Grade 5 students at École Willows are embarking on a project to re-envision Cadboro Bay Road from Bowker Avenue to beyond the school. They had an opportunity today (Nov. 23) to seek guidance and advice from architects, politicians, police, and a facilitator from Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe) who came to their classroom for a presentation and discussion.
Some say the corridor currently has inadequate sidewalks, bad sight lines, and no bike lanes.
This initiative was brought forward by Willows PAC in light of Oak Bay council confirming they will be moving forward with creating bike lanes from Foul Bay Road to Bowker Avenue. The PAC is working hard to get Oak Bay to consider expanding on that to include the Cadboro Bay corridor from Bowker Avenue to beyond the school in next year’s budget.
Tim Murphy, the vice principal of Willows and teacher for the grade 5 class, introduced the group to his students.
Cascadia Architects Gregory Damant and Andy Guiry discussed the concepts and principles of urban design for safe streets.
Mayor Nils Jensen, and Coun. Michelle Kirby came to express enthusiasm for the students’ input and to highlight the importance of walking and cycling to health.
PAC member Roy Brooke emphasized the need to think about accessibility to make sure the design would work for everyone in the neighbourhood.
Const. Markus Lueder discussed safety concerns of roads and sidewalks.
Lise Richard, Facilitator for HASTe (Hub for Active School Travel) had great insight into different things that the students would need to consider when developing their plans.
Sam Ganong was there as vice president of development for Abstract Developments who gave $100,000 as an amenity during rezoning for The Bowker development, earmarked for upgrades to the corner of Bowker and Cadboro Bay.
After the presentation, the group walked down to the corner of Bowker and Cadboro Bay to assess issue areas, which included a hydro pole in the centre of the sidewalk forcing pedestrians onto the road to navigate around it.
Mayor Nils Jensen said Oak Bay council looks forward to seeing the complete student visions for the area.
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