Daniel Horan, Director of Engineering Services for Oak Bay, presents two bike lane design options to the committee for discussion and then recommendations to council regarding costs/tradeoffs of the options. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Bike Lanes in Oak Bay moving forward

Full house at Municipal Hall as Oak Bay Council unanimously supports bike lanes

Building bike lanes on Cadboro Bay Road from Foul Bay Road to Bowker Avenue is one of Oak Bay council’s strategic priorities. The council’s aim is to create all-ages and all-access lanes.

A feasibility study was completed, identifying challenges and opportunities of different bike lane designs, based on the constraints of the current road width, traffic density, etc. Unfortunately, it became evident that the stretch of road was too narrow to meet the all-ages and all-access criteria.

Two new primary options were developed. These options were opened up to public feedback from Sept. 18 to Oct. 13.

Monday night, Daniel Horan, Director of Engineering Services for Oak Bay, presented the two design options at the committee of the whole, allowing for discussion and then recommendations to council regarding costs/tradeoffs of the available options. The correspondence from the public feedback period was shared with council and the public had an opportunity to speak at the meeting as well.

While the majority of the residents who spoke support cycling infrastructure, many had concerns about how the lanes would impact their neighbourhood.

Loss of parking was a worry for many. Some residents that live close to Oak Bay High School already find it difficult to find parking in front of their houses. The bike lanes will mean a loss of approximately 30 parking spots along the corridor, leaving residents anxious that the situation will get much worse. It was acknowledged by both residents and council that a plan of action for parking will need to occur.

Concerns were also raised about the Engineering Department using outdated maps in their planning process.

The drawings showing the bike lane designs in front of Oak Bay High have the old high school footprint and do not have the new bus stop plotted. With the heavy and convoluted congestion in that specific area, residents expressed concerns about safety.

Another issue that was voiced by a few residents was the potential increase in traffic and congestion on side streets. There was discussion by council around ways to mitigate those risks.

While the specific design is still being deliberated, and there are issues and concerns that will need to be addressed, Oak Bay council unanimously supports bike lanes on the stretch of Cadboro Bay Road past Oak Bay High.

The proposed bike lanes construction completion date is end of summer 2018.

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

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