Work is set to begin this week on bike lanes that will link James Bay with the downtown’s cycling infrastructure.
The City of Victoria announced construction will begin on a number of the James Bay transportation projects this week, including the bike lanes, traffic-calming elements and more.
Protected and painted bike lanes will be built on Government, Superior and Montreal streets. The project also includes just under one kilometre of road paving, upgrading crossings at 15 intersections, an electric vehicle fast-charging station, a community-designed berry garden and a new traffic signal at Belleville and Menzies streets.
The city says all efforts will be made to minimize impacts to residents, visitors, businesses, commuters and special events. Anyone travelling through James Bay is advised to allow for extra time and follow the directions of signs and crews.
“We heard strong support from the public to improve transportation options and safety in James Bay,” Mayor Marianne Alto said in a news release.
“This project will connect the neighbourhood with the rest of the city’s AAA cycling network and result in a more welcoming and accessible environment for residents and visitors alike.”
Protected bike lanes will be added on Government Street, between Wharf/Humboldt and Belleville streets, and on Superior between Montreal and Government streets. An interim-painted bike lane on Government Street will run between Belleville and Superior streets.
Work will also begin on AAA cycling routes on Fort Street and Gorge Road later in 2023.
More than 1,300 people participated in a two-part engagement process in 2021. Those consultations informed the design’s focus on improving connectivity for people walking, rolling and cycling, as well as street renewal and clean transportation options, the city said.
The 2021 census found Greater Victoria had the highest rate of regular commuting by bike out of Canada’s 41 largest cities.
The Canada Community Building Fund, ICBC and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation contributed funds for the various transportation projects.
Sarah Webb, the city’s manager of sustainable transportation planning and development, told Victoria council in the summer that while people didn’t see the bike network’s value when the first stages were built downtown, that changed as the cycling routes started to connect libraries, parks, schools and neighbourhoods around the city.
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