Saanich staff give direction to cyclists Wednesday at the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Borden Street morning as improvements to the Lochside Regional Trail opened. District of Saanich photo

Saanich opens new cycling connection

Local bike activists celebrate improvements to the Lochside Regional Trail.

Edward Pullman, president of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition, praises the opening of a path that completes the Lochside Trail across Cedar Hill Cross Road to Borden Street at McKenzie Avenue. “It’s really great to see that Saanich is closing a really important gap in the [Lochside Regional Trail] network,” he said.

Its central feature is a protected cycling track that formalizes two-way bicycle traffic through a smaller cluster of busineses including the Monkey Tree Pub bounded by a triangle that consists out of north-south running Borden Street, east-west running Mckenzie Avenue and Cedar Hill Cross Road.

The trail officially stopped between McKenzie Avenue and Cedar Hill Cross Road before the new connection. This reality created a dilemma for cyclists who had to choose between dismounting at the crosswalks or riding through and deciding whether to “cheat” through the parking lot of an ICBC testing centre for drivers.

A series of new traffic patterns and signage including green conflict paint will improve accessibility, visibility and safety of the cycling and pedestrian space at the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Borden Street.

Other features include a relocated sidewalk on Borden Street from the McKenzie Intersection to Cedar Hill Cross Road to the Lochside trail connection; a relocated sidewalk on Borden and new sidewalks on Cedar Hill Cross Road; a reconfiguration of the Borden Street and Cedar Hill Cross Road intersection to improve visibility and safety.

Saanich first announced the project in the summer of 2015. Figures from that period pegged the total cost of the project at $280,000.

Mayor Richard Atwell, who used to be a regular commuter along the Lochside Regional Trail and familiar with the intersection, said in 2015 that the connection was essential. “[This will] improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles and will bring us another step closer to completing our region’s cycling infrastructure,” he said.

With this “fundamental part” of the Lochside Regional Trail improved, Pullman would like to see the Capital Regional District (CRD) widen the Lochside Trail in several sections. Priorities include the area along Swan Lake and Cecilia Ravine, he said.

Overall, he finds Saanich has been taking the right steps towards improving the local cycling infrastructure through its Active Transportation Plan and improvements of Shelbourne Avenue.

However Saanich has also seen some setbacks, as the province announced earlier this year that it will not contribute towards plans to improve the cycling infrastructure along McKenzie Avenue, a major thoroughfare for local cyclists in need of upgrades.

Just Posted

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

Fill the railcar to help feed Victoria’s homeless

A community food drive for the Salvation Army

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read