Mayor’s message: A foot and bike friendly Esquimalt

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins shares thoughts in monthly column

By Barb Desjardins

Our recent age-friendly assessment contains some interesting statistics around walkability and mobility. The one that really jumped out for me was that 33% of all trips taken within Esquimalt are by foot. By comparison the average for the core area is 7%

Why so much walking in Esquimalt? I think there are several reasons. Firstly, we are a compact community of ten square kilometres, so you’re never far from amenities, parks and services. But we also have a safe and comfortable network of sidewalks and trails in the community that we are building on every year.  We have a Township Sidewalk Master Plan that aims to provide at least one sidewalk along all streets and prioritizes new sidewalk projects. We also have a Pedestrian Charter at the Township which puts pedestrians at the heart of our urban planning.

Our geography also encourages walking and cycling. Did you know that you are never further than 1.6 kilometres from a waterway in Esquimalt? We are a peninsula bounded on the south by the Juan de Fuca Strait, on the west by Esquimalt Harbour and on the north by the historic Gorge Waterway. And along our coastlines we have some of the finest parks in the region, including Saxe Point Park to the south and Esquimalt Gorge Park to the north. What better way to access these waterways and parks than by cycling or walking?

At 33.9% Esquimalt exceeds most communities in B.C. and Canada at using non-vehicle modes of transport (bus, walking and cycling) to get to work. The Admirals Road bike lanes are a particular improvement for cyclists with their ample width, roadway buffer, and distinctive lane markings. Combined with existing E&N trail routes, cyclists can easily ride to and through Esquimalt. I see many of our Township staff members as well as CFB Esquimalt and dockyard workers taking advantage of this cycling network every day. We are in a process of continuous improvement of our roadway bike lanes as well, including parts of Esquimalt Road this month.

We also encourage walking in the Township through our walking tour brochures, and the explore Esquimalt app. Walking is so much more enjoyable when you have information about local history and geography.  Local writer and historian Sherri Robinson has provided much of the fascinating content found in the printed brochures and the digital app. Ask for walking tour brochures at municipal hall, and download our app at iTunes.

We invite our regional neighbours and tourists arriving in Victoria to take the West Song Walkway to Esquimalt, and explore by foot all that our community has to offer.  What you’ll find is friendly, inviting residents; scenic and unique coastal and inland parks; and our fascinating history around every corner.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leon the squirrel gets a fancy snack of almonds and sunflower seeds from a well-meaning local, who really should be leaving Leon to his own foraging devices. (Submitted)
Squirrels don’t need your nuts, thanks

Consider birding instead of wildlife feeding, SPCA suggests

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation is hosting a virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads University on April 25. (Black Press Media file)
Cedar trees weave deeply into lives of coastal First Nations communities

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation hosts virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads

Titan Sparks, who attends Grade 3 at Deep Cove Elementary, plants a seedling to help replace trees damaged by climate change near Deep Cove Elementary. (Louise Beaudry/Submitted)
North Saanich school plants a seed in the fight against climate change

Students at Deep Cove Elementary plant seedlings to replace downed trees

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two houses at the Mount St. Mary long-term care home on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)
Island Health declares outbreak at Victoria long-term care home

Resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19 at Mount St. Mary facility

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

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

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

There are lots of resources for seniors looking for information about COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
COVID questions? Here are some phone-based resources available for seniors

Here is a list of numbers to keep on hand for Vancouver Islanders who aren’t fond of computers

Chum Salmon fry being examined with multiple motile and attached sea lice on Vargas Island. (Cedar Coast Field Station photo)
Study: Tofino fish farm sea lice infestations add fuel to push to remove open pens

Ahousaht First Nation asking for higher standards than what DFO requires

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Most Read