Complete Streets Policy could lead to cash

Putting plan into writing will help gain grants

There may be money in a decision to plan the use of Oak Bay’s roadways.

Oak Bay’s new complete streets policy will be discussed as a part of the Active Transportation Advisory Committee report at the municipality’s June 18 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Complete streets is a term used to describe streets that function for people of all ages and abilities. The complete streets policy will set the municipal vision for road, sidewalk and trail priorities and maintenance. “This effort from the municipality shows support for cycling and cycling infrastructure,” said Coun. Michelle Kirby.

Currently Oak Bay is the only Greater Victoria municipality without a complete streets policy, which puts it at a disadvantage when competing for provincial and federal funding. With a policy, the municipality will be in a better position to access the estimated $53 million in government funding for Oak Bay High, the performing arts theatre, the Neighbourhood Learning Centre and the Bowker Creek Restoration projects.

“This (discussion will give) us the opportunity to learn more (and the policy) will open us up to external funding opportunities,” said Kirby.

Priorities for the policy are walking, cycling, public transit, high occupancy vehicles and movement of goods; and single occupancy vehicles. It aims to make streets safe, comfortable and convenient.

“I know there are going to be very strong views on this, so we need a good thorough debate,” said mayor Nils Jensen.

Jensen also indicated that the project advisory team has already requested that the School District board consider undertaking a traffic study in relation to the new Oak Bay High school.

Public input is welcome at the Committee of the Whole meeting to be held in the municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave., June 18  at 7 p.m.