Langford resident Patrick Simonean cycles to work along Fort Street, where the City’s second dedicated two-way downtown bike corridor will be available by 2018. Tim Collins/Victoria News

EDITORIAL: We’ll judge Victoria’s new bike lane project by cyclists’ usage

Construction will cause congestion along busy Fort Street corridor for a while

By now, thousands of drivers and pedestrians have cautiously made their way along Fort Street, carefully avoiding the construction work happening on that stretch for the upcoming dedicated two-way bike lanes.

As with any construction project affecting streets, there’s going to be some inconvenience involved as crews operating heavy equipment dig up the edge of the roadway and prepare to install cycling infrastructure.

Some merchants have complained, some publicly and others in private, that the City of Victoria promised the work wasn’t going to start until November. Based on previous stories published by the News, it appears the work is on schedule, but that’s not going to make retailers any happier.

In the construction phase, infrastructure projects leave few people grinning, with the possible exception of young residents who enjoy watching mighty machines – or those simply young at heart. It’s a matter of putting up with the mess and inevitable traffic tie-ups until the work is done.

It remains to be seen what impact the dedicated bike lanes between Wharf and Cook streets will have on vehicle traffic along the busy Fort Street corridor. Will it become more congested? Will drivers choose a different eastbound route, such as Johnson Street, to avoid having one less through lane?

Fort Street bike lane passes major hurdle in Victoria

The City claims that 1,500 cyclists per day use the Pandora Avenue two-way bike lanes, and drivers are getting used to the new rules and lights affecting right turns on and off Pandora. It’ll be interesting to see whether that number goes down once the Fort lanes are completed.

Some might question the need for two east-west protected bike corridors within four blocks of each other, not to mention the cost. But this is the new reality in the city, where “build it and they will come” is the mantra and contributing solutions to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an overarching philosophy.

In general we admire that approach, but we’re still going to wait for the outcome and judge the decision to add more dedicated bike lanes on their usage.

Just Posted

Belmont senior girls volleyball team heads to provincials

Team set its sights on repeating as champions

City of Colwood considers plastic bag ban

Bylaw must be brought forward for public input before adoption

Widow of chef killed by SUV gives birth to twin boys

Khushal Rana was struck and killed by an out-of-control vehicle on Gorge Road last month

Songhees youth among those recognized by province for achievement in sport

Team BC athletes in North American Indigenous Games, Canada Summer Games recognized

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vic High students take Saanich-reared comic’s words on mental illness to heart

School counsellors see uptick in visits after Kevin Breel relays his depression story

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

This week’s wanted in Greater Victoria for Nov. 21

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

Most Read