City council has approved the next stages of the City’s cycling network along Humboldt and Wharf Streets.
After a lengthy discussion during Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting, council voted to approve the 60 per cent design plans for bike lanes along both streets that evening. Sixty per cent is as far as council votes on, with the rest going out for public discussion and further design by City staff.
The Wharf Street lanes will run from Pandora Avenue and eventually link up to Humboldt and continue all the way to Cook Street.
On Wharf, a two-way protected bike lane will run along the west side. Along this strip, 21 out of 45 parking stalls will be lost, with a majority of them being between Yates and Fort Streets to make room for the lanes, and also to realign the crosswalk coming from Bastion Square. Between Fort and Government streets, 10 parking spots plus one motorcycle parking spot will be added next to the protected bike lanes.
City staff intend to keep the left turn lane on Wharf Street up to Fort Street and want to enforce safety with coloured paint, and vehicle detection flashing signs at the top of the steep driveway down to Ship Point.
Heading towards Government Street, a pedestrian plaza is planned for the area in front of the Visitor Information Centre. For this to happen, the traffic island presently located at the intersection at Humboldt, Wharf and Government streets will be demolished. City planners say several new trees will be planted at the new plaza to replace the ones from the island.
Heading down Humboldt, seven parking spots will be lost in the 600-block in order to put in the two-way bike lanes. Tour bus parking is being examined, with some likely to retain access on the north side of Humboldt and others needing to relocate. Nine new parking spots will be added in total between Government and Vancouver streets.
The largest change will be altering the five-way intersection at Douglas Street, Humboldt Street and Fairfield Road to a four-way intersection by closing vehicle access to Humboldt from Douglas, and creating another pedestrian walk space. Humboldt will still be accessible further east via Penwell and Blanshard streets.
The plans are still in process and will have their final refinements in the fall. Construction of the lanes is scheduled to begin in October 2018 and be completed by May 2019, with a possible six-week break around Christmas time.
Council also approved a recommendation to move planning for the next north-south bike lane from Cook Street to Vancouver Street.
For more information on both plans you can head to: victoria.ca/cycling.