Council putting its stamp on city history

Whether you like or hate it, more bike lanes are coming to downtown Victoria.

Last week, Victoria city council took yet another bold step to help cyclists from all around the region get from point A to point B safely, approving the construction of another east-west cycling lane on the north side of Fort Street from Wharf to Cook streets.

The plan has faced opposition from businesses and residents alike in recent months. A compromise for the $3.19- million project saw eight of the 18 parking spots originally to be lost near the Bay Centre restored, plus a taxi loading zone.

But let’s give credit where credit is due.

Victoria city council has become known over the years for over-analyzing plans in an attempt to secure every last bit of public input. The bike lane projects have been no different.

Much public consultation has been done in recent years with residents saying how the lanes are not needed, while others say the lanes will help them feel more comfortable riding on downtown streets.

Now council is moving forward, promoting a multi-modal way of getting around. It’s working hard to put its stamp on the city’s history.

If the usage of he city’s first protected bike lane on Pandora Avenue are any indication, council appears to be moving in the right direction. It’s only been open for a couple of months, yet hundreds of cyclists have used the lane to get from one destination to another.

There have been a few mishaps, close calls and a learning curve for motorists and cyclists, especially regarding the no right turn on a red rule (the Fort Street north side project may not need such signals).

In a few years, no one will remember how much confusion it has caused, only that there are cycling lanes helping riders make connections into the downtown core from Saanich, Oak Bay, the West Shore and beyond.

editor@vicnews.com