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Fort Street is Victoria’s preferred bike lane route from junction to Foul Bay

Route one of three considered by staff, mayor and council for 2022 construction
An extension to the Fort Street bike lanes, along Fort to Foul Bay Road was recommended by city staff this week. (Courtesy City of Victoria)

The next phases of the cycling network in Victoria got a green light March 18, including the choice of Fort Street for protected one-way bike lanes to the city’s border with Oak Bay.

Council, sitting as committee of the whole, approved staff’s recommendation to use Fort as the priority AAA cycling corridor between the junction at Pandora and Oak Bay avenues and Foul Bay Road. Staff will complete a detailed design to be put into the 2022 budget and construction schedule.

Fort Street was one of three options considered and was selected ahead of Oak Bay Avenue and Fort Street-Leighton Avenue. Oak Bay Avenue had been recommended in the 2016 Biketoria planning process, but further research found Fort a more logical choice. Among the criteria used in the route comparison were frequent destinations, topography, parking loss and links to adjacent cycling infrastructure.

RELATED STORY: Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Mayor Lisa Helps credited staff for undertaking a sophisticated analysis, using metrics such as census data, income disbursement and other demographic data to determine which route would most benefit to the community.

Slide offers an overview of the Fort Street East bike lanes project, due to be constructed between Oak Bay Junction and Foul Bay Road in 2022. (Courtesy City of Victoria)

The committee also approved – for the 2022 package – design for Fort Street Central, an extension of the existing two-way protected lane system that would also run along the north edge of Fort from Cook Street to the Oak Bay Junction.

Simpler, shared-road designs for Oaklands and Fernwood connectors were approved and will be added to the 2021 schedule, using existing funds.

The Oaklands route runs from Hillside Avenue to Haultain Street, along Doncaster Drive, Pearl Street, Shakespeare Street and through Oaklands Park.

The Fernwood route connects Haultain and Begbie streets via Avebury, Oregon and Stanley avenues.

The presentation included updates on 2021 projects scheduled for completion this year, such as those along Vancouver and Richardson streets.

Coun. Stephen Andrew said he had received upwards of 200 messages of concern about plans for the Richardson corridor, illustrating a gap in communication from the city to residents. Sarah Webb, manager of sustainable transportation planning and development, told him significant outreach happened in advance of the decision.

RELATED STORY: Growth of Victoria’s bike lane network continues from downtown heart

Coun. Ben Isitt argued an “equity lens” was not applied to the Vancouver-Graham-Jackson street bike lanes project in terms of creating plaza or parklet spaces in north sections, calling the lack of engaging areas at Vancouver and Caledonia streets a missed opportunity. His proposed amendment to have such a lens used in the next round failed 5-4.

Other bike lane projects ongoing and scheduled for completion this year include Government Street north, Kimta Road/E&N Regional Trail and Kings-Haultain roads.


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