Cycling

Victoria is undergoing the development of the first protected cycling infrastructure in the city, starting in the downtown core. When complete, the new active transportation network will encourage people of all skill levels to ride, skate and rollerblade throughout the Capital City.

Latest News

Pandora Avenue Active Transportation Corridor: NOW OPEN!!

Learn more about using the new corridor and changes for cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and transit users.

Fort Street Protected Bike Lane Construction

Fort Street will be the next corridor in the active transportation network after Pandora, offering cyclists, skateboarders and people using scooters and rollerblades a two-way protected lane through the heart of the city. View the designs here.

Phase 1 Project Timeline

We didn’t arrive at building an AAA active transportation network overnight, seasons were spent on community engagement, technical feedback and technical design before shovels hit the ground on Pandora Avenue. The network map below is a quick overview at how we got to where we are now and where we're headed. The network will be rolled out in phases, read more about the planned phases and routes.

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Fast Facts

Looking for a primer on the new network, how we got here and what's next? Click the links below to expand the answer and be sure to visit the corridor pages in the navigation for a closer look at specific routes. Read our AAA Cycling Network FAQs for more information.

  1. What is the Network?

    • We are building a network of safe connected bicycle routes across the entire city. The goal is to support and encourage more people who live, work, play and visit Victoria to ride bikes
    • Victoria is a mature city - we are making investments to maximize the efficiency of the transportation network and roadways
    • The all ages and abilities bike routes will consist of physically separated bike lanes as well as shared roadways and multi-use trails.
  2. Who is the Network For?

    • The city has a number of standard bike lanes and local streets where many people feel comfortable riding. We are building on this success by developing a network that can support riders of all ages and abilities
    • These investments will not only benefit those who travel by bike - the goal is to reduce demand and make improvements to increase safety for all road users.
  3. Why is the City Building It?

    The City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) has established bold transportation mode share targets which include 60% of all trips and 70% of trips to work by Victoria residents to take place by walking, cycling and public transit by 2041. Regional transportation goals for cycling include 25% of all trips by bike in urban areas such as Victoria by 2038. Based on 2011 data for the City of Victoria, an estimated 50% of all trips and an estimated 50% of trips to work are by transit, cycling and walking, and an estimated 4% of all trips and 11% of trips to work are by cycling (Sources: National Census Data 2011 and CRD Origin and Destination Study 2011).

    Encouraging cycling, along with walking and transit use, is an important strategy to manage expected population growth and support community health, affordability, economic development, air quality and climate action objectives. As the City grows in population, we will need to shift some of our trips to transit, cycling and walking because these are much more efficient modes of transportation than single occupancy vehicles.

    Building attractive bike facilities also helps to support new residential and commercial development - the City of Victoria is expecting to grow by more than 20,000 people over the next fifteen years. Given Victoria’s mild climate, moderate topography, scenic routes and compact density, the City holds a strong potential for a shift in transportation mode towards cycling to help achieve these goals.

    Cities all over the world are transforming the built environment to create all ages and abilities infrastructure and have seen dramatic results in increased ridership, reduced parking demand, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and improved economic activity.

  4. Why an "All Ages and Abilities" AAA Network?

    For many people, conventional bike lanes do not provide the safety and comfort required to share a busy roadway. Typically, people fall into four cycling-potential groups (Source: Geller, R. 2006, Portland):

    • Strong and Fearless - Willing to cycle on most roads amongst cars (less than 1%);
    • Enthused and Confident - Willing to use conventional bike lanes with busy intersections and network gaps (7%);
    • Interested but Concerned - Interested in cycling but choose not to cycle due to safety concerns (60%); and
    • “No Way No How” - Not interested in cycling (33%).

    The City is currently implementing a network of AAA cycling facilities to target the majority of people who are interested but concerned about safety.

  5. Who Helped Design the Network?

    The following people, stakeholders and organizations assisted us with investigation, analysis, design and have and continue to provide feedback into the network:

    • External Agencies: BC Transit, CRD, ICBC, as well as surrounding communities such as Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay
    • Internal City departments: Emergency Services (Fire and Police), Public Works, Parks, Planning and Engineering (Transportation and Underground Utilities)
    • Neighbourhood Associations: Victoria’s 13 neighbourhood associations were engaged or given the opportunity to provide feedback about the proposed bike lanes
    • Business/Industry Associations: Downtown Victoria Business Association, the Greater Victoria Harbor Authority, Greater Victoria Economic Development Agency, and the Greater Victoria Hoteliers Association
    • Consultants: Experts in transportation engineering and planning
    • Community:
      • general public
      • businesses
      • women
      • students
      • accessibility community
      • urban design experts
      • cycling community
      • transportation planners and engineers
  6. How was the Cycling Network Developed Over Time?

    • Over 20 years in the making: Bicycle planning, design and implementation is not new to Victoria. Our bicycle master plan dates back to 1995 with a goal of improving safety.
    • 2012 OCP Transportation Goals: Extensive community consultation to inform the Official Community Plan lead to the development of key policy areas to establish a multi-modal transportation system, prioritize pedestrian, cyclists and transit users, connect destinations and efficient road use.
    • 2014 Network planning: City staff embarked on a City wide consultation process to re-engage with the public on the Cities bicycle network. Key messages heard included safety is the largest barrier to more people cycling, be bold and be a leader, cycling for all ages and abilities and make cycling irresistible. Through the 2014 network planning process staff consulted with the public on a revised bicycle network and initial AAA bicycle network.
    • 2015-2018 Strategic plan: Goals identified in the Strategic Plan of 2015 – 2018 include, increase the number of trips by bike, build protected bicycle facilities, complete 4 – 8 AAA bike corridors, design with a complete streets lens and build the bicycle network.
    • 2015-2016 Bicycle Network Enhancements and Priorities: The #Biketoria study brought together an international team of world class bicycle infrastructure engineers and planners to review and enhance the 2014 bicycle network, identify priority corridors for implementation and develop conceptual designs for 24 kilometers of roadway on 8 priority corridors.
  7. Where is it Being Built?

    • We are starting the "minimum grid" in the downtown core - the place where most people do not want to cycle or are concerned about safety
    • In the near future, we will spread out to neighbourhoods and villages, connecting safe bike facilities to where people live, go to school and work.
  8. Why Prioritize the Downtown Minimum Grid?

    • Highest concerns for safety: Collision data from ICBC and VicPD clearly identify that the greatest risk to cyclists exists in the downtown core. Cycling to and from the city centre will not be attractive to a broader range of users until safe facilities are established.
    • High demand for active transportation infrastructure: Victoria is British Columbia’s Capital City and the metropolitan centre of Greater Victoria. The City is home to many businesses, commercial, retail and tourism services, and attracts thousands of inter-municipal travellers daily and millions of tourists yearly. Thousands of cyclists enter the City daily, many along the high quality regional trail networks which currently terminate upon reaching the downtown core. A downtown minimum grid will vastly improve inner and inter-municipal connections and facilitate new ridership with the provision of AAA facilities to service the highest density of key destinations in the region – downtown Victoria.
    • Attract more trips by bike with improvements to safety and comfort: In addition to accommodating existing demand, new AAA bicycle facilities will support growing demand for high quality bicycle facilities to connect to the downtown minimum grid from the various villages and key destinations through the City. 
    • Resolve bicycle network gaps: Bicycle planning and infrastructure investments to date have not made a large investment in the downtown core. Many comfortable bicycle facilities exist surrounding the downtown core in the form of quiet local roads or buffered bike lanes on busier streets but the existing infrastructure of conventional bike lanes on Douglas street or signed bike route on Wharf or Vancouver streets do not attract the user group of “interested but concerned” citizens to attract more people to bike to, from and around the downtown core.
  9. When Will it be Complete?

    • This project is currently underway. Between now and 2018, the City will be completing projects on Pandora Avenue, Fort Street, Cook Street, Humbolt Street and Wharf Street
    • The goal is to have 24km of all ages and abilities bicycle infrastructure completed - extending into every neighbourhood across the community, by the end of 2022.
  10. How is the Network Funded?

    The funding for the AAA bicycle network is primarily funded by monies received through the federal gas tax transfer program. The City has also secured grant funding towards the program through the Bike BC program.