holds a strong potential for a shift in transportation mode share to increase biking from its current four percent mode share to the goal of 25 percent by 2038.
The City’s commitment to increase the cycling mode share and prioritizing bike infrastructure is vested in the Official Community Plan and the Strategic Plan 2015-2018, CRD Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan, and the Bicycle Master Plan.
Construction of an all ages and abilities active transportation network will support this goal in shifting the City’s transportation mode share in addition to reducing road congestion, mitigating CO2 emissions, improving community health, enhancing urban living, and making Victoria a more attractive, vibrant and happier City.
BIKETORIA FINAL REPORTS
On April 28, the consultants at Urban Systems presented their final recommended Biketoria network to Council in a presentation that can be viewed here. City of Victoria staff also presented an accompanying report identifying several key design considerations for Council to consider, along with a recommended bicycle network. That report can be found here.
(Please note that the reports are large files and may take several minutes to download and view)
PUBLIC INPUT & CONSULTATION
The Biketoria initiative started from feedback from Victoria residents, asking for a more robust and safer cycling network. Since then we have held a number of surveys, have had numerous neighbourhood sessions and continue to engage with the community gathering public input about the routes.
Here’s a Recap of What We Heard
Review what's been said about #BIKETORIA so far in a report on the first stage of engagement and during a number of in-person discussions.
- Biketoria Engagement Feedback and Summary
- Biketoria Summit, Engagement Labs and Salons
- Engagement Interim Report
Looking for some background information on the #BIKETORIA cycling initiative? Follow the links:
Looking for the details on Biketoria? We’ve got them. From detailed interim reports outlining every step of the project to presentations and staff reports. Put a fresh cup of coffee on, here’s the list:
- Interim Reports
- Biketoria Interim Staff Report
- Biketoria Community Engagement Report
- Andreas Rohl presentation to City Council
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