Saanich closes a gap on the Lochside Regional Trail

Saanich is working right now to close one of the worst gaps on the Lochside Regional Trail – the missing link from McKenzie Ave to Cedar Hill X Rd.

Nearly everytime I have ridden through this intersection in the summer I have ended up having to guide somebody headed north to the trail. This new lane will make that a thing of the past, as it offers a clear, unambiguous path from one section of trail to another.

Concrete has already been poured for some of the project, but completion is still a few months off. The final design will look something similar to this concept (PDF).

Yesterday, this is what is it looked like:

Looking north-west on Cedar Hill X Rd
Looking north-west on Cedar Hill X Rd
Looking south-west on Borden St - bike lane on the far side
Looking south-west on Borden St – bike lane on the far side
Looking south-west on Borden St - bike lane on the far side
Looking south on Borden – McKenzie Ave is just down the hill

UVic’s CARSA and McKenzie rebuild host open houses

Seems it is the season for open houses and we have a lot of them:

For the next stage for teh CARSA project at UVic, including its parkade:

Saturday, April 28
St. Aidan’s United Church
3703 St. Aidan’s St.
noon – 3 p.m.

Monday, April 30
Mount Doug Secondary School, multi-purpose room
3970 Gordon Head Rd.
5 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 1
UVic Student Union Building, Michele Pujol room,
University of Victoria
11am – 2 p.m.

Wednesday, May 2
Cadboro Bay United Church
2625 Arbutus Rd.
4 – 7 p.m.

And for McKenzie road rebuild (from Gordon Head Road to Cadboro Bay Rd.), we have an open house today:

The District of Saanich Engineering Department will host a Public Information Session on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 between the hours of 4:00 and 7:30 p.m. at the University of Victoria Student Union Building, 3800 Finnerty Road, in the Michele Pujol Room (A121).

A bicycle advisory committee for Oak Bay?

Councillor Nils Jensen, a major sponsor of active transportation projects in Oak Bay, has decided to ask council to create a bicycle advisory committee for the municipality at this upcoming council meeting on Dec. 14th. Much like the City of Victoria’s Cycling Advisory Committee, the goal would be to help council with both policy and engineering direction for bicycling in the muncipality.

If passed, Oak Bay would join fellow municipalities Victoria, Saanich (combined bicycle and pedestrian), North Saanich & Colwood. Both View Royal and Esquimalt had cycling advisory committees as late as 2000, but I can find no record of them since then. The Highlands has a Trails Advisory Comm. (PDF), but no specific cycling one.

The meeting will be held at the Municipal Hall (2167 Oak Bay Avenue) at 7:30pm. It is important to show council how important many people support such a motion.

A daily grab-bag of links

The world keeps turning, even if I have been crazy busy with various non-bike relating things. So I present a grab-bag of fun links and commentary on news stories:

  • Packed in like sardines. It is a cliche and yet our buses (and public transit across the world) often feel more like a can of fish than a pleasant way to travel. To drum up political support for fixing the problem, a couple of Swiss decided to ride around dressed literally as sardines.
  • After dropping off my grandmother at a ferry today I got caught by this accident on Cordova Bay Rd. Apparently the cause was an 82 year old man having a heart attack. Why are we still building cities that require 80+ year old people to drive?
  • Speaking of my grandmother, two Saanich workers scared the crap out of her the other morning by walking into her back yard, looking for a storm drain cover. Turns out they were looking for the source of this oil leak into Douglas Creek, a salmon-bearing stream which runs through Mount Doug Park right behind her house.
  • Arthur Erickson, Vancouver architect, has died. He had a bit a love for concrete and brutalist buildings but also did a lot of good work including a building in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

There has also been a whole host of news about community planning today:

And lastly,Transportation Alternatives, a bike and ped advocacy group in New York City that has gone from guerilla activism to advising the city’s Department of Transportation, has launched “Biking Rules: A new street code for NYC Bicyclists” campaign that is coupled with a slick website that also allows users to show safe biking routes they have found (via Streetsblog). The map is driven by data from OpenStreetMap. More of that free data empowering people and communities again.

One last morning celebration station at RJH

Shot of the two tents
RJH celebration station tents
Today was the last 6 am morning for me this week and it was a cold one. The celebration station at the Royal Jubilee Hospital was shadowed by one of the buildings, which made standing around a little chilly. The good weather today certainly helped get people out, especially after yesterday. Seeing the near steady stream of riders come by wasn’t a huge surprise because the Vancouver Island Health Authority, that runs RJH, has over 600 cyclists registered, almost 10% of the total registrations.

Preparing to engrave bike
Preparing to engrave bike

Leona Gibbs came out again this morning, which was a great boon. She has done an amazing amount of work these past two mornings, getting up early and talking with dozens of people about Safer Cycling Oak Bay and Oak Bay Bicycle Master Plan. Between us we collected about another 20 maps of people’s bike routes, bringing the total to nearly 80.

I also had a great conversation with Ian Graeme of the Bowker Creek Initiative about a Bowker Creek Greenway (there is a map of the Richmond/Oak Bay Rec Centre section) crossing all three municipalities. A trail like this would be a great path for cyclists and walkers to travel north-west/south-east and would allow easier linkage in with the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails, a connection which is currently very difficult.

This afternoon is the last celebration station I will attending, at the UVic fountain again, which runs from 3:30 to 5:30pm. I also plan on attending the final BBQ at the north end of the Selkirk Trestle tomorrow, which starts at 3pm.