A busy stretch of Shelbourne Street near McKenzie Avenue was part of the first phase of the street’s improvement project, which is awaiting line painting for completion. The timeline for the ambitious next phase further south on Shelbourne has yet to be announced by Saanich. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

A busy stretch of Shelbourne Street near McKenzie Avenue was part of the first phase of the street’s improvement project, which is awaiting line painting for completion. The timeline for the ambitious next phase further south on Shelbourne has yet to be announced by Saanich. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Shelbourne Street improvements moving along in Saanich

Phase 1 nearly completed; significant changes in next phase include protected bike lanes

With phase one of the Shelbourne Street improvement project on the verge of completion, Saanich will soon be turning its full attention to phase two.

The District of Saanich is waiting for a good stretch of weather for the final line painting on the newly paved surface of Shelbourne between McKenzie Avenue and Torquay Drive, to wind up work on the first phase.

The new or improved elements in this portion of the massive project include buffered bike lanes on both sides between McKenzie and Torquay; sidewalk repairs and upgrades; improved roadway lighting; improved bus stops/shelters; and full traffic signals at Cedar Hill and Feltham roads, Shelbourne at Torquay and Shelbourne at Blair Avenue.

As well as the repaving of Shelbourne between Torquay and Garnet Road, upgrades to underground infrastructure and utility services have been completed. The timing of these improvements coincides with the expected future redevelopment of the University Heights property, which will add hundreds of new residents and increase traffic of various kinds to the area.

ALSO READ: Ownership change not expected to impact redevelopment of Saanich’s University Heights

Phase two of the project, the schedule for which has yet to be announced by the municipality, covers the section between the border with Victoria at North Dairy Road, and the intersection at Pear Street, at one edge of the Shelbourne Plaza.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this phase is the addition of a separated bicycle track on both sides of Shelbourne Street along with improved sidewalks, which, according to an engineering overview at saanich.ca, will occur “without significant widening of the road right of way.” Diagrams show the roadway will continue to be four lanes for vehicles. A longer-term configuration plan envisioned in the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan calls for wider bike lanes and sidewalks to be part of the corridor within the next 30 years.

The second phase also features creating safer connections onto Shelbourne for cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles at cross streets in that section. The plans call for pedestrian or cycle-controlled signals at McRae, Knight, Derby and Cedar avenues. Also in the plans are sidewalk and curbing improvements on McRae westward to Keats Street, and separated cycling lanes along Pear Street eastward up to its connection with Cedar Hill X Road to facilitate an easier connection to the University of Victoria.

More details can be found at saanich.ca by searching for Shelbourne Street Improvements Project.

ALSO READ: Final week to offer input on Saanich draft annual report


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: don.descoteau@blackpress.ca.

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