Cycling and pedestrian facilities have been added to Metchosin Road, the big hill near Royal Bay secondary school.
Deputy director of engineering, Emmet McCusker said the removal of a lane heading up the hill to accommodate a buffered bike and pedestrian lane and a widened shared bike and motor vehicle lane heading down the same hill are all about safety.
“I think that is going to make a big difference to the feel of that neighbourhood, the traffic will move more slowly and that will help overall feeling and safety. Our council is committed to safe and accessible transportation for cyclists and pedestrians and that is something we will be working towards.”
Budgeted at $30,000 out of this year’s budget, the project is based on guidelines from Seattle and have already been completed. A speed reader board will be also be installed at the top of the hill on Metchosin Road to remind drivers to watch their speed entering the residential area. McCusker said the gravel pit nearby once needed the extra lane to accommodate heavy gravel trucks, but the pit has been silent for approximately a decade and drivers have been using it as a passing lane going up hill.
“It’s close to the Royal Bay school and traffic comes up the hill at a high speed (near) the back of Dunsmuir school (and Sangster),” he said. “There has been some concerns and it is a residential area so we need traffic obeying the speed limit.”
McCusker said there is more work coming including a potential pedestrian and cyclist-only connector for Painter and Ryder Hesjedal Way on the north edge of the school. That initiative is currently being worked on with the developer of the school and could cost approximately $200,000. He hoped to see it completed by the end of 2015. McCusker said more cycling lanes and improvements along the whole of Painter road among other key areas are also options for the future, depending on Colwood council approval.
“We are also looking at economic development for what will be highlighting transportation to some of our great features including the Colwood waterfront,” McCusker said. “Our transportation plans are about safety and economic development.”