After a good half hour debate about the relative merits of adding bike lanes and bike boxes on two different routes to UVic, council ultimately decided to delay doing any work until Director of Engineering David Marshall could come back with more detailed engineering drawings, traffic counts at the Foul Bay intersection, and feedback from the local residents affected.
For a quick review, as I reported two weeks back, Councillor Nils Jensen asked Marshall to look at adding a bike lane northbound on Foul Bay just before Lansdowne Rd with a bike box at the intersection itself as well as adding a bike lane on the western section of Cedar Hill X Rd to complete the existing lane that ends at the Saanich border.
Marshall came back with three different designs: The first simply stripped the bike lane through the intersection, possibly with a coloured treatment in the middle for visibility. This was the option recommended by Marshall to council. The second added a bike box at the intersection and the third extended the bike lane all the up the curb, removing the right turn lane.
Also completed was a quick count of cyclists, with 54 cyclists tallied headed northbound during peak hours a few weeks ago. Engineering staff also spoke to a few of them. Their main concern was with how the intersection shifted to the left as a bicyclist or car travelled northbound. This apparently low number of cyclists and their lack of concern was used by several council members as reasons for holding off doing any work. Given that neither UVic nor Camosun are in regular session, the numbers are deceivingly low. I also suspect that surveying now misses the inexperienced cyclists that appear in the early September, cyclists that are more likely to want bike lanes and bike boxes.
At the end of the night, council ultimately opting to do nothing beyond asking Marshall for the more information. Hopefully the Community Initiatives Committee, of which I am a member, will meet again in the near future so that we can discuss these items and get some action before the summer ends and students return to class.
2 thoughts on “Bike lanes delayed in Oak Bay”
I think the option that Marshall recommended is a good one. Don’t be deceived by the apparent low number of cyclists. When it comes to bike lanes, we have to adopt a “build it and they will come” mentality. The City of Portland, which I always view as a pretty progressive place, has done marvelous things in this regard.
Bicycles, electric bicycles, and scooters are all part of a coherent transportation solution in Greater Victoria and Oak Bay since we will never have any sort of mass transit.
The challenge with the only striping the bike lane through the intersection is that it doesn’t do anything for the approaches up the hill, which is the critical piece, at least in my mind.