The public will have a chance to weigh in on a proposal to widen and separate 6.6 kilometres of the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails, and add lighting to the popular transportation corridor.
Results from a 2020 trails widening study discussed by the Capital Regional District’s parks committee on Wednesday (Jan. 27) listed as the highest priority a 1.6-km stretch between the Selkirk Trestle and Culduthel Road near Uptown in Saanich. The busy, winding section is a major thoroughfare for commuter cyclists and the goal is to separate bike and pedestrian traffic.
The option to create a separated-use, 6.5-metre wide pathway with hardwired LED lighting was one of three conceptual designs evaluated in the study and has an estimated cost of $17.8 million. Staff told the committee the price tag could be reduced to $13.2 million if cost-saving measures were utilized, such as reusing existing pavement and subgrade where feasible, doing strategic trail realignments, and only lighting priority areas such as intersections and underpasses.
Specific considerations such as using low-intensity lighting in the section of the Lochside Trail next to Swan Lake, to create a balance between wildlife concerns and public safety, was part of a motion approved Wednesday by the committee.
CRD parks staff were instructed to expedite the public engagement process and detailed design work then return to the committee with more recommendations, with the goal the creation of a “shovel ready project.”
The committee’s recommendation will be forwarded for discussion to the full CRD board meeting on Feb. 10.