The Pandora Avenue protected bike lanes are the first bike lanes to be physically separated from motor vehicle traffic in Victoria.
The new active transportation corridor creates a direct link for cyclists wanting to ride from the Galloping Goose Trail to downtown Victoria, North Park, Fernwood and Oak Bay. Skateboarders will love the protected lanes for skating to the Vic West Skate Park.
There are a number of new features to watch for and be aware of on the roadway and new protected bike lanes along Pandora Avenue. There are new features and traffic pattern changes that are new to Victoria and so people driving vehicles, people riding bikes and people walking should be sure to pay close attention when traveling along Pandora Avenue or any of the streets connecting to the corridor.
New signage and traffic patterns will be in effect along Pandora Avenue. People driving vehicles and people riding bikes are reminded that they are required to follow all the laws within the Motor Vehicle Act while travelling along City of Victoria streets, including always yielding to pedestrians. While the City is encouraging people of all ages and abilities to ride in the new protected lanes, it’s important for the safety of all users that the rules of the road are followed.
Some of the new features include the following
- New traffic signals specifically for people riding bikes
- New two-stage turn queue boxes at intersections to help people riding bikes make turns off the corridor
- Green conflict paint at driveway entrances and intersections to caution people driving and cycling about possible conflicts
- No right turns on red lights for vehicle traffic coming on or or off Pandora Ave–new exclusive right hand traffic signals
- Two new mid-block crosswalks to better connect pedestrians to businesses and storefronts on both sides of the street
- People riding skateboards using protected bike lanes and following the same rules as cyclists
- New bike parking along the corridor
- Bus shelters now on medians with new crosswalks across the bike lanes for pedestrians to access bus stops
- New motor vehicle parking layout
Ridership Along Pandora Avenue
Pandora counts from May 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018
- Total average # of trips / day = 1197
- Total average # of trips / month = 36,549
- Total trips to date = 621,333
Changes for People on Bikes
The changes described below are generalized descriptions of what the average person can expect to encounter when using the protected lanes along Pandora Avenue. Not all rules and regulations that apply specifically to people riding bikes or people driving vehicles are included. All road users are required to follow the rules and regulations as laid out in the Motor Vehicle Act. People found to be in violation of those rules are subject to fines or penalties.
- New bicycle traffic signals have been installed which will direct cyclists when to cross through the intersection
- When using the protected bike lanes cyclists should only cross a signalized intersection when the bicycle signal is green. If the intersection is not signalized, people on bikes should proceed with caution and look both ways for vehicles and pedestrians
- At driveway crossings, cyclists should proceed with caution and look both ways for vehicles. Cyclists still have right-of-way and vehicles entering and exiting driveways must yield to cyclists.
- At crosswalks, bikes must yield to pedestrians
- Cyclists should use the provided bicycle turn boxes to perform two-staged turns
Changes for People Driving
- Vehicles can no longer turn right at a red light along Pandora Avenue between Cook Street and Store Street
- Vehicles can no longer turn right onto Pandora Avenue on a red light from any of the streets between Store Street and Cook Street
- Vehicles turning right off Pandora Avenue will have an exclusive right turn phase; Vehicles can only turn right onto Pandora Avenue on a green light
- Vehicles exiting or entering driveways or side streets that cross through the bike lanes must be aware of two-way cycling trafficand must yield to cyclists
Crossing Intersections, Driveways and Pedestrian Crosswalks
At driveway crossings caution signage will be posted to notify motorists to look both left and right when proceeding across the two-way bike lane as they drive onto Pandora Avenue
- New bicycle traffic signals have been installed which will direct cyclists when to cross through the intersection if you are using the cycle track (cyclists are still permitted to use the general purpose lane and can go on green using green ball). Cyclists should only cross a signalized intersection when the bicycle signal is green if using the cycle track.
- Green paint on the streets signifies conflict areas where motorists and cyclists need to pay the most attention to one another.
Changes for People Walking
Crossing a two-way bike lane
- Pedestrians should stop, look both ways, and cross when it is safe.
- When exiting or entering a parked car beside the bike lane, look both ways, and cross the two-way bike lane when it is safe
- When crossing intersections, new signal phasing will protect cyclists and pedestrians from cars turning left and right. Pedestrians should only cross at signalized intersections when the pedestrian signal permits.
New bus stops for transit users
- Bus stops along Pandora Avenue between Cook Street and Store Street have been replaced by ‘floating bus stops’ which are located between the vehicle travel lane and the bike lane. Bus passengers will load and unload from the ‘floating bus stop’ area and should cross at designated bike lane crossing areas.
- Transit users will have raised crosswalks to access the ‘floating bus stops’. People on bikes must yield to transit users when they’re crossing the bike lanes at these designated areas.
- Accessing bus stops located on medians is done at these same crosswalks
- In some of the median bus stops there will be physical bus shelters, but at others there will simply be signage and red paint on the curb indicating that the median is a transit stop
- None of the transit stops put transit passengers at immediate risk by having them exit directly into a bike lane
Helpful Hints – How to make turns on a two-way protected bike lane
The helpful hints sections below are general suggestions on how to navigate on and off of the new protected lanes. Users of the new protected lanes are required to follow any and all rules laid out in the Motor Vehicle Act.
Helpful hints for turning movements on new bike lane
Bike turn boxes have been installed at intersections along Pandora (between Cook and Government Street) to assist cyclists with entering and exiting the protected bike lanes. Watch this video to learn more about how to use bike turn boxes.
- Bikes travelling west to go north should indicate that they turning, yield to pedestrians in the cross walk and complete their turn when safe.
- Bikes travelling east to go south should perform a two-stage turn. The first movement is to indicate the turn, yield to both pedestrians and oncoming bicycles, and enter the bicycle turn box. The second movement is to proceed when the signal turns green.
- Bikes travelling east to go north should indicate that they turning, yield to pedestrians in the cross walk and complete their turn when safe
- Bikes travelling west to go south should perform a two-stage turn. The first movement is to indicate the turn, yield to both pedestrians and oncoming bicycles, and enter the bicycle turn box. The second movement is to proceed when the signal turns green.
Entering the two-way bike lane from the north
Bikes entering from the north should use the bicycle turn box provided and yield to pedestrians and cyclists when entering the bike lane
- Bikes travelling west should yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk when turning right on a red light
- Bikes travelling east should perform a two stage turn. The first movement is to turn onto the bike lane when the southbound traffic signal is green, the second movement is to proceed eastward once the eastbound bicycle signal is green
Entering the two-way bike lane from the south
- Bikes entering from the south to go west should perform a two stage turn. The first movement is to enter the two-way bike lane and wait at the east side of the intersection, the second movement is to proceed westward when the light is green
- Bikes entering from the south to go east should yield to pedestrians when entering the two-way bike lane
General Cycling & Walking Tips
Protect yourself before cycling
- Start at the top. Always wear an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards — it's the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one.
- Make sure you use an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards (CSA, ANSI, ASTM or SNELL B-95) and occasionally check for signs of wear. It should be snug, but not uncomfortable, and should not be able to roll off of your head when the chin strap is secured.
- Remember to plan for poor weather or low light conditions. Your bicycle must be equipped with a white headlight visible at 150 metres and a rear red light/reflector visible at 100 metres. Be extra visible with reflective gear on your pedals and wheels.
Be a safe pedestrian
- Always make eye contact with drivers and never assume that a driver has seen you.
- Remove your headphones and leave your phone alone while crossing the road.
- Be careful at intersections and although vehicles are not permitted to turn right on a red light, please watch for drivers turning right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on other things instead of scanning for you.
- Always cross at designated crosswalks. Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals.
- Wear reflective clothing or gear and flashlights to make it easier for drivers to see you in wet weather, at dusk and at night.
Do you have feedback about the Pandora Avenue active transportation route? Email: email@example.com
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