Nine years ago: TravelChoices recommends crossing barrier on Foul Bay at Haultain

Almost nine years ago, the CRD’s TravelChoices was released. Amongst the many documents released was Working Paper #3, the Bicycle Strategy. Part of that strategy is this little gem:

Key crossings on shared bicycle routes include Haultain Street at Foul Bay Road

(Page 20 of the PDF, TravelChoices Working Paper #3 [PDF])

Even then it was seen a critical link. There is also this little gem:

Within the scope of the Bicycle Strategy it is not possible to identify appropriate crossing treatments for specific locations — selection of crossing treatments will be undertaken at a later date, by the CRD and municipalities, in consultation with cyclists and other stakeholders.

To the best of my knowledge, this has never been undertaken.

In fact, a quick glance through the list of recommended crossing improvements, a few minor improvements have been made to Galloping Goose and Lochside Trail crossings, but the only on-street improvements have been done by the City of Victoria. Specifically both of the two bike boxes recommended have been been built:

  1. Off Wharf across the Johnson St. Bridge (Google Streetview link)
  2. Where Government merges into Douglas (Google Streetview link).

Until recently, they were the only bike boxes anywhere in the CRD (a third has recently been installed by the City on Harbour Rd. as people turn eastbound onto Esquimalt Rd, also designed for crossing the Johnson St. Bridge [Google Streetview link, doesn’t yet show the bike box])

Council asks for feedback on proposed bike lanes

The great disappearing bike lane on Foul Bay Rd.
The great disappearing bike lane on Foul Bay Rd.

It seems those bike lane improvements I mentioned the other day might not be as slow as coming as I had feared. At the time council hesitated, asking for more information about traffic counts and resident feelings. The counting of cars has begun with the engineering department deploying a vehicle counter just south of Middowne and notifying the residents has apparently already happened, as I received in my inbox this notice (PDF) asking for their opinion.

For a quick refresher, the proposed works are:

  1. Completing the bike lane up Foul Bay Rd. northbound and possibly adding a bike box at the intersection with some sort of striping through the intersection itself
  2. Adding a bike lane on Cedar Hill X Rd. between the Saanich border at the intersection with Gordon Head Rd. and the UVic entrance at Henderson Road.

The deadline for getting information back to council is fairly short: you need to send in your comments by 4pm on Thursday, July 8th or by attending the meeting on the 12th of July at 7:30 pm. It will be held in the usual place at the Municipal Hall on at 2167 Oak Bay Ave. Thanks to Lesley Ewing for forwarding this on to me. Hope to see you all there.

Bike improvements possibly coming to Oak Bay

Bike lane ending on Foul Bay. Photo Credit: John Luton
Bike lane ending on Foul Bay. Photo Credit: John Luton

Bicycle commuters to UVic may have an easier time next September as the municipality moves to fix a few gaps in the existing bike lanes. Initially promoted by Councillor Jensen, Council last night asked engineering staff to prepare a report on finishing the bike lane on the northbound (east) side of Foul Bay  just before Lansdowne (as can be seen on the photo to the right). This is a very steep area and the bike lane disappears a few hundred metres before the intersection. Further the study will look at the addition of a bike box at the intersection itself to help get bicyclists get ahead of cars. Given that the roadway narrows and shifts to the west at Lansdowne, a bike box will help keep cyclists safe and make them feel more comfortable.

Also up for study is finishing the bike lane on Cedar Hill Cross Rd from the Saanich border (near Mount Tolmie Park) to the entrance of UVic. This part of Cedar Hill X was recently repaved, a missed opportunity to get these bike lanes in as part of the re-striping of the road.

Bike box being installed on Wharf. Photo Credit: John Luton
Bike box being installed on Wharf. Photo Credit: John Luton

Much of the discussion around the table, which was missing bike lane skeptics Cassidy and Herbert, focused on the process, given that the municipality has tasked the Citizen’s Initiatives Committee (CIC) with pedestrian and bicycle improvements. The Mayor wanted the study to got to that committee first, before coming back to council but in the end settling for sending it Comm. of the Whole. This far more informal venue will be a good place for council to get feedback on the proposed changes. That report is expected to available by the June 7th Comm. of the Whole meeting, held at the municipal chambers.

All in all, it is good to see this low hanging (or lying on the ground fruit, as Coun. Jensen put it) dealt with so that the CIC can handle the larger, more contentious issues such as Beach Drive or Cadboro Bay Rd.