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Saanich 2014 in preview: Changes to Shelbourne yet unknown for 2014

The Shelbourne Valley in Saanich is expected to undergo major transformations in the coming decades in terms of land use and transportation networks.

But executing the long-term vision is a slow and steady process, one that planner Harold Stanley hopes to get moving in 2014.

After a series of open houses in late 2013, Stanley expects to have the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan in front of council in the first quarter of 2014.

If council gives it the green light, work could begin. But Stanley doesn’t expect that to happen so quick.

“A lot is dependent on municipal budgets, so things might take a while to implement. We’re hoping that little changes occur along the way,” he said. “Bigger items such as infrastructure can be implemented in budget approvals, but whether or not those will start to be implemented in 2014, no one can tell yet.”

Changes will come in the next 30 years, and will be driven by the municipality acquiring land as properties come up for sale or rezoning.

Mobility is one the most pressing issues to deal with – for pedestrians and cyclists.

One of the changes that Saanich has identified is a need for bike lanes on Shelbourne Street.

For the immediate future, the plan calls for a north-south bike route which will use segments of Shelbourne Street, but also parts of Cedar Hill Road.

The plan outlines “interim” bike lanes on Shelbourne from North Dairy Road to Pear Street and from Blair Avenue to Torquay Drive.

Space is tight, but Scott said bike lanes could be added on Shelbourne south of Pear Street, albeit with the possibility of removing trees and strips of boulevard.

Again, that work will be dependent on budgets. If the action plan winds up on the council table early enough in 2014, some of these project will be planned during the budgeting process later in the year.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

 

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