Central Saanich looks to increase the number of people using bicycles in the community through its active transportation plan. (Black Press Media file photo)

Central Saanich looks to increase the number of people using bicycles in the community through its active transportation plan. (Black Press Media file photo)

Seven projects among active transportation priorities in Central Saanich for 2023

Projects include installation of new sidewalks and several concept plans

A combination of grants and local taxes will help fund a series of active transportation projects in Central Saanich.

The municipality released a list of project priorities that it will pursue in 2023 as part of its plan. They include the installation of a sidewalk from East Saanich Road to Central Saanich Road in improving pedestrian travel between two major north-south running roads in the municipality and upgrades as per annual practice of local bus shelters in partnership with BC Transit. Other priorities identified in the release prepare future construction. They include conceptional designs for the Central Saanich Pathway Connection from Mount Newton Cross Roads going south.

Members of the public will be able to offer input on the designs currently underway in early spring with construction planned for 2024 pending funding.

RELATED: Central Saanich surveys residents’ thoughts on active transportation plan

The municipality will also seek public input on its plans for the Mount Newton Pathway connecting Highway 17 with the Saanichton neighbourhood, one of two major village centres in Central Saanich. Members of the public will see designs in early spring with construction expected in 2024 pending funding.

Saanichton, meanwhile, will be the site of proposed improvements to local bike land and sidewalks. Conceptional plan is set to get underway in 2023 with construction in 2024. Bicycling will also be the focus of what the municipality calls the most requested project from the public — a bike lane connected Saanichton with Central Saanich’s other major village, Brentwood Bay, along Wallace Drive. Conceptual design will begin in 2023, with construction expected start by the end of the year. It will coincide with a sewer replacement project along the route.

Finally, the municipality will adopt a plan that will improve signage for cyclists and pedestrians to navigate Central Saanich.

RELATED: Three Central Saanich schools to benefit from new safety measures

The projects build on Central Saanich’s active transportation plan, which council adopted in 2021. The municipality had previously received over 600 suggestions from the public, stakeholders and subject matter experts. Staff then assessed that list to identify the greatest priorities based on community feedback, anticipated use, cost, network gaps, safety needs and other factors.

The municipality announced the completion of three related projects late last year: improvements to the school zones of Keating Elementary and Brentwood Bay Elementary, as well as a pathway leading to Butchart Garden. The municipality secured more than $800,000 in grant funding and reserved a share of its own taxes for active transportation.

According to the municipality, transportation accounts for two thirds of total community greenhouse gas emissions with vehicles said to be the biggest contributor. Accordingly, the municipality wants to shift more traffic onto two wheels or two feet.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Transportation

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